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Where Courage Calls (Return to the Canadian West Series #1)

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Overview

Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected...

Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father's wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her ...

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Where Courage Calls (Return to the Canadian West Book #1): A When Calls the Heart Novel

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Overview

Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected...

Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father's wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.

But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she'd feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don't even speak English. There isn't even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth's heart is torn between two young men--both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.

Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she's had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?

A special companion story to Hallmark Channel's When Calls the Heart TV series

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/23/2013
The mother of the Christian fiction genre returns in this tepid prairie romance cowritten with her daughter. Beth Thatcher comes from a wealthy family, but has chosen to take a yearlong teaching position in a small mining town in western Canada. She is slowly accepted by the people of Coal Valley, and makes two key friends: her landlady, Molly McFarland, and disabled miner Frank Russo. Romantic tension is one undercurrent; two young Mounties are interested in Beth. A note of menace is present too, in the form of an illegal moonshiner. None of this is organic; Beth is too good to hold much interest, and pathos moves the plot (a child is hospitalized, Beth plays the violin movingly at a Christmas pageant). Characters are stereotypes: Molly has a maternal, strongly Christian heart; Frank is all nobility, and a gifted amateur violinist to boot. The prose can be shopworn ("His sneer as he spoke made Beth's skin crawl"). Those who want extra-clean clean reads will enjoy this; readers expecting better craft will be disappointed. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764212314
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/1/2014
  • Series: Return to the Canadian West Series , #1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 94,067
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Celebrated for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry, Janette Oke is the recipient of the 1992 ECPA President's Award, the 1999 CBA Life Impact Award, the Gold Medallion, and the Christy Award. Her novels have sold more than 30 million copies and are beloved by readers around the world. Janette lives with her husband, Edward, in Alberta, Canada.

Laurel Oke Logan, daughter of Edward and Janette Oke, is the author of Janette Oke: A Heart for the Prairie, as well as the novel Dana's Valley, which she co-wrote with her mom. Laurel and her husband have six children and two sons-in-law and live near Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    For as long as I can remember, I've always loved the Old West an

    For as long as I can remember, I've always loved the Old West and when Hallmark launched the television series, When Calls The Heart by best selling author Janette Oke I was completely addicted. Even my youngest daughter at thirteen, truly loved the movie. So when the opportunity became available to review When Courage Calls, a special companion story to the When Calls the Heart TV series, I knew I had to read this one. If you've already read When Calls the Heart, you may remember Elizabeth Thatcher has left her wealthy lifestyle to head west as a teacher for Coal Valley, a small coal mining town who is in desperate need of a school teacher for the children of the town. Along the way she was escorted by Edward Montclair, who was sent to keep an eye on her by her father to ensure her safe arrival in Coal Valley.

    However like all great stories, this one has a twist. Upon arriving in Lethbridge, a larger town on the outskirts of Coal Valley, Edward makes the mistake of letting a porter take their bags only to realize later than they have been robbed. The porter was really a thief in disguise and now Elizabeth has only the clothes on her back and no school supplies. Edward feels personally responsible since Elizabeth's luggage contained a valuable violin that her father gave her as well as a compass that he used to own. But Elizabeth is determined to fulfill her year contract with Coal Valley and the school board even though the school takes place in a saloon during the day.

    The women of Coal Valley have taken it upon themselves to fund Miss Thatcher's employment believing that an education is necessary if they want a better life for their children than becoming coal miners which claimed most of the men and older boys in a mining explosion. In When Courage Calls, Elizabeth's adventures are detailed in what could be future episodes on the Hallmark TV series in each chapter, from dealing with financial difficulties of the mining families when the begin to run out of food during a blizzard, what happens when Elizabeth comes down with the flu, when new miners appear in town to work in the mine but don't speak English and most of all how Elizabeth can keep the love of learning alive during her first year in Coal Valley while finding more than one man who in interested in her beside Edward, which introduces us to Jack Thornton, a Canadian Mountie who shares a common interest with Elizabeth in being the local police in Coal Valley. So more than just sparks will fly between them!

    I received When Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed are strictly my own. This novel concludes at the end of Elizabeth's first year of teaching in Coal Valley and the reader is left hoping that more will come in the very near future. I absolutely LOVE this series both the books and the TV series! I love the strong determination that Elizabeth digs deep to find especially when all the odds are against her. She refuses to accept failure at any turn and her love of not only teaching but the children and women she meets is apparent in the many times she goes out of her way to help people in need. Even though she comes from a wealthy upbringing, she becomes one of the women and gains so much more insight into her own strength and character, especially when her sister comes for a visit and gets more than she bargained for. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    a When Calls the Heart Novel Beth is made to endure a going awa

    a When Calls the Heart Novel

    Beth is made to endure a going away party her mother has arranged for her which was against Beth's wishes.  Her mother has invited the very elite of society.  He main comfort and support at the party is her father.  Beth has taken a teaching position in the remote foothills of western Canada.  This is a great undertaking for such a refined lady but she is sure she up to the challenge. After all her aunt had taken a teaching position in a remote area in Canada several years back.  

    When Beth arrives at her destination of Coal Valley the conditions were poor.  The families had very little in shelter, clothing and food.  Many of the families had lost their husbands and fathers in a mine cave in.  She is also informed she will be holding school in a pool hall.  Her mother would be mortified.  To her great pleasure the people of this mining town were mostly pleasant.  The town was protected by the Canadian Mounties.  Which gave her a small sense of security.

    This was an informative read.  I remember watching shows with the very impressive Canadian Mounties.  I like historical novels and this book was an exceptional read .  

    The authors write of a brave woman that takes on such an adventure where she would be in danger on a daily basis.  This was the wilderness of all wilderness.  She had a very big heart and a great desire to teach children in order to give them a chance at a better life.  

    I see Janette Oke as one of these women cutting a path for our young women to follow in her footsteps.  I have so much love and respect for women authors who have given me many hours of reading pleasure.  

    I highly recommend this book.

    Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group/Bethany House for review. I was in no way compensated for this review.  This review is my honest opinion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2014

     Beth Thatcher was a beautiful young woman who had grown up in a

     Beth Thatcher was a beautiful young woman who had grown up in an extremely wealthy family.   She had been very sheltered all her life from the world.  All the pomp and splendor of high society did not interest her. Her parents wanted her to marry well and take her place as among the elite.  Beth had other plans; she wanted to do a great work for God.  She loved Him with all her heart.  
    Being young and believing there was nothing she could not do, she jumped at the chance to serve as a teacher in a very remote region in Western Canada. Her mother is very against her going as Beth has always been sickly.  Her father supported her desire and understood.  
    She was understandably nervous about this venture, but nothing prepared her for what she found when she arrived. Coal Valley was the direct opposite of her home in Toronto.  There was no electricity or indoor plumbing.  The houses were battered and sparsely furnished.  It never came to her mind that these things would be missing.  The town was mostly widows due to a terrible accident at the mine.  These poor women had given of the little they had a paid to have Beth come as their children’s teacher for a year.  So much rode on her succeeding:  proving to her family and those back home that she was capable, carrying out the mission God had sent her on, and not letting the women down that had sacrificially brought her there. While her confidence was shaken, she was determined to keep her commitment no matter what. 
    She moved into Molly’s boarding house, where she paid for her room and meals.   Molly was a loving, wise, and simple woman that treated Beth as a daughter.  Beth relied on her in many ways. Both were women of great faith.  I loved Molly’s wisdom and scripture applications to life.  I learned from her too!
    There was no school house or supplies!  The children and their families broke her heart with the poverty they lived in.   This was no straight forward teaching job! She began organizing ways to meet the children’s needs both physical and spiritual. While at first some of her efforts were met with misgiving and opposition, gradually she began to make a difference in the lives of everyone in the town.  
    Beth faced many problems involving things she never dealt with nor even knew existed.  She may cry and feel like a failure but she never quit and always looked to God for the answers.  She also faced the challenge of unexpected romance as she had had no interest in marrying.  This involved two handsome Mounties vying for her affection.  One was a family friend from her childhood that she always found annoying and the other she met through Molly.  She surprised herself by developing feelings for both of them. 
    The story was incredibly entertaining and well written.  I was inspired by Beth’s dedication and faith.   There were so many surprises that I found the book to be a real page turner.  You always know it will be a good book if it is by Janet Oke!
    I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  
     

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  • Posted May 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Christian Historical Fiction With a Message Feeling a deep sens

    Christian Historical Fiction With a Message

    Feeling a deep sense of social justice and a keen spiritual commitment to ministry, Beth Thatcher answers the call of her heart to take a teaching position in an out-of-the-way mining community in Western Canada.

    The conditions she met when she arrived in the small coal mining community of Coal Valley were far worse then she could ever have expected. “Where Courage Calls” is her story of facing the challenge, persevering in the face of trial, and the choosing between the responses of her heart as she is being romanced by two young men who have contrasting backgrounds and offer a diverse promise of her future.

    Jeanette Oke has established herself as the pioneer of Christian romance fiction and is still a pacesetter in the genre. She has not lost sight of her original vision to provide Biblical truth and principles through the medium of inspirational fiction.

    Oke’s writing is compelling; she weaves action, drama, conflict and resolution throughout her plot and subplots. Just as her protagonists a sense of relief they find themselves facing a new crisis testing their endurance and strengthening their character. This is not the genre I usually read. I sometimes felt bogged down in detail and felt the protagonist was unrealistic in her expectations and idealistic expectations.

    Janette Oke collaborates with Laurel Oke Logan in “Where Courage Call” a ‘When Calls the Heart” novel. Readers will welcome this series a companion to the Hallmark Channel’s TV series.
    A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

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  • Posted April 15, 2014

    I wasn't sure at first if I would like this book, I'm not very p

    I wasn't sure at first if I would like this book, I'm not very partial to ones set in Canada. But once I got into this book, I have to be honest I kept turning the pages trying to figure out what would happen next! This book is being turned into a movie, whether it is for TV or not I'm not entirely sure. But I can't wait to see it when it comes out. These two authors make a great team! They have you routing for both young me in Beth's life, while you are secretly hoping she just makes it through the year.
     It has its comedic points, I mean a privileged girl comes to a town that has know tragedy from a mine collapse leaving it pretty much without any men. The school is held in a saloon, and there isn't even a bathroom! lol. It is fun to see this world through Beth's Eyes and read how she falls in love with the town and the children, and leaves you hoping she will be coming back next term!

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  • Posted April 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan is an en

    Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan is an engaging inspirational Historical Fiction/Western Canada/Women Pioneers set in Western Canada during the early 20th century.

    *A special companion story to Hallmark Channel's WHEN CALLS THE HEART T. V. Series*

    A mother-daughter team that can only be described as a powerhouse of talent!

    WHERE COURAGE CALLS is tells more of the famous Thatcher family story and what a story!

    Meet, schoolteacher, Beth Thatcher, who is sent to Coal Valley, on her first teaching assignment. What she finds is grief,deplorable conditions, locals who don't speak English, and no proper schoolhouse. Coming from a life of luxury, Beth will have to decide her fate, stay in this backward, rustic frontier, or go back to her pampered life, leaving her lifelong dream behind.

    Along comes two Mounties, one a long time friend, Edward Montclair, the other a quiet man who comes to help her more than once, Jarrick,aka Jack Thornton. Which will steal her heart?

    With engaging characters and vivid descriptions you will not go wrong with WHERE COURAGE CALLS. It was rather fascinating to watch Ms. Thatcher come to her own. With romance in the air,the faith to survive, and the knowledge to go farther, this book will capture your heart as you watch these characters come to life. I enjoy the T. V. version and enjoyed this tale of a rustic frontier, and the families who live there. A compelling and well thought out tale. I hope there will be another coming soon, as we are left with a bit of a cliff hanger at the end, will Beth return to Coal Valley and continue to her new found relationships? Or continue her pampered life in Toronto?

    Beth is patient, kind, wise at times, giving,strives to help others, and loves the children of Coal Valley. A must read and a true treasure to any library. Received for an honest review

    *Coming in April 2014 from Bethany House , a division of Baker Publishing Group*

    RATING: 4.5

    HEAT RATING: SWEET

    REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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  • Posted March 15, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    COURAGE CALLED & LEFT A GREAT MESSAGE!! While anticipating t

    COURAGE CALLED & LEFT A GREAT MESSAGE!!
    While anticipating the honor of writing a review for Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan’s novel When Courage Calls, I pondered if my words could give proper merit to such creative teamwork from these two superb authors. As a long time reader of Janette Oke – often relating her skilled gift to Laura Ingalls Wilder, I perceive the same in Laurel Oke Logan. I am sincerely humbled to be reviewing this work of perfection




    Beth Thatcher touched me deeply – she had the true heart of a missionary, with a spirit of kindness within a soul full of God’s Holy Word.  All those wonderful characteristics plus courage to venture into the unknown enabled her to face challenges with belief that she could be the impetus to change things through her deep faith in God.  Beth made a daring decision to accept a position as the school teacher in remote Coal Valley, an indigent mining area in Western Canada.  Beth finds herself in a bit of culture shock without the conveniences of home and wealth she had been privileged to know in Toronto. One of my favorite characters, Molly, the boarding house owner where Beth lived, was delightful and quite appropriately written into this beautiful story.  Oh, but then there is Frank…. and the children…..and the unlikely school room…and the Italian miners – there is no end to the unique quaintness versus durability of the people of Coal Valley.  When Beth played her violin and enthralled the community to envision the miracle of Christmas…. my heart felt the glory. When you read this story and find out why Beth’s violin played a part in a huge surprise, you will soon realize there are many surprises in store to keep the pages turning.




    Edward Montclair and Beth were lifelong friends, however Beth considered him an annoyance and was not intending to gratify their mothers’ presumptuous plans that the two would one day marry.  Beth’s exhaustive train ride from Toronto to Coal Valley had some unpleasant and unpredicted surprises; in a bizarre way concerning Edward.  Beth envisioned no dreams of romance then or after arriving in Coal Valley.  However, this is a love story in my estimation about how God’s love can turn hopeless situations to promising.  It is no surprise that the authors created the characters of this story to breathe and come alive on the page.  Sensational writing includes the vindictive and evil side that plagues the community with mystery.  When the hint of romance comes into the story with Royal Canadian Mountie Jarrick (Jack) Thornton, my own heart palpitated a bit and wondered if Beth would have secret thoughts about this warm and charming Christian believer.




    Before I forget myself and deluge too much – you can find out from the back cover an excellent synopsis of this solid story, as well as peruse many fine written reviews as to why you should acquire this book and read what’s between the covers for yourself.  Interestingly, I learned When Courage Calls is a special companion story to Hallmark Channel’s “When Calls the Heart” TV series.  You know you are getting the best when you see it on Hallmark.  Where have I heard something like that said before?  Unfortunately, I have not seen or read the prior episodes of this series on the Canadian West.  Through further information, I found this series of seven books was republished in 2005 with updated covers.  These novels will be added to my library as time permits.




    It is my hope that the Ms. Janette Oke and Ms. Laurel Oke Logan will write another novel in this series continuing the story of Beth and answer all my questions about what happens next.  My curiosity is as real as my admiration for the authors.  Thank you ladies, for blessing your readers through Beth’s story.  I feel blessed having the pleasure of reading it.




    Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Posted March 14, 2014

    The When Calls The Heart series has always been dear to my heart

    The When Calls The Heart series has always been dear to my heart. The first four books were given to me by my Mom as a gift when I turned 10, they were my very first Janette Oke books and I read them through two or three times. Later I bought the fifth and sixth books on my own. I was so thrilled to find out that Janette and Laurel had decided to revisit that wonderful series and tell the story of a new Beth Thatcher. Where Courage Calls did not disappoint any way!

    I really liked Beth. She was the image of what every growing Christian should be, she prayed for strength, she asked God to help her with her failings, she did her best to share her faith and encourage the faith of others. She might have been a little idealistic but with her own sense and the wise help of some good friends she manages to genuinely help the town in her time there.
    The romance was light and understated. I honestly wondered which of the two men would start to catch her interest though I had my own favorite the entire time.
    Two of Beth's more interesting relationships are between her and the mother figures in her life. Her relationship with her mother is a bit rocky with her mother's over-protectiveness. The woman that runs the boarding house encourages, instructs, and helps Beth not only aid the town but also learn a little bit about real life.

    Janette Oke has been a staple in Christian Fiction for years and for good reason, she knows how to write a good story and it seems like they only get better with each one. Her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan, brings something extra to the stories that they write together, I remember how powerful Dana's Valley was as to me as a then-teenage reader.

    I really can't say enough positive things about this book! The only problem was.... that it isn't longer!
    I enjoyed every page of Where Courage Calls, the characters were great, the scenery was well painted, and most of all it was a good story. I sincerely hope that there is a sequel to this story published in the near future, I would most definitely read it!

    (I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.)

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  • Posted March 12, 2014

    Having read the original five Canadian West books, I thought I w

    Having read the original five Canadian West books, I thought I would like this one too. And I was right. What's not to love... a girl striking out on her own and a dashing young Mountie in a red tunic. Where I think this particular book differentiated itself from the previous series is that whereas the other When Calls the Heart books read more like a diary, this one was more of an expanded storyline with a lot of different characters. It wasn't just Elizabeth Thatcher's diary of how horrible an outdoor privy is. There was a lot more character development of peripheral characters and that was nice because made me feel like Coal Valley the focus of the book, rather than Elizabeth.

    To address the TV show... I missed the movie, but have caught most of the shows on Hallmark. Does the TV show follow the book? Not very closely. I'm guessing that's why they are billing it as a companion to the show (and vice versa). However, you will definitely want to read the book and watch the show and treat them as if they are separate storylines all together, but both featuring your favorite heroine.

    Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions are 100% my own. I was not compensated to post a review.

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  • Posted March 10, 2014

    When I saw this book up for review, I jumped at the opportunity.

    When I saw this book up for review, I jumped at the opportunity. This book is the companion story to Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart TV series. If you haven’t heard of the TV series, it is a wonderful, wholesome, family-friendly show that I love watching. So, I had to read the book that inspired the series!

    Beth Thatcher is a strong, loving, determined character. She decides to go West in order to teach the children of a small town and leaves behind her family and her life of comfort. Upon arrival to her destination, Beth is faced with the harsh realization that her life for the next year is not like anything she had expected.

    She experiences the trials and triumphs of life in the mining town of Coal Valley. She has ideas which turn into events that bring the community together. She is busy with school and after-school programs. Her ideas bring new life to the community, and her time in Coal Valley changes the way she sees things.

    This book is a story about a young woman learning who she is and what she is capable of amidst the hardships she faces. During her time in Coal Valley, Elizabeth discovers how to become a contributing part of the community and enriches the lives the people she came to know, just as they, in return, enrich her life.

    A good book, but a bit too slow for my preference. However, long-time fans of Janette Oke will love this book.

    *I was provided a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*

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  • Posted March 8, 2014

    An easygoing and relaxing read from Oke and Logan! Set in We

    An easygoing and relaxing read from Oke and Logan!




    Set in Western Canada in the early-ish 1900s, Beth Thatcher steps out in faith to follow God's call. This setting is a change for me as a reader. I can't recall the last book I read set in Canada. Not that this is a bad thing, it's actually quite the opposite! The backwoods, small-town culture reminded me a lot of our own country in some ways.




    Beth possessed a great deal of determination. She truly felt called to teach so she did. Not everyone has the courage or faith it takes to take that first step. That being said, Beth's personality was almost borderline similar to so many other historical novels set in the same general era. This didn't put me off completely due to a few differences that made her stand out. The first would be that this novel is probably set in the 1920s. We are never out right told so this is an assumption, but it's a fairly good one, I think. Most novels with that single, out-going, stubborn, nonconforming woman are set almost twenty years prior, thus Beth's ambition would be better received. Another thing that singled her out was her faith. She stepped out and followed God's lead and stayed there. I can't tell you how many heroines I've read about that sway or do their own thing completely. Beth never did.




    This is definitely a personal opinion, but I found the pace of this novel very slow. Almost crawling at times. Again, this is my opinion probably because I enjoy mysteries and a quicker pace. Something that confused me was the Edward or Jack love triangle. Without spoiling anything, I'll say I rooted for Edward. I can't really delve into why, but I wish the author(s) would have made the romance more clear. All in all, however, it was a good afternoon read. I recommend to all of Oke's past and present fans.




    I received this book from Bethany House in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan is the s

    Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan is the story of Beth Thatcher, a wealthy young woman who despite all her luxuries and privileges, wants only to follow God’s will and become a teacher. When she is assigned to teach for one year in the remote mining town of Coal Valley, she is little prepared for just how rustic the conditions are. But, she throws herself wholeheartedly into the task of teaching the children, and doing what she can to help the town. Will Beth’s efforts be thwarted by a sinister scheme? What is so dangerous out in the woods that has the children so afraid? Can her new friends help save Coal Valley?

    My thoughts: OK, I am just going to say it. I am a pretty picky book reader. Most books are just OK, or I would have changed a few things, or I don’t even like them. For this book though, I absolutely loved it. The characters are vivid, interesting, and fun to read about. The story line is very good, and keeps you guessing as to what will happen next. It has a good mix of adventure, and a little romance. And, I actually forgot to go to bed I was so into reading it, and I guess that says it all because that is the sign of a good book! :)

    All in all, I would definitely recommend this book-especially if you are a fan of Janette Oke, or really any type of pioneer story. There is a book that comes before this one, but you don’t need to read it first. This book stands alone, and only mentions the character from the first book. There is also a companion TV series called When Calls The Heart on the Hallmark Channel. I have not seen the program, but I prefer to read books anyway.

    As always, my thanks to Bethany House for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book to review!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    I've become obsessed with When Calls the Heart TV series on Hall

    I've become obsessed with When Calls the Heart TV series on Hallmark Channel so naturally I had to read the books it was based on. I've read the entire "When...." series in 7 days so I guess you could say I REALLY enjoyed it. Nice to have a TV series and book series you can sure with your children and grandchildren.

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  • Posted March 2, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Elizabeth Thatcher lived a life of privilege. With a wealthy fat

    Elizabeth Thatcher lived a life of privilege. With a wealthy father and mother she never lacked for anything. But she had a heart for people, a desire to help and a love of teaching. Seeing the courage she displayed when she left a home of wealth to travel alone to an unknown land to teach was so encouraging. She stepped out into the unknown to walk a path she knew in her heart God had predetermined for her. In doing so she left the only home she had ever known and the family she loved. I loved when her father, on her departure to Coal Valley, gave her the compass she had treasured since she was a child.

    ________________Book Quote________________

    "Please," he insisted. "I want you to have it. I know you've always loved it." That was true. Father's compass had been special to Beth since she was a little girl, enamored by anything that had to do with her father's work at sea--but this object more than any other was her delight. And it had been a symbol to them both of his love and guidance to his daughter.
    Then her father added huskily, "So you will always be able to find your way home."
    _________________End Quote_________________


    That was a very emotional part of the book for me as it reminded me of my own dad who passed away almost five years ago. Saying goodbye is always so hard and it was very hard for Beth to leave her family behind. Where Courage Calls is the perfect name for Beth's journey. Her time in Coal Valley was fraught with hardships but the love of her students and the wonderful people she met more than made up for it. The people in this small town were so lovable. Frank Russo, and Italian immigrant that worked in the mine until he lost his hand in a mining accident. I loved it when he pulled out his violin and played the most beautiful music Beth had ever heard. Philip Davidson who was a circuit preacher that came to Coal Valley once a month, Edward Montclair a young man Beth grew up with and was expected to marry, Jarrick Thornton, an officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that patrolled the area, the adorable children and Miss Molly who ran a boardinghouse and took Beth in for the duration of her stay. I loved Miss Molly. She was so full of wisdom and Beth often came to her for advice and sometimes received it even when she didn't ask.

    ________________Book Quote________________

    "Now, dearie, ya gotta take care. That word should, it's a slip'ry one. Who gets ta measure shoulds? Only God gets ta say. If He says ya should, then ya mind Him. If folks say ya should, ya jest go back an' ask God. Don't need more'n that to measure up to." She smiled to herself and reached for the next plate. "Good thing 'bout getting old--ya don't think near so much 'bout what folks think of ya--what they say ya should do. Ya spend more time wond'rin' what ya still can do. Wish I could go back over my own life and not bother with all the silly things folks said I should. Sure woulda made life more simple--less confusin'."
    _________________End Quote_________________


    One Bible verse was carried throughout the story, it's my favorite verse and it gave Beth the courage and strength she needed to do what had to be done. Philippians 4:13 which says, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Beth faced some very difficult times during her one year tenure and the courage and strength she displayed was nothing short of inspiring. This is a story of hope through adversity and spiritual as well as physical healing. The romance takes a backseat and doesn't really start to take root until two-thirds of the way into the story. The main focus is Beth's calling and God's faithfulness to see her through. I really enjoyed this book. It was a huge encouragement in my own life because it reinforced the lessons I have already learned, to wait on God and trust in Him for my every need, hope and desire. I would love to have seen a tad more focus on the romance aspect simply because I am a romance reader at heart but I still loved the story, nonetheless, and I sincerely hope and believe we will be hearing more from Miss Elizabeth Thatcher. Where Courage Calls is a must read for Janette Oke fans as it holds true to her style of writing where God takes center stage and is woven throughout the pages. A beautiful story of courage in the face of numerous adversities. Highly recommended!

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone. If I recommend a book it's simply because I enjoyed it. I received no monetary compensation for this review.

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  • Posted March 1, 2014

    We just finished week three.  Week three without plumbing workin

    We just finished week three.  Week three without plumbing working properly.  Week three of driving to the convenience store periodically for necessary business. ~smile~  Not to worry, hubby has now fixed the problem.  I cannot imagine living a life of luxury and giving it up to live in a poor, isolated, mining community, bereft of not only plumbing but electricity, outside communication, and transportation.  Yet that is exactly what Beth Thatcher did.  Faced with these challenges, poor and hungry students, Miss Thatcher bravely faces each challenge with devotion to God and to duty.  
      I liked this book.  Beth Thatcher is indeed a young woman of courage.  That courage develops throughout the novel.  I love her father.  He is so gentle and wise and encouraging and giving.  He's a picture of what I picture Father God to be.  When she goes west, Beth faces situations, people, and predjudices that she never could have imagined during her comfortable life at home with her family.  She does it with dignity and kindness and Christian love.  Her thoughts are for others, not only for their education, but for their souls.  I want to be just like that.  Many of Janette Oke's books are love stories.  The love in this story is the love of God.  Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan are excellent writers.  They conveyed God's love and the Gospel in a natural way within this book.  It's good and clean, and I won't hesitate to let my daughters read it if they wish to do so.

    Thank you Litfuse for this free review copy.

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  • Posted March 1, 2014

    If you are a fan of Janette Oke, you won't be disappointed with

    If you are a fan of Janette Oke, you won't be disappointed with Where Courage Calls! With her trademark style, you'll embark on an adventure alongside Beth as she travels hundreds of miles from home. Laced with hope and romance, it's sure to delight readers of all ages. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    When I saw that one of my all time favorite author had a new boo

    When I saw that one of my all time favorite author had a new book out, co-authored by her Daughter Laurel Oke Logan, I knew I had to read it. Again, I was not disappointed.
    In this book we have Elizabeth's niece Beth. Beth comes from a well to do family, and has always had a delicate health. When she decides to take a teaching job out West in Coal Town. Her Mother doesn't want her to go, but her father prevails and Beth is off on a new adventure in her life.
    Long time family friend Edward, meets her as she gets off the train, he has been there on the train with her all along. He precedes to help Beth getting to her hotel, and hires a man to take her things there. I find this quite a funny part of the story, as Edward is in his Royal Mounted Police uniform, and pays the guy....who steals everything.
    What a start to a new life?? Arriving in a new town as the teacher, with no clothes or books, or anything...no underwear! Now this is a small, small town, you cannot go out and buy what you need. Thank goodness Mom comes to the rescue.
    Through out all of her stay here, she finds a new family. The people make her feel so welcome, and Beth keeps coming up with new ways to help these miners and their families. I can see God's hand in a lot of what happens here. He seems to answer a lot of prayers.
    We will sympathize with the plight of the families here, and hope something can be done for them. Beth sure is trying!
    You will wonder if there is a bit of romance in the air, and I see at least three possibilities. Will any of them work out?
    I hope that there will be more stories coming, I feel like I need to know what is going to happen next! Enjoy!

    I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.

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  • Posted February 27, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan in their new book, ¿Where Coura

    Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan in their new book, “Where Courage Calls” published by Bethany House takes us into the life of Beth Thatcher.




    From the back cover:  Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected…




    Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father’s wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.




    But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she’d feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don’t even speak English. There isn’t even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth’s heart is torn between two young men–both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.




    Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she’s had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?




    A special companion story to Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart TV series




    Welcome back to Coal Valley.  The Oke’s have done a previous six book series  that featured Elizabeth.  ”Where Courage Calls” starts a new series that features Elizabeth’s niece, Beth.  Beth wants to be a school teacher and Coal Valley is the place to start.  The Oke’s have given us plenty of wonderful characters to fall in love with, lots of adventure and romance. There is a lot going on in Coal Valley and the Oke’s know how to take us through each event by letting us in on the lives of the participants.  This is a great start to a new series.  I have enjoyed it immensely and I look forward to the next book to see what will happen with Beth.




    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group.  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.”

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    A continuation of sorts of one of my favorite series growing up!

    A continuation of sorts of one of my favorite series growing up! When Calls the Heart was the story of Elizabeth who went west to teach and met and fell in love with a Mountie named Will. Where Courage Calls continues the story in a way by following Elizabeth's niece, Beth, in a similar story where she leaves her fancy home in Toronto to go west to teach for a year in a small mining town.

    Poor Beth doesn't know what she is in for! She leaves a home in the city with every modern convenience and ends up in a tiny mining town with no modern conveniences. But she learns to live without an indoor latrine, electricity, fully stocked stores and restaurants and soon thrives among her new "family" comprised of her students, their families, the foreign miners from Italy, and the woman who runs the boarding house where she lives.

    I love Beth's character because she is so persevering. She endures much and still keeps on going. Throughout the book you read her inner thoughts as well as her prayers. This is one of my favorite aspect of Oke novels. They always have a theme of the importance of family and faith. And they never mince words on God's love for His children. Often in the book Beth cries out to God for his guidance and He never fails her (even if He doesn't answer when/how she expects).

    I also love how Beth doesn't simply teach school. She also forms a "Bible Club," English classes for the Italian miners, early morning service projects and breakfast, and is constantly searching for other ways to help the community and not just her own students. It is no surprise that this attitude of giving attracts the attention of a certain Mountie! But you'll have to read the book to find out which one as there are actually TWO Mounties!!!

    You'll love this book if you loved the original Oke novels. But even if you haven't read any other books by Janette Logan or Laurel Oke Logan you can still pick up this book and not miss anything. But I'll imagine finishing this book will leave you longing to read all of the other ones!

    Don't miss this book if you have a heart for the hurting, needy, children, or unchurched. The work that Beth does in her small mining community will give you renewed longing to help others.

    Oh and make sure you check out the new Hallmark channel tv show based LOSELY on this book.

    This book was provided to me by the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    Highly recommended!

    A great story showing how courage prevails and wins.

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