Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Heart of the Frontier #2

Cover ArtShackled by Her Past, One Woman Searches for Healing, Forgiveness, and Love

Hope Flanagan survived the massacre at the Whitman Mission, but at terrible personal cost. Safe now in Oregon City, the gentle rhythm of tending her family's flock of sheep is slowly healing her mind and soul, but her precarious new peace is shattered when Hope is asked to testify against the Cayuse responsible for the massacre. She's not sure she can bear to relive the events of those horrific days, but neither can she risk her attackers being released if she doesn't tell her story. 

As Hope struggles to make her choice, an Army lieutenant named Lance Kenner becomes an unexpected ray of light in her life. Perhaps she is still capable of love after all. But will Lance still want her if he learns the whole truth of what happened to her at the mission? Or are the secrets that lie in his own past more troubling?

Published July 4th 2017
 by Bethany House Publishers 

Available for Purchase:

Meet the Author:

Tracie PetersonTracie Peterson gave her life to Jesus at the age of six. Tracie knew at an early age that God was calling her to ministry, and writing for Him has allowed her to offer the Gospel message and encourage people to hope in the Lord.  Her motto in writing, as well as all other aspects of life is Soli Deo Gloria—For God Alone the Glory.
Often called the “Queen of Historical Christian Fiction,” Tracie Peterson is an ECPA, CBA and USA Today best-selling author of more than 110 books, most of those historical.  Her work in historical fiction earned her the Best Western Romance Author of 2013 award from True West magazine and the USA Best Books 2011 Award for best Religious Fiction for Embers of Love. She was given the Life Time Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers in 2011 and the Career Achievement Award in 2007 from Romantic Times, as well as multiple best book awards.
Tracie received her first book contract in November 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership’s vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row. Eventually, Tracie also managed Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents book line—overseeing the production of 52 books a year. 
In December 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers/Baker Publishing Group. She has co-written with a variety of authors including Judith Pella, Judith Miller, James Scott Bell, Kimberley Woodhouse, and Tracie’s daughter Jennifer. 
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Questions and Answers with Tracie:

1. This is book #2 in the Heart of the Frontier series—what’s it about?

Beloved Hope picks up a couple of years after book one, Treasured Grace. Treasured Grace dealt with the Whitman Mission massacre, and book two deals with the trial of five Cayuse Indians believed to have played an important role in the massacre. It was really a mock trial—everyone knew the men would be hanged—and I wanted to show the general atmosphere and attitude of the day. Interwoven with that true event are my characters from book one, but this time the focus is on Hope. Hope is one of three sisters, and she was there at the mission on the day of the massacre. She was held hostage, along with the other women and children, including the youngest of the three sisters, Mercy. This book is about Hope’s journey to healing and finding true love—God’s love first and foremost, and then the love of our hero, Lance Kenner.

2. Is this story based on real-life events?

Yes. The Whitman Mission massacre happened in November of 1847. The trial takes place in late May of 1850 in Oregon City, Oregon Territory. The attack on the mission was really a turning point in American history. The attitude of the U.S. government changed dramatically after the attack. The first large contingency of soldiers was sent west to establish forts and offer protection from the Native Americans, but perhaps even more drastic was the attitude that came out of these events—that perhaps the only way to establish peace in the newly settled West was to exterminate the entire native population.

3. Did you do special research for this book?

Absolutely. There were so many rich details that had been documented, and I did my best to read them all and speak to people who knew more about this topic than I did. I read diary accounts by the women who had endured the attack and captivity, diaries from the Catholic bishop who was in charge of the area, formal records from the court and the trial, and personal accounts from local politicians and newspapers. I went to Oregon City to research museums and the location. I wanted to make this book as accurate as possible, but also to show all sides of the event.

4. Why did you write a book like this with such a difficult topic?

I think we’re foolish when we fail to remember the mistakes of the past. The negative attitudes toward the Native Americans were often justified, but just as often unjustified. When I share these events out of history, I do my best to give a balance and show the situation from both sides. As I mentioned, too, the events of the massacre changed the policies of how the Native Americans were dealt with, and would only lead to more trouble. Added to this, I wanted to create a story about overcoming. In book one, Hope gave birth to a baby as a result of her ordeal and abuse at the hands of the Cayuse. It was all hush-hush, and only a few ever knew about it because the baby—a little girl—was given to friends to be raised. So not only did Hope endure rape and captivity, she bore a child and had to deal with that as well. All of these issues come into play in the theme of overcoming adversity. I wanted to show Hope’s journey, because I believe many readers will relate to it.

5. So the spiritual theme is about overcoming?

Yes, in part. The real-life women who endured the massacre and captivity were good enough to write about it—at least in part. They were very closemouthed about the sexual abuses, although they often mentioned the women “being forced to become wives to the Cayuse.” To speak about such a thing would further brand them in a society that was already uncomfortable knowing they had been held captive by the Cayuse. Imaginations were certainly just as active then as now, and many of these women were ostracized because of what happened. I believe this was due to fear. Fear that if it could happen once, it could happen again. I wanted to show that in this story and deal with how they might overcome. However, there was also the difficult question of “where is God when bad things happen?” We struggle with this today, and it seemed more than appropriate to discuss in the storyline, along with the healing importance of forgiveness.

6. Ultimately, what do you want the reader to take away from this story?

I hope the story and lives of the real and fictional characters will give the reader a better understanding of the pioneers who overcame outrageous obstacles to settle America. I hope the spiritual message will touch their hearts and help those who are struggling with similar issues to heal. Most of all, I hope and pray that the reader will draw closer to God and learn that even when things seem hopeless, God truly is still in control.

My Review:

 This histoical novel takes the reader May 1850 in Oregon City, Oregon.  This is the second book in the Heart of the Frontier series.  Although not necessary, but it would enhance the story if Treasured Grace, the first book in the series, is read first.  It would give the reader a background of the story.  This story centers around Hope Flanagan.  She along with her younger sister, Mercy, was at the Whitman Mission that dark day the massacre occurred.  John Sager, the boy she was seeing and planned to marry, was also there also.  In fact, she cradled his head as he died.  The Cayuse were angry and there had been trouble brewing for weeks due to the the sickness in their tribe and the inability of the local doctor to save their people.  Hope's captivity and abuse at the hands of the Cayuse was a nightmare she did't want to think about or relive.  Amory Holbrook had been appointed to the the United States Attorney for the Oregon Territory and he was convinced since Hope had witnessed the murder of Dr. Whitman that her testimony was essential.  
Hope is still angry and bitter about the massacre and enduring her captivity and I feel with every reason.  She is one of three girls and she has always tried to shield Mercy, but of late Mercy feels that Hope need to forgive their captures.  Hope, I think feels as abandoned today by God as she did during her capture.  She lost so much that day and endured so much, how could God let these horrible things happen?
It is obvious the author captures the life of pioneer living.  She brings both the life and characters to life in my mind.  Hope is a strong, well developed character with flaws, but is easy to love.  Her crisis of faith is one that many of us have during a crisis so her emotions were both raw and real. This is a book that easily pulled me in and held me until the last page was turned. 
This story has elements of history, forgiveness, crisis of faith, second chances and love. This is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves history or a good, clean story.  
*I received this book from the author via the publisher.  I was not required to write a review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

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