Wednesday, April 07, 2010

CFBA Tour: Sixteen Brides

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sixteen Brides


Stephanie Grace Whitson

In 1872, sixteen Civil War widows living in St. Louis respond to a series of meetings conducted by a land speculator who lures them west by promising "prime homesteads" in a "booming community."

Unbeknownst to them, the speculator's true motive is to find an excuse to bring women to the fledgling community of Plum Grove, Nebraska, in hopes they will accept marriage proposals shortly after their arrival! Sparks fly when these unsuspecting widows meet the men who are waiting for them.

These women are going to need all the courage and faith they can muster to survive these unwanted circumstances--especially when they begin to discover that none of them is exactly who she appears to be.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Sixteen Brides, go HERE.

My Take: because of crazy editing deadlines, I have not gotten as far in this book as I would like. However, I can tell you that the author does a great job of quickly setting up a cast of characters that interested me and makes me want to read more. Because it is set up to be an ensemble cast, I'm really curious to see how the plot develops. But it didn't take many pages before I was hooked and had to see how the diverse characters were going to interact over the course of the book. Stephanie Whitson is a master at taking women and thrusting them into diverse settings in the late 1800s. And because I know her research is meticulous, I love to learn tidbits about history -- for example, my family lives 60 or so miles from the prairie setting for this book and I had no idea there was a bride rush there. If that is the type of book you like, flavored with romance, then this book could be your thing, too.


A native of southern Illinois, Stephanie Grace Whitson has lived in Nebraska since 1975. She began what she calls "playing with imaginary friends" (writing fiction) when, as a result of teaching her four home schooled children Nebraska history.

She was personally encouraged and challenged by the lives of pioneer women in the West. Since her first book, Walks the Fire, was published in 1995, Stephanie's fiction titles have appeared on the ECPA bestseller list numerous times and been finalists for the Christy Award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year.

Her first nonfiction work, How to Help a Grieving Friend, was released in 2005. In addition to serving in her local church and keeping up with two married children, two college students, and a high school senior, Stephanie enjoys motorcycle trips with her family and church friends.

Her passionate interests in pioneer women's history, antique quilts, and French, Italian, and Hawaiian language and culture provide endless story-telling possibilities.

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