Westward Hearts, Homeward on the Oregon Trail Series #1   -     By: Melody A. Carlson
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Westward Hearts, Homeward on the Oregon Trail Series #1

Harvest House Publishers / 2012 / Paperback

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Kentucky, 1854-Elizabeth Martin has mourned her husband's death for three years, but now she feels ready to fulfill the dream they had shared-to take their two children west. The dream becomes reality when her middle-aged parents and bachelor brother surprise her with the news that they want to go as well.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Harvest House Publishers
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0736948716
ISBN-13: 9780736948715
Availability: In Stock
Series: Homeward on the Oregon Trail

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Publisher's Description

Bestselling author Melody Carlson begins an inspiring new series of adventure and romance on the Oregon Trail.

Kentucky, 1854--Elizabeth Martin has mourned her husband's death for three years, but now she feels ready to fulfill the dream they had shared--to take their two children west. The dream becomes reality when her middle-aged parents and bachelor brother surprise her with the news that they want to go as well.

After converting three of their best wagons to prairie schooners and thoroughly outfitting them, the little party travels from Kentucky to Kansas City, where they join a substantial wagon train. Elizabeth soon finds herself being drawn to the group's handsome guide, Eli Kincade.

The long journey and deepening relationships challenge the travelers to their core, and Eli's mysterious past leaves Elizabeth with more questions than answers. She knows there's no turning back, but she wonders, What have I gotten myself into?

About This Series: The Homeward on the Oregon Trail series brings to life the challenges a young widow faces as she journeys west, settles her family in the Pacific Northwest, and helps create a new community among strong-willed and diverse pioneers.

Author Bio

Melody Carlson has written 200 books for teens, women, and children (more than five million copies sold). She's won several awards from the Romance Writers of America, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, Christian Retailing magazine, and other national organizations. Melody and her husband have two grown sons and make their home in the Pacific Northwest. www.melodycarlson.com

Product Reviews

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4.2 out Of 5
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Value:
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Meets Expectations:
4.2 out Of 5
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  1. Gloria Schilling
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Rigors of the pioneers
    September 27, 2013
    Gloria Schilling
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Elizabeth Martin is a strong young woman. She is a mentor to others on the wagon train. I am looking forward to the second book!
  2. VicsMediaRoom
    Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Oregon Trail and Romance
    December 20, 2012
    VicsMediaRoom
    Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Melody Carlson in her new book, "Westward Hearts" Book One in the Homeward on the Oregon Trail series published by Harvest House Publishers takes us into the life of Elizabeth Martin.

    From the back cover: The Oregon Trail — Hardship or Happiness? Loneliness or Love?

    Kentucky, 1856-Elizabeth Martin has mourned her husband's death for three years, but now she feels ready to fulfill the dream they had shared-to take their two children west. The dream becomes reality when her middle-aged parents and bachelor brother surprise her with the news that they want to go as well.

    After converting three of their best wagons for an overland journey and thoroughly outfitting them with ample supplies and tools, the family travels from Kentucky to Kansas City, where they join a substantial wagon train. Elizabeth soon draws attention from fellow traveler Will Bramford as well as Eli Kincaid, the group's handsome but mysterious guide.

    Will Elizabeth's close-knit family survive the challenges they face on the Oregon Trail? And is this young widow truly ready for new love-even as she pursues the dream she shared with her late husband?

    Depending on where you picked it up the Oregon Trail was 2,000 miles long. Since Wagon Trains simply could not cover lots of mileage in a day this whole trip took months. When you have that much time on your hands a good author can tell lots of story and Melody Carlson is a very good author. As long time readers of this blog know I like Westerns and, most definitely, "Westward Hearts" is a Western. Wagon Trains, natural perils along the trail and forts this one has it all. And it is a romance too. Though which suitor Elizabeth is going to choose is anybody's guess. After all this is going to be a trilogy, can't give everything away in the first book, right? "Westward Hearts" is great fun to read. Ms. Carlson has a great way of telling the story and moving it along at a nice pace. Her characters are wonderful and she gives them life and unique voices. All this and in a Western. What more can anyone desire? A really enjoyable read.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Harvest House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."
  3. weatherlover1
    U.P Mi
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Interesting
    September 29, 2012
    weatherlover1
    U.P Mi
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Elizabeth lost her husband a few years ago and with him her dream of moving west died as well but now all these years later she finds herself restless and when her brother's fiancé leaves him for another man the dream to go west becomes a reality. Soon Elizabeth and her two kids along with her brother and parents are heading west on the Oregon Trail.

    This is the first book in a series that follows Elizabeth and her family has they head west on the Oregon Trail. I enjoyed this book quite a bit but also found it lacking in places.

    What I liked: I really liked Elizabeth and her whole family. They are nice people and I am looking forward to reading about their adventures through out the series. I also really enjoyed the depth of the information about traveling the Oregon Trail. You can tell the author spent a lot of time researching and it was very enjoyable to learn how people migrated west back then.

    What I did not like: This book is only told from Elizabeth's prospective and I was kind of disappointed in this. It would have been nice to get to know Eli a little or even tell more of the story between Elizabeth's brother and Jess. For me having only Elizabeth tell the story left the story a little flat. Also we are going to be with this family for the whole series so why not add more character depth.

    Over all this was a good book but not great. I think had there been more people telling the story in this book I would have easily given it 5 stars but I still give it 4 because its well written and quite interesting. I am looking forward to the next book in this series to see how the trip west goes. This is a very enjoyable and factual Historical Fiction.
  4. Irene
    United States
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A fun story
    September 4, 2012
    Irene
    United States
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This is book one in the new series Homeward on the Oregon Trail. I do enjoy any book by Melody Carlson! Because of the author, I thought I should give this book a try. I am glad I did, as the story is more of an adventure then a romance and definitely kept my attention.

    Elizabeth has been a widower for three years now and decides it is time to follow her dream and move west with her children. When her family comes along with her she could not be happier. The story is set in the mid 1800's so you know they are traveling by wagon train! The description of the trip is very well written. You can almost feel the heat and dust! One matter Elizabeth is not ready for is falling in love. Will the wagon train guide, Eli, change her mind? The children in the book are adorable. I liked every scene they were in!

    There was a lot I liked about the story. From the setting to the wonderful interaction of the children with all the other characters the book has many positive points. I only gave this book 4/5 stars though, because I thought it was a slow moving story and did not have enough romance between the two main characters.

    I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
  5. samcivy
    Eugene, OR
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Restless Hearts Head West
    September 1, 2012
    samcivy
    Eugene, OR
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Westward Hearts

    Melody A. Carlson ©2012

    Harvest House Publishers

    ISBN 978-0-7369-4871-5

    In 1856, Elizabeth Martin, mother of two children, feels an unusual restlessness. She manages her farm with the help of Brady, a freed slave, since her husband and brother died four years earlier. She senses that her disquiet is related to a dream she and her late husband discussed for years, of moving from Kansas to Oregon.

    Her brother, Matthew, late for Christmas dinner at their parents shocks everyone when he storms into the house and slams the door to his room without Violet, his fiancée. Matthew further upsets everyone with plans to emigrate westward--without Violet.

    Soon even their parents join Matthew and Elizabeth on a move to Oregon. This story makes alive the pioneers planning, hardships and pleasures (including romances).

    Author Melody Carlson brings alive the characters, the journey and especially the beauty and dangers of western prairies. Both good and difficult people emerge and adventures bring excitement to the travelers. Surprises will keep readers involved in the story.

    This book ends as the pioneers reach the Rocky Mountains so expect volume two to take them across that difficult terrain.
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