A Promise Engraved is book eight in the Doors to the Past series from Barbour Books. Written by exemplary wordsmith, Liz Tolsma, both stories in this split time novel work together like a well oiled machine. That is a must for this genre, and the author does it gracefully and smoothly.
This is the story of young, feisty Josie Wilkins. In 1836 San Antonio, Texas life has become difficult at best. Josie has fallen in love with John Gilbert, a Protestant preacher who is forbidden to practice his faith in Texas.
Present day Kayleigh Hernandez has a demanding job as a refugee coordinator working with Mexican migrants. For fun, she frequents flea markets. She has found one old uniquely engraved ring that must have an interesting story. She asks for help from Brandon Shuman, an appraiser. Together, they are able to solve the mystery and put together a love story that has been long forgotten.
Both parts of this split time book are at times hard to read. This is not because of the writing because it is beautiful, but rather from the subject matter. My heart broke for the circumstances surrounding both women. Josie and Kayleigh have quite a bit in common despite the many years separating them. I found myself enjoying their tenacity. I wanted to be friends with each one and help them.
The author has done a brilliant job with this. The conversations were authentic. Characters were believable and had both good and bad characteristics. I was able to glean some things about The Alamo as well as Texas in 1836. Thank you, Liz Tolsma for the research for did to make this such a fantastic novel that taught me something. The contemporary story tackles real life issues Texans face today, such as children being sent across the border in hopes of a better life, and human trafficking. The severity of these issues are hard to imagine.
In the historical part of the story, my heart broke for whatever happened. Thankfully, the author took a cruel story, let us know all the horrors Josie endured, yet never once took it so far as to vividly describe it. This book recounts a young girl’s captivity by an evil, vile man without having us read every horrifying detail.
This story keeps running through my mind even though it has been days since I completed reading it. I would recommend this for older readers. Whether you like contemporary or historical fiction, you will be pleased. It gets a 5 out of 5 star rating from me. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.
About the Book
Book: A Promise Engraved
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction/Romance
Release date: May, 2022
Can Promises Made in Times of Struggle Endure 200 Years?
Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.
Young, spirited Josie Wilkins life is about to take a turn when faced with political turmoil and forbidden love in San Antonio of 1836. John Gilbert has won her heart, despite being a Protestant preacher who is forbidden to practice his faith in Texas. Will either of them survive an epic battle for liberty to create a legacy of love?
Nearly 200 years later, Kayleigh Hernandez takes breaks from her demanding job as a refugee coordinator working with Mexican migrants to attend flea markets where she has found a uniquely engraved ring. Enlisting the help of appraiser Brandon Shuman, they piece together a love story long forgotten. But will dangers linked to Kayleigh’s work end her own hopes for leaving a legacy built on hope, faith, and love?
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About the Author
Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at http://www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.
More from Liz
The Story of Susannah Dickinson, Alamo Survivor
When asked how many died at the Alamo, many would answer that everyone did. While it’s true that all fighting on the side of Texas independence perished, there were survivors, all women and children and one slave. The only white woman (the rest were of Mexican descent) was Susannah Dickinson, along with her daughter Angelina. Susannah had followed her husband, Almaron, to Mexican Texas in 1831. They had married two years before when Susannah was just fifteen. She never learned to read or write.
She and the other women hid in the sacristy of the church, one of the surviving buildings in the mission and what we now think of as the Alamo. Her husband died, but Mexican General Santa Anna found them and spared their lives, sending them to Sam Houston with $2 each and a blanket.
She married again the following year but divorced him almost immediately on the grounds of cruelty. She married a third time the following year and was married for five years until her husband died of alcoholism. A fourth marriage occurred in 1847, but she divorced again in 1857, this time allegedly because she was having an affair. That same year, she married for a fifth time. This marriage lasted until her death in 1883.
The ring in A Promise Engraved is based on a cat’s eye ring supposedly given to Angelina by William Travis before the battle. Angelina was Susannah’s only child. She married and had three children, but that marriage ended in divorce. She gave the ring to a man she’d become involved with in New Orleans. She married again and had one more child but died in 1869 from a uterine hemorrhage.
Today there are many descendants of Susannah Dickinson. If you visit the Susannah Dickinson house in Austin, you’ll see a quilt that is signed by many of her living descendants.
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To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.