Spotlight “On The Rails” by Linda Shenton Matchett

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Welcome to my Spotlight

The reviews for On The Rails by Linda Shenton Matchett range from 5* to 3* which is a good mix. There are reviewers who enjoyed the info dumps and others who would have preferred less – so all that says is that you can’t please everyone.

The book is only 130 pages long which would make it readable for a lot of people in one go, and as one reader commented, might it lead to more stories about the Harvey Girls? This could well be a searching question for the author.

“I loved the history that came through in this book. I hadn’t heard of the Harvey House, and I was fascinated to learn about it as the story unfolded. Reading this made me want to be a customer of this great establishment along the railroad system in its glory days.”

As this is a Christian book does it overpower the reader?

This is what one reviewer commented, “I’ve read many books about the Harvey Houses, but never one that includes people coming to knowledge of Christ. That was awesome! And yet the characters are very real, with very real feelings including anger and jealousy. It’s not “churchy” at all.”

What is the main character like?

Most of the readers seem to have enjoyed the historical aspect of On the Rails and even though the story is a little short it is a sweet read, with some people liking the main character  Catherine, and others not warming to her in the same way. Again it is all a matter of opinion.

These are just my summations from reading the reviews on Amazon. I hope you will journey through the blog spots on the CelebrateLit tour, which are listed below, for further recommendations.

Also, don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY for a chance to win a fabulous prize.

This spotlight was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

Click here to grab your copy!

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak spotlights On The Rails by Linda Shenton MatchettTitle: On the Rails

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: February 6, 2017

Warren, Ohio, 1910: Katherine Newman loves being a teacher, but she loves Henry Jorgensen more, which is why she’s willing to give up her job to marry him. But instead of proposing, Henry breaks up with her. Devastated, Katherine seeks to escape the probing eyes and wagging tongues of her small town. A former Harvey Girl, Katherine’s mother arranges for Katherine to be hired at the Williams, Arizona Harvey House. Can she carve out a new life in the stark desert land, unlike anything she’s ever known?

Henry Jorgensen loves Katherine with all his heart, but as the eldest son of a poor farmer can he provide for her as she deserves? The family’s lien holder calls in the mortgage, and Henry must set aside his own desires in order to help his parents meet their financial obligation. But when Katherine leaves town after their break up, he realizes he’s made the biggest mistake of his life. Can he find her and convince her to give their love a second chance?

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak spotlights On The Rails by Linda Shenton MatchettLinda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her live. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.

Guest Post from Linda

My husband and I were fortunate to be able to take a trip to Arizona several years ago. Having been born and raised on the east coast, I was enamored with the distinctive beauty of the state, from the saguaro cacti of Phoenix and red rocks of Sedona to the volcanic landscape of Flagstaff and multi-colored bands of the Grand Canyon.

Harvey Houses

But what intrigued me just as much as the area’s beauty were the stories about the women who migrated to the state to work for the Fred Harvey Company. Upon our arrival at the Grand Canyon, we came upon the El Tovar Hotel, one of the few remaining Harvey Houses. We were given a bit of literature explaining the history of Mr. Harvey and his restaurants, and the more I read, the more I wanted to know.

As it turns in the late 1800s, food was not available to travelers riding the railroad lines, so when the trains made extended stops, passengers would get off and eat at the restaurants located near the stations. From all reports, the dining experience was sketchy at best, with frequent stories of indigestion and food poisoning.

The Harvey Girls

Enter English immigrant and restauranteur, Fred Harvey. Securing a contract with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, he began with two facilities. However, finding reliable employees proved to be difficult. A high percentage of the employees (all men) would use their paycheck to purchase liquor and then did not return to work for several days. At his wit’s end, Fred decided to hire women to act as his waitresses, but the concept was a tough sell. The only women in the hospitality industry worked in saloons and had scandalous reputations.

Fred set up dormitories overseen by a House Mother and implemented a set of rules that included curfews, restrictions on dating, and dress codes. He ran advertisements in the large east coast newspapers. It was not long before candidates came knocking. The reasons they gave for wanting to be a Harvey Girl were as diverse as the girls. Some were looking for adventure, others needed to help fill the family coffers, while a number of them needed to get out of difficult situations ranging from domestic abuse to failed engagements.

Thanks to Fred and his restaurants, most of the 100,000 Harvey Girls found financial stability, confidence, happiness, and/or love. It is my hope that On The Rails commemorates these gals and their intrepid spirits.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, January 31

Blossoms and Blessings, February 1

Mary Hake, February 1

Bibliophile ReviewsFebruary 2

Texas Book-aholic, February 3

Connie’s History Classroom, February 4

Janices book reviewsFebruary 5

The Mimosa Blossom, February 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 7

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 7

A Baker’s Perspective, February 8

Moments, February 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 9

Vicky Sluiter, February 10

Through the Fire Blogs, February 11

Carpe Diem, February 11

Godly Book Reviews, February 12

margaret kazmierczak, February 12 (Spotlight)

Maureen’s Musings, February 13

BigreadersiteFebruary 13

Giveaway

Finished

The Hope of Christmas 3 stories in one

The hope of Christmas in my house is that we all get on together! Everyone has expectations of how their Christmas will pan out. Mine is without a doubt that there won’t be any quarrels – that love and peace reign and jealousy takes a back seat.

If that doesn’t happen then I have plenty of books I can submerge myself in. I hope you find this review of The Hope of Christmas wets your appetite and you will rush out and buy a copy! Happy Christmas everyone.

the hope of christmas fb banner copy

My Penny’s worth

The hope of Christmas – Three books in one

Picking a Bride for Paul

Paul and Teddy are likeable characters who carry off this story in a sweet way. What is there not to like about these two people who dance around one another – well Teddy does as Paul has a broken leg!

Enter Catherine, not my cup of tea, who niggles me enough to want to shake some sense into this silly woman. Jodie Wolfe’s writing is smart as she has me bristling at the audacity of Catherine’s pomposity. Usually, at this point, I would put the book down as I can’t relate to such absurd behaviour. However, I needed to know what happened, so I carried on reading, and
I am glad I did.

Did Paul make the right decision or did he trip up on his lame leg?

A great short read by Jodie Wolfe.

Typhoon Prompting

I want to congratulate Terri Wangard on her well written WW2 novella. I loved the way she combined home and the turbulent sea in her book, which brought calm into this action-filled story.

The main character Jerry Collier shares with the reader his highs and lows, and we get a snapshot of what life was like on board ship.

Although this is a novella, the author packed so much into the pages that I felt, nay I needed to know more. This book is an excellent taster of her writing. I became friends with both Jerry and his girl, Evelyn, and I have been left wanting…

An enjoyable short read, when is the full version coming out Terri?

A doctor in the house

Dear Archie, how I felt for him having his ancestral home requisitioned and turned into a hospital for wounded American soldiers. He had already lost so much and is raw from the horrors of the war.

I am not one for the upper classes, but Archie does not come across as the usual standoffish English gentleman. Having an American Army Doctor who is trying to prove herself in a man’s world on top of losing his home naturally rubs Archie up the wrong way. I believe these situations where any army requisitioning property put distance between the locals wherever it happened – trouble always brewed.

I empathise with Emma and understand that she needed to be strong and efficient as a woman doctor and get why she is so focused. However, a little understanding on her behalf might have been a better way forward.

Two determined characters are bound to set off sparks, and in this, I am not disappointed. But will they overcome their differences?

Archie and Emma portrayed a colourful picture of life in a more rural England during WW2.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Please continue reading to learn more about this book and the three authors.

There is a great free giveaway, see the end of this post for details.

About the Book

Book review - The Hope of Christmas 3 stories in one

Title: The Hope of Christmas

Author: Jodie Wolfe, Terri Wangard, Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Historical Christmas

Release Date: November 24, 2017

Picking a Bride for Paul
When Teddy Love’s neighbor and best friend breaks his leg, she pitches in to do whatever she can to help him on his farm. But when he enlists her aid in finding a wife, she comes to realize she has feelings for him.
Paul Baker follows his heart mother’s wishes by looking for a bride from the East who is refined and gentile, two qualities Teddy isn’t. When his potential bride arrives, he finds himself comparing her to Teddy. How can he go back and change things before he makes the biggest mistake of his life?
Typhoon Prompting

A destroyer escort is among the smallest of warships, but the USS Tabberer has the heart of a giant. A typhoon threatens the US Fleet in the Pacific during World War II, days before Christmas. The men of the Tabberer stand tall as they rush to the aid of their fellow sailors. For Seaman Jerry Collier, the typhoon prompts a greater awareness of what he wants in life. First, though, they have to survive.

A Dr. in the House

Emma O’Sullivan is one of the first female doctors to enlist after President Franklin Roosevelt signs the order allowing women in the Army and Navy medical corps. Within weeks, Emma is assigned to England to set up a convalescent hospital, and she leaves behind everything that is familiar. When the handsome widower of the requisitioned property claims she’s incompetent and tries to get her transferred, she must prove to her superiors she’s more than capable. But she’s soon drawn to the good-looking, grieving owner. Will she have to choose between her job and her heart?

Archibald “Archie” Heron is the last survivor of the Heron dynasty, his two older brothers having been lost at Dunkirk and Trondheim and his parents in the Blitz. After his wife is killed in a bombing raid while visiting Brighton, he begins to feel like a modern-day Job. To add insult to injury, the British government requisitions his country estate, Heron Hall, for the U.S. Army to use as a hospital. The last straw is when the hospital administrator turns out to be a fiery, ginger-haired American woman. She’s got to go. Or does she?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Authors

JodieJodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests and is a member of ACFW. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.

TerriTerri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.

lindaLinda Shenton Matchett is a journalist, blogger, author, and history geek. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life-from Edison, New Jersey (named for the famed inventor of the light bulb) and Washington, DC to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire (reputed to be the oldest summer resort in America). She volunteers at the Wright Museum of WWII and as a trustee for her local public library.

Blog Stops

Christian Author J.E. Grace, December 10

Blogging With Carol, December 10

Genesis 5020, December 11

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 11

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 12

Have A Wonderful Day, December 12

Mommynificent, December 13

Inklings and notionsDecember 13

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 14

Mary Hake, December 14

The Power of Words, December 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 15

A Greater Yes, December 16

Texas Book-aholic, December 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 17

Radiant LightDecember 18

Janices book reviewsDecember 18

Carpe Diem, December 19

A Baker’s Perspective, December 19

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 20

margaret kazmierczak, December 21

Pursuing StacieDecember 21

Maureen’s Musings, December 22

Blossoms and Blessings, December 23

BigreadersiteDecember 23

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afLit Publishing is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c514