An Everlasting Heart series, Book 1
The thought of war was removed from Charlotte’s mind as she uncurled her legs from beneath her patched cotton dress and stretched them into the brook. She tilted her head back and closed her eyes as the icy water swirled over her bare feet. It felt good to have finally loosened the tight braid from her hair. She swayed back and forth, letting the wavy locks tickle her shoulders.
Achilles, who had been grazing contentedly, whinnied at the light bugs that flickered about his muzzle. Charlotte’s fingers found the soft jade and eggshell tassels that ringed her picnic blanket and her mind began to wander.
“It is coming you know,” a voice from behind her stated matter-of-factly. “None of us will be able to hide much longer.”
A Heart on Hold is a well written love story with believable characters you cannot help but fall in love with. The storyline captures the reader's attention from start to finish leaving them with the sense they have just accompanied the characters on their long arduous journey. I highly recommend this book and congratulate Sara Barnard for writing this exceptionally good novel. I am thrilled to read Charlotte and Sanderson's story will continue.-- Dianne
Within the first few pages I was hooked. The story of Charlotte and Sanderson is not one of a budding romance, but of one that is already strong. The question isn't, will they end up together? It's, will the war tear them apart?
The characters were believable and fit right into the timeline of the Civil War. The language used, the little slangs, the behavior of the characters had me transported back in time. Sara Barnard brings the American West alive in both the horrors of war and the beauty in the land.
For the last 20% of the book I couldn't put it down. I knew it was drawing to an end and I had to know if everything paid off, if love won out in the end. Sara writes some pretty intense moments, revealing how close the story is to conclusion while the characters still have no idea! It was maddening, but in a good way.
A Heart on Hold is a beautiful story of a love that is real, not a whirlwind romance, and a fight to hold on to it throughout the trials of war. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. -- Author Christine Steendam
An Everlasting Heart series, Book 2
“Don’t die till we get to have some fun, girl.” Samuel’s whiskey-ruined voice was hot in Charlotte’s ear. Somewhere behind her, Dean’s maniacal laughter pulsated with cruelty. The Bowie knife grew closer to her face, but with her arms lashed behind her, Charlotte could only watch in helpless terror as the promise of death drew nearer. “Sanderson!” she screamed, just before the icy blade met the skin of her neck.
If you liked A Heart on Hold, you will love A Heart Broken. Charlotte is such a strong character that one cannot help but cheer her on during every heart-breaking setback. I won't give any spoilers, but I will say that the historical details and action packed scenes really help bring this timeless love story to life. I'm already counting the days until Book Three is released! -- Author Ann Swann
A Heart Broken, book 2 in An Everlasting Heart series, has captured my heart! A Heart on Hold was a great way to start this story of Charlotte and Sanderson off, and A Heart Broken has continued their story beautifully. I am sitting here in anticipation for the next two books that come out this year. WOOHOO! -- Ashley Armitage
An Everlasting Heart series, Book 3
The rifle barrel pointed upward as its owner stepped out from behind the pine. “You’re pretty quick, Mister. But I was quicker.” The dark-haired girl stepped toward him, her rifle tucked easily over her shoulder. “Pa says Colorado Territory’s full of bandits. Up to me to keep my brothers safe.” She extended her hand. “I’m Martha Jane Canary.”
The jovial atmosphere returning, Sanderson shook the spritely young woman’s hand with a grin. Surely no more than 13, her hair was shiny and dark, like ground coffee, and her eyes, almond-shaped and sparkling, were the same chocolaty hue. “Sanderson Redding. Nice to meet you, Miss Canary.”
“Call me Jane,” she instructed, the hint of a smile tilting her full lips. “Hey…Redding, I heard of you.” She tightened her grip on his hand hard and gave three sharp shakes. When she released him, Sanderson’s fingers burned. She arched her brows and looked him up and down.
“Is that so, Jane,” Sanderson asked, oblivious to the youngsters who were still hacking away at his legs with their twigs. The other three boys dropped back, in obvious awe of their sister.
She started toward the wagons, rifle over her shoulder. “Sure is. We had a stopover at Fort Dodge. Seems those Earp boys had quite a lot to say about you.” The three oldest boys fell in silently behind her. It was obvious at once who was in charge. “Come on Tyler, Duncan.”
Put down Romeo and Juliet and pick up Charlotte and Sanderson! Sara Barnard has done it again. This (Book 3) is the best installment of the Everlasting Heart series yet! Sara has a flair for westerns and for romance! As I was reading A Heart at Home, I was right alongside Charlotte and Sanderson, rubbing elbows with Quanah Parker, trying to wrap my head around "Calamity Jane" Canary's antics, and of course, enjoying time in the saloon with Wyatt and Virgil Earp. Through it all, the love between Charlotte and Sanderson was the perfect backdrop for the whole story. Whatever expectations I had going into this book were far exceeded ... and the ending. Oh the ending! How long must we wait for book 4??? - Journey
An Everlasting Heart series, Book 4
All From Prairie Rose Publications
The thundering hooves from both the stampede and the onslaught of soldiers vibrated the ground. “Sanderson!” Charlotte had to shout to be heard over the growing din. The scene before her unfolded in slow motion as Jerry lifted Minerva, Jay Jay, and Cotton into the wagon with expert precision, one after the other.
Cotton’s normally musical voice tore from his throat in a hysterical shriek. “Mr. Sanderson! Don’t forget Button and George!” Tears left wet trails down his bronze face while more still shimmered in his clear blue eyes. His arms trembled as they reached for his wolf pup.
*****-- Five Stars from Amazon, Lizzy McHappy:
This is the first historical western romance I've read and I went into it with an open mind for that reason, fancying a little bit of something different to the books I've been reading lately. I was not disappointed. It's an emotion filled story that had my eyes welling with tears on more than one occasion.
Sarah Barnard's prose just flow from the page and carry you along either at great pace through the action scenes or at a lovely lilting pace through the more romantic scenes. The vivid descriptions of locations, transport, smells and sounds had me feeling like I was right there experiencing the story with the characters.
Speaking of characters... I wanted to adopt Cotton and his wolf pups. Such a sweet, kind hearted boy whose love for his foster mother Charlotte jumped right off the page. Charlotte was a contemplative character but when she needed her wits about her she could be feisty and strong-willed. And around a time when women were expected to be more demure and in the background I loved that she broke the mold. There was one particular scene where she was defending someone and I laughed out loud at her actions! Just loved her!
Sanderson...well I didn't know whether I wanted to slap him or kiss him! But I couldn't help falling for him regardless.
All in all a wonderful heart-warming story that teaches that money and possessions can not bring happiness. Only love can do that.
---Five Stars from Amazon, Christine Steendam, Author
A Heart Forever Wild is the fourth and final book in the Everlasting Heart series by Sara Barnard. When I first picked up book 1, A Heart on Hold I was immediately drawn into Charlotte and Sanderson's love story. I've eagerly read every book and was just as exciting to pick up the fourth book, which promised the adventure, warm-hearted family values and ups and downs of life that all of Sara Barnard's books offer.
I was not disappointed. Although the shortest of the 4 books, Sara fits in a story of trial and triumph, of love, loss, and of course, an Everlasting Heart.
Sara covers a lot of ground in this novella but she does it masterfully. I never felt as if the story was rushed or as if things were left out or unresolved--which are all pitfalls of fitting such a BIG story into a novella length book.
Sara does a fantastic job weaving in history and historical figures in a seemless way that makes you wonder if perhaps these stories she writes really did happen.
There were times that I cried or laughed with the characters. I felt their pain or anger. And in the end, I was left satisfied with the story that is brought alive by Charlotte, Sanderson, Cotton, Minerva, Jerry and the rest of the cast :)
Thank you Sara Barnard for a fantastic book and a fantastic series. I never hesitate to recommend her books, especially An Everlasting Heart series, to my friends and family.
Five stars to A Heart Forever Wild.
Amish Historical Romance
5 Prince Publishing
“Look Elnora!” Samuel’s German accent thickened the English words, giving them a musical feel. He pointed to the vast expanse that spread out before them. “That’s what the English call The Pike. Many are traveling west on this very road.”
Elnora peeked out from the wagon, her eyes searching the desolate vastness. “So this is Indiana Territory.” She giggled. “I see, Samuel. Many are traveling this road.” The lack of fellow wagons was sadly apparent.
Grinning, Samuel swiveled on the driver’s seat to look at his wife. “Perhaps they have already passed for the day.”
“I already miss Canada,” Heloise Graber whispered when Elnora turned back toward her. “But not as much as I miss Germany.” Heloise patted the back of her boy, Joseph, who was snuggled down in the cornflower blue quilt Elnora had stitched just for him.
She looked longingly at her son. “At only two years of age he has already crossed an ocean and three countries.”
Elnora’s face fell as her hand fluttered to her still-flat stomach.
Heloise, the older of the two friends, smiled. “Your time to become a mother is coming. God has a special plan for you and Samuel, I can feel it.”
Rebekah's Quilt is currently unavailable. But fret not . . . it will be back!
I really enjoyed this story. It is sweet and clean - even appropriate for my 5th grade daughter.
The historical setting and the names used are actually the names of some of the settlers of the REAL Gasthof village. It is a nice touch when authors do their research so well.
I will definitely be reading Ms. Barnard's other works soon!
-- C. Cantwell, Amazon
Rebekah's Quilt by Sara Barnard is a well written historical Amish romance novella. I was captivated by this very sweet story and read the book in one sitting. The words flowed beautifully across the pages and it was impossible not to get emotionally involved in the story. The characters felt real and the events believable.
Joseph and Rebekah were the perfect couple who had been friends since childhood. Now in their early twenty's it was lovely to watch their friendship evolve into love. Joseph was a very sweet and caring young man who was always there for Rebekah and stood by her through the good and bad times. It is very hard not to fall in love with Joseph. Rebekah was a strong lady, a loving daughter and sister and very loyal to those she loved. The love and friendship between Joseph and Rebekah felt real and I enjoyed the dialogue between the two characters. The secondary characters added a great deal to the story. The introduction of the English visitor to the community created mystery and tension and was very well done.
By the end of this book I felt I had a good understanding of what life would have been like in an Amish community. Ms Barnard has been able to write a beautiful tale with characters readers will fall in love with. I am thrilled to learn this wonderful story will continue and I look forward to following Joseph and Rebekah's life together along with other characters introduced in this book. I highly recommend Rebekah's Quilt.
-- Dianne, Goodreads
Esau Fitzpatrick is bad at being good—and even worse at being bad. As he waits for his sweetheart, Ella Allen, inside the Paisley Settlement church, a brewing storm erupts and lightning strikes, setting the church aflame. Ella and her parents pull Esau from the fire, but his parents are lost in the blazing inferno.
Prairie Rose Publications
Angry at God, Esau flees his home and all he holds dear, only to fall in with the notorious Covington-Jones Gang. He journeys down the path to destruction and darkness, reliving the hellish fire in his nightmares.
Ella clings to the prayer that Esau will find his way back to a godly path – and to her. But Esau is gone, and her world is falling to pieces. Ella must lean on God in a way she’s never had to before as she follows her heart against everyone’s wishes. Can she dare to believe that Esau will ever change?
Esau’s life as an outlaw comes to a head during an epic cattle rustle. He is forced to choose between eternal hellfire and the rocky path of the Lord. Will Ella still be waiting for him? Or has he lost her forever? God reaches out to Esau again, but will it be in time?
--Five Stars from Amazon, DelPico:
I've been wanting to read The Calling for a while -- not because I'm a follower of Christian fiction, but because I'm definitely a follower of Sara Barnard, whose writing has been getting stronger and stronger with each of her releases.
The Calling didn't disappoint. Wow. What lovely use of language and detail. I could feel Ella's paralysis as the laudanum "turned her to little more than a breathing stone" when she was trying to come to terms with the loss (physically and spiritually) of her beloved. I felt I was right there with her and Esau during their confrontation at the clothesline as the "rogue breeze swirled through the clearing, lending sway to the bluebonnets that ringed the homestead."
Ms. Barnard knows her 19th century history, and details about architecture, firearms, clothing, and current events of that time are seamlessly woven into the narrative. A wonderful way to learn about this period of history. The lawmaker looking for Esau is also chasing after Billy the Kid and hopes to have him "taken care of" by the following week-end. A fun tidbit that grounds this story in reality.
Ms. Barnard's book is satisfying on so many levels -- not only does she tell the story of salvation in a fresh way for her Christian readers, but her prose is satisfying as a love story, a history lesson, and a tale of adventure for the rest of us! Sara, you are on a roll! I can't wait to read your next book!
5 Prince Publishing
Upon returning from her Rumspringa in New York City, Katie Knepp is certain of her need to remain Amish. However, the memories of her newfound independence have left her thirsting for more adventure than can be found on her family’s farm in Gasthof Village, Indiana. After praying for guidance she remembers a conversation about a bee-keeping Mennonite settlement in the wilds of west Texas and the tugging of her heartstrings almost makes the decision for her. Leaving her parents proved hard enough, but leaving her twin sister Annie and hopeful fiancé Peter Wagler made getting out of Indiana almost impossible. Katie learns all too early in her journey that the trail to Texas is a rough one, laced with barbed wire fences that stretch for miles, railroads that attract would-be could-be bandits, and a drought so severe that even turning back isn’t an option.
5 Star Praise for Old Amarillo
"This delightful quick read is both adventurous and entertaining. A member of the Amish Gasthof Village in Indiana, Katie dreams for a greater adventure in Texas. Old Amarillo is full of different adventures, including being robbed, held at gun point, and stuck in a fire as the main characters cross the plains to Texas. Author Sara Barnard has written a story that will cause readers to anticipate what will happen next in this novel, as well as the next novel in the series, Old Santa Fe. I would recommend this novel to readers that like a western historical fiction, romance-adventure story."
"Katie Knepp is leaving her home in Gasthof Village to go to the wilds of Texas. Katie was Amish but she wanted to avoid the monotony of Old Amish ways.
Katie may be Amish but she has the heart of an adventurer and leaves to follow her heart. Katie is God-fearing, loyal, kind, a bit stubborn and so much more. She was a very good character as were all. I loved how Katie went from one thing to the next and kept going, never forgetting to thank God.
Altogether a good plot, story and characters. I highly recommend."
The Bank Robber's Lament
Prairie Rose Publications
With his troubled past never far from his mind, the once-handsome Smith heads out to lose himself in the anonymity offered by the American West. When he arrives in Gabriel's Settlement, Texas he succumbs to the lifestyle of quick money and adventuresome living offered by a gang of wily bank robbers. It isn't until he crosses paths with Johanna Johannsen and her daughter Sadie that Smith discovers he isn't the only person in Texas with a looming past, and some people's devils are much closer to home than his own. When he learns of the Dalton Gang's plans to stick up the bank in Gabriel's Settlement, Smith must make a choice. But is he strong enough to face his past and be the man his own father couldn't be?
5 Star Praise for The Bank Robber's Lament
"A scarred bank robber has a change of heart after his buddies hang him out to dry. And when he discovers a huge injustice being perpetrated on the citizens of the town, especially Johanna, someone who has been almost as beaten down as he, the sparks begin to fly. How does one go from villain to savior? Read The Bank Robber’s Lament to find out."
"I loved the beauty and the beast story this author so expertly put into words. I felt like I was reading a Gunsmoke episode with the happy ending. I will definitely read more by this author."
ANTHOLOGIES FEATURING SARA'S WORK