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A peaceful yet loyal Creek Warrior, Nokos is dragged into the ...
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A peaceful yet loyal Creek Warrior, Nokos is dragged into the inevitable war against the settlers whom he has grown to respect. No matter which path he follows, someone he loves will die. Forced into aligning with the extremist Red Stick faction, Nokos must ready his bow to eradicate his neighbors from Creek soil. Inside, rages a battle of another sort. The struggle against the Spirit.
Having lived a life plagued with death and loss, Zachariah McGirth is a man on a mission - he'll have his revenge or die trying. Blinded by grief, he can't see his way clear of yet another tragedy. Why has God taken everything from him...or has He?
Their lives molded by the course of history, can these Wounded Spirits learn to rely on God's grace during one of the bloodiest conflicts in the South?
Posted July 25, 2012
Taming the wild frontier.
Adela McGirth is confused as to whether she should marry a young soldier she has know since childhood. She enjoys the attention he gives her and he makes her heart race, but she doesn't know if she wants to spend the rest of her life with him. Besides all that her one of her sisters has spoken many times about wanting to marry him.
The frontier was far from being tamed. The land her family owns is settled but they have been warned that the Creek Indians could possibly attack the white settlement. So all the families in the surrounding area decide to build a fort in hopes it will protect them in case of attack. Adela's father left the fort in order to check on their farm and Adela felt it her responsibility to look after her two sisters and their mother while he was away. This may be harder to do than she could have ever imagined.
Totka, a young Creek warrior is ordered by his brother to protect the the white woman and her daughters. How could he protect the very people he was at war with? He took his responsibility serious and tried to make sure they were kept from harm, especially now that he has lost his heart to the brave young white woman.
I was so pulled into this book! The author made me feel as if I was living through all the pain and sorrow with these women. I continue to be amazed at the faith in God, bravery and fortitude the women had to have in order to stay alive back then.
When I finished reading the book I couldn't wait to read book two, The Warring Spirits.
I won this book on a blog giveaway contest and was provided a copy by the author. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
Posted February 27, 2012
I loved this book! Now that I’ve got that out there, let me tell you why. Wounded Spirits by April Gardner is compelling, well written, fast paced, entertaining, informative without becoming expository, has interesting well-developed characters, and from an historical perspective, delves into an area of ‘forbidden love’ that is uncommon in this genre. Have I missed anything?
Set in the Southeastern US during the early 1800s, we are dumped smack into the middle of a conflict between the settlers and the indigenous people of the area. The ‘Creek War’ as it has been called, is told from both the point of view of a white family and a ‘Creek’ family – a refreshing take on this real historical event. In the midst of the blood and carnage, love manages to creep into the mix.
Adela McGirth is taken captive by a Creek warrior along with her mother and sister after a bloody raid. In fact, they are taken for their own safety, since the warrior had once been helped by the McGirth family when he was a child. Taking them as ‘slaves’ ensures their survival since they would have been slaughtered along with everyone else left in the fort. Adela’s father, who was away at the time, does not know the truth. Thinking his whole family has been killed, he sets off on a quest for revenge.
Meanwhile, Totka, a relative of the captor, has been put in charge of the women. He shows them kindness and patience as he takes his role as protector and provider to heart. Mutual admiration and respect soon blossom into love for Totka and Adela, but a relationship seems unfathomable. Not only are they from completely different worlds, but Adela’s strong Christian faith stands in the way as an insurmountable stumbling block.
Without revealing any more, let me just say that the end was a bit of a surprise, although it did read ‘true’. If you want to know what I mean, you have to read this book. It is a solid five stars in my books on every count. I was left wanting more – please!
Posted January 5, 2012
Reviewed by Kristie I. for Readers Favorite April W. Gardner's debut novel "Wounded Spirits" is a historical fiction novel that will transport you to the early 1800's and tug at your heart strings. So aptly named, this novel is about people who really do have wounded spirits as a result of hardships, loss, lost love and fighting. Adela is a young woman who is faced with a marriage proposal from a very handsome man any girl would be lucky to have. However, Adela's older sister is set on marrying him and Adela is not sure of what she really feels for Philip - is it love or is she tired of her sister getting her way? Will Adela truly follow her heart, follow her younger sister's advice whom she is so close with or let her older sister's feelings interfere with what she really wants? Adela's father is filled with regrets and secrets as he often makes trips to a nearby Native American settlement to check in on his daughter who he gave up to be raised by her maternal family after the death of his first wife; however, this settlement is in the midst of war and the fighting comes way too close to home. Adela's mother is frail and ailing and each little thing seems to worsen her condition. Adela pushes on to be an example of Christ to those around her and to be a strong person for her family in the midst of the trials and hardships. I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading more from this author. At first I thought I may feel lost while reading with all of the cultural references in the book, but that was not the case. While there were many details in the story it was not overwhelming and confusing, but helped to set the scene and make the situation and the characters more life-life. While all of the characters are well-developed, Adela's character has been my favorite. There is so much depth to her character and her various struggles and emotions that the reader would be able to relate to her easily although she lived hundreds of years ago. This novel will be a good pick for all historical fiction fans.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 16, 2011
What a heart-pounding historical romance! This is my favorite kind of novel. It has emotional impact, spiritual impact, and was well-written. The plot was full of rich, historical detail and honest inner dialog. In short, this book had me near tears a few times because of it's powerful message. The pacing was fantastic and it was truly hard to put down. I loved how the author showed both sides of the horrible war through contrasting perspectives. At the same time this showed how the natives and the whites both received heavy losses because they were unable to deal with things diplomatically and reacted out of pain and the need for revenge until they ultimately decimated each other. This was very well done. The horror of the attack on Fort Mims was powerful. At the same time Zechariah's background in caring for an orphan years prior ended up helping him and his family in ways he never imagined.
I absolutely loved Adela's character and how her heart exemplified Christ's love. Her character was in essence everything love is, and her sister exemplified everything love is not. Adela was a strong woman because of Jesus permeating her life with His spirit. People noticed this about her. I got tears in my eyes when she said regarding the invisible God, "Don't you see Jesus in me?" That's how we should all be, right? At the same time my heart broke for her because while she was obeying the Lord regarding not being unequally yolked, it obviously pained her to do the right thing. Yet in the end I couldn't help agreeing that what she did was the better choice as it caused her beloved to seek the one true God. True love does what is in the other person's best interest. What a convicting message. Tears filled my eyes as the book came to an end. Now I feel sad that I can't be part of the character's lives anymore.
Posted March 4, 2011
April Gardner's debut novel Wounded Spirits is a heroic story about a little-documented era. In the early 1800s America was suffering. European and expanding white settlers and the native tribal people were at an impasse. Only the superior numbers and weapons of the whites, along with their dread diseases, forced the tribal peoples to give up their land and way of life. April tells the story of a Creek clan versus white settlers in what is now Georgia and Alabama.
Before you pick up this wonderfully-told debut novel, be warned that it is book one of a projected series and you will be left aching for more when you get to the last page.
Adela McGirth and her family farm near a small settlement that is at uneasy peace with a Creek tribe. In fact, Adela's father's first wife was a member of the tribe and he taught his second family to respect everyone. It's a respect that comes with a terrible price when an uprising of Creek warriors, the Red Sticks, battle the American settlers for their right to maintain their way of life and tribal territory. Adela's sister is killed and so, perhaps is her intended, a young soldier. Adela, a surviving sister, and their mother who is expecting a baby, are taken as slaves by one of the Creek, a man who had spent part of his childhood with the McGirths. Adela's father had been away while the skirmish took place and seeks revenge on his former friends when he presumes his family are all killed.
In the several months that Adela and her family live with the clan, strange things happen to sway her sympathies in directions she cannot understand, especially when a young Creek protector, Nokose, makes it clear he wants her as his wife. Adela's faith becomes a matter of survival and a means of coping with her sister's increasing hostility and grief and her mother's difficult and every-obvious mortal pregnancy.
Nothing is easy in Aprils' story. Life and loyalty mingle with death and revenge in blurry lines. I find myself replaying events and motivations, reliving the story long after I finished reading. A Reader's Discussion Guide is included.
Posted February 21, 2011
The American south of 1813 is far from the fancy plantations this reader expected. In fact, a certain down-home folksy sense pervades these pages. Characters are 'regular folks' not the wealthy. and the countryside is depicted in a wonderfully visual way.
Adela is an amazing, engaging, and incredibly appealing main character. She worries about causing other people concern, she is conflicted about which is the most-right thing to do. Throughout we find her torn loyalty, sorrowing over the war. In short, she's a really nice person who is guided by kindness and concern for others. She's never selfish, or caught in irrational rage - she worries about proprieties, but also about feelings, and about how certain actions might hurt others. It's easy to admire her - and to find yourself worrying about the choices that confront her.
Second Lieutenant Phillip Bailey is her sweetheart, and right off, we're struck by his self-assurance and determination. He so earnestly proclaims his love. Still, he's dropped one sister abruptly in favor of Adela; secretly too. Can he actually be as good as he seems? And - will another take her heart - will she find true love with someone not a part of her community?
Running parallel to Adela's life, is the story of a Native Creek family, whose lives will also be entangled by conflict. Their lives are portrayed with great attention to detail. We see and understand the concerns of the Natives, and sympathize with them. It's as if we see both sides of the conflict, from that side, wholly. It's a little alarming. From the first, we have this sense of people going toward a future they think they can see and predict, full of hope. The conflict, both between people individually and between the different ethnic groups, builds tension throughout. And they will bring the main characters abruptly together, as well.
Adela - difficult choices or not - remains the person we meet at the start, utterly admirable and rising to challenges. Perhaps, a failing might have made her somewhat more human, but honestly, I thought of that point far later. At the first reading, all one thinks is 'what happens next?"
This historic romance and adventure novel brings home a spirit of kindness, and a belief not only in God but in good, and simple goodness, that is sweet and charming, and so much more. You don't need to be a fan of the inspirational to be left feeling a fuzzy glow from this one - do read.
Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
Posted January 20, 2011
April Gardner's debut is absolutely wonderful! While I admit, I had a bit of trouble getting past the beginning until I saw where all the Indians were going to fit in, but that was a short lived problem. Once I got further into the story, it all cam together PERFECTLY!
It was interesting to read this debut, as it was centered around TWO wars. One being a historically real war between Indians and soldiers, and the other being 3 souls battling an inner war of conflict, heartache and fully trusting in God to overcome the struggles. While written to be fiction, Gardner's rich detail to a time in history that was utterly tragic,filled with slaves and lots of warring action, was fantastic. Every mention of plantations, Indian villages and soldiers brought me deeper into the plot, as if I was a part of the story, running for my life and trying to stay alive.
April Gardner's characters are ALL so meaningful that I can't say that just one is my favorite. Each one went through a struggle that I wish I could have helped them with, yet they all blended together in a storyline that felt absolutely real, like 2011 turned to 1800s!
Though I didn't want to say goodbye to the characters yet, I know that Gardner has another one on the way that will pick up where this start left off. I highly, highly recommend this captivating story with 5 star praises. You'll become a part of history and the raging battles of war first hand. You'll quickly find yourself praying for all the amazing, tender characters like they were your family. If you love history, if you love reading about a time of war, then this start to a fantastic series is the perfect place to turn!
Posted November 22, 2010
Adela is in love.she thinks. Philip, her fiancé, dismisses her questions and has no doubts about their upcoming marriage. He isn't worried that Adela's older sister will be hurt by their secret engagement, but Adela knows Elizabeth thinks Philip will propose to her. Before anything can be resolved Philip is sent away and a horrific event changes everything. Now Adela is faced with grief and guilt that she is a survivor. Forced to adapt to a new life to keep her family together, Adela finds Totka, her enemy, might also be her friend. Wounded Spirits is an intriguing inspirational romance. Based on true events, it takes place in 1813 Alabama, giving the reader a look at early pioneer life in the fledging United States instead of the more common post Civil war settler stories. While readers might have a passing knowledge of the Creek War, this debut novel presents both sides in an empathetic way. The author has given even minor characters impelling back stories by weaving various viewpoints into an exciting tale of what loves means. I appreciated that the tragic events of both sides of the story were not trivialized or glorified and that the faith element was key to the day to day living of some of the characters. Adela grows in faith and maturity as she learns that love does not presume or impose its will, but develops and seeks the best for others. The young girl who lets others plan her life is far different from the courageous woman who won't compromise her faith in the end, ironically learning how to do this from her captivity. I would highly recommend this frontier love story for those who enjoy Janette Oke and are looking for a different American setting and storyline.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 6, 2010
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