Messenger by Moonlight: A Novel

Messenger by Moonlight: A Novel

by Stephanie Grace Whitson

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Overview

Bestselling author Stephanie Grace Whitson's latest historical novel features an adventurous young heroine who works for the Pony Express.
Orphaned Annie Paxton and her brothers may have lost the only home they've ever known, but they're determined to make a better future in St. Joseph, Missouri. Annie dreams of a pretty house with window boxes, and having friends, and attending church every week. But then her brothers spot the ad for a new venture called the Pony Express. "Wanted," it reads, "Young, skinny fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders and willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred." Sure enough, both her brothers land jobs as Express messengers, and Annie puts her dreams on hold to work as a cook at Clearwater Ranch, a station along the Pony Express route.

Annie struggles to adapt to her new job—work made all the more challenging when she has so many to feed and few ingredients. The gruff station owner, George, doesn't seem inclined to make her life any easier, or at least not at first. But slowly a friendship builds between them. When Annie attracts the attention of a refined, dashing lieutenant from the nearby fort, she'll have to learn how to trust her instincts and follow her heart, even if she's conflicted about which way it's leading her.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455529087
Publisher: FaithWords
Publication date: 05/10/2016
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 553,897
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.12(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

STEPHANIE GRACE WHITSON is a bestselling inspirational author of over 20 books. She's a two-time Christy Award finalist and the winner of an RT Book Reviews Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Inspirational Romance. When she's not writing, she enjoys taking long rides on her Honda Magna motorcycle named Kitty.

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Messenger by Moonlight: A Novel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
tillyd1 More than 1 year ago
One of the best Pony Express novels, I've read yet. I feel a kinship, as a retired post driver. Great story of a sister & two brothers, the brother's sign up to be pony express riders and offer up their sister to become the cook out of the main station they'll be working out of.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only-A-Little-While More than 1 year ago
MESSENGER BY Moonlight by Stephanie Grace Whitson is an exceptionally entertaining, well written and engaging book! From the first page, right up until the last, I found myself thoroughly absorbed in the action and completely transported back in time to the days of the Pony Express. The story circles around the main character, Annie Paxton, who is surrounded by two loving brothers who make it their mission to provide for her after the loss of their parents. From the very beginning of the novel there is a strong message of the importance of family connection. The theme of perseverance during difficult times and leaning on the Lord in the face of adversity is effectively communicated throughout the book, as well. As the Paxton brothers carry out their new jobs as Pony Express messengers, Annie accepts a job as a cook at a large ranch on the route. She has very little experience and not a great deal of supplies, but she learns how to manage with the help of the station manager, George Morgan. The interactions and relationships that develop at the ranch are fun and authentic and evoke many emotions from the reader. The trials and harsh times that were a part of this era in history are narrated so vividly, that I found a whole new appreciation for the modern comforts of air-conditioning, heat, cars, medicine, communication, and easily accessible food! It's amazing what we take for granted. I also had no idea what the Pony Express riders had to endure as they navigated their treacherous routes, nor was I aware of the speed at which they were required to run them. Not only were they having to deal with the elements, but the dangers of predators, illness, horse injuries and much more. MESSENGER BY Moonlight has everything a good Christian Historical Fiction book should have. It informs, causes reflection, brings a spirit of worship, entertains, and provides a clear vision of a loving Savior in Christ. Perhaps the only thing missing is a map illustrating the 1900 mile Pony Express Route and a few approximate station locations to serve as a point of reference. Maybe it's because I am such a visual learner, but I found myself wanting to see their path and the location of the Clearwater Ranch. At one point while reading the novel, I went on a search to see a map of their journey. I found one at the National Park Service website. I would like to thank FaithWords and Hachette Book Group Inc for this complimentary review copy of MESSENGER BY Moonlight by Stephanie Grace Whitson. I was not required to give a favorable review, but only to read the work in it's entirety and give an honest opinion.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Stephanie Grace Whitson in her new book, “Messenger By Moonlight” published by FaithWords takes us into the life of Annie Paxton. From the back cover: Bestselling author Stephanie Grace Whitson’s honors the forgotten women of the Pony Express. Orphaned Annie Paxton and her brothers may have lost the only home they’ve ever known, but they’re determined to make a better future in St. Joseph, Missouri. Annie dreams of a pretty house with window boxes, and having friends, and attending church every week. But then her brothers spot the ad for a new venture called the Pony Express. “Wanted,” it reads, “Young, skinny fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders and willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.” Sure enough, both her brothers land jobs as Express messengers, and Annie puts her dreams on hold to work as a cook at Clearwater Ranch, a station along the Pony Express route. Annie struggles to adapt to her new job–work made all the more challenging when she has so many to feed and few ingredients. The gruff station owner, George, doesn’t seem inclined to make her life any easier, or at least not at first. But slowly a friendship builds between them. When Annie attracts the attention of a refined, dashing lieutenant from the nearby fort, she’ll have to learn how to trust her instincts and follow her heart, even if she’s conflicted about which way it’s leading her. But when each of her brothers is pulled away by his own crisis, Annie is left alone in the struggle to discover what she really wants out of life–and the true meaning of the word home. Let me start out by stating that this is a well written and engaging novel that fans of historical fiction will absolutely LOVE! This is Historical fiction at its best! I think this is one of the hardest stories to write as it is all character driven and takes a steady hand to guide the characters through the story while remaining true to each character and these characters are memorable. You come to love Annie, George and Lt. Hart as if they were alive (and they are within the pages of this book) and it is a thrill to watch them interact, grow and put aside their distrust, fear and the hurts of their pasts and find peace in their present. It has been a long time since someone wrote a story about The Pony Express and all the trimmings that was associated with it. The last time, I believe, they made a movie with Charlton Heston so Ms. Whitson has given us something spectacular I believe. Many kudos to Ms. Whitson for a truly memorable book. I am so looking forward to the next book from the very talented Ms. Whitson. If you missed the interview for “A Claim Of Her Own”, another novel by Ms. Whitson, and would like to listen to it and/or interviews with other authors and professionals please go to www.kingdomhighlights.org where they are available On Demand. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from FaithWords. 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.”
Stacey06 More than 1 year ago
Whitson’s fascinating look at the Pony Express and those who lived in the Midwest during that time is entertaining and intriguing. The romance is unexpected, beautifully developed and well-balanced with action and family drama. The faith message is touching and relevant. Annie Paxton and her brothers Emmet and Frank are orphaned and left with nothing but a couple of trunks full of personal items. They make their way to St. Joseph, Mo., where the brothers respond to an ad to ride with the new Pony Express. They talk Annie into taking a job as a cook at a remote outpost in Nebraska. It’s a rough living so far from civilization, but the people Annie meets (including a handsome lieutenant) help make life more bearable. I have received this book from FaithWords for an exchange for my honest review.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
I have such passion for historical fiction novels based on historical facts, in this case the Pony Express as the backdrop for Stephanie Grace Whitson's latest novel, Messenger By Moonlight. While the story line revolves primarily around Annie Paxton, the sister of Emmet and Frank, who find themselves in a bit of a predicament when they find their family home and farm lands sold from out under them to settle their father's excessive debts. Believing that God is in the details, they pack all their belongings into three trunks and head out to St. Joseph, Missouri in search of new futures. One thing is for certain, Emmet and Frank want to make sure that all of Annie's dreams come true and that begins with finding ways to earn money so she can have the home she has always wanted. Frank and Emmet try their hand at auditioning for the Pony Express and find that they are but a handful that will be based in remote home station in Nebraska. Fearing she will be left alone, the brothers assure Annie, that they have secured her a job as a cook at the station house working for George Morgan, a man with a less than stellar reputation, but one they feel will be the best for all of them. They promise Annie if they can all do their part for two years, she will have everything she has ever wanted and more. For Annie it will mean learning to cook for more than 4 people, as not only will she have to deal with the stagecoach passengers but men who serve one of the local outposts at the fort as well. In fact, they are sure, Annie will have no problem with being alone once the local population finds out how beautiful the local cook at the station house is. Now they will each face uncertainties they had never dreamed of before. Annie is trying to find her way in a world she knows very little about, working for gruff old man who has very little to say to her and instead keeps out of her way most of the time. Frank has to come to terms with the fact that Annie and Emmet have their faith to fall back on, while he struggles to come to terms with the fact that there is a God often times when you least expect Him to show up. Emmet, believes that he can save up enough money to secure the future of a girl he left in Buchanan County, Missouri if he can prove he can provide for her. But like all great novels, things aren't going to be as simple as that. I received Messenger by Moonlight by Stephanie Grace Whitson compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this book, in exchange for my honest and personal opinion. I really loved this novel because it involves not only Annie's story but also that of Emmet and Frank. They each have a bit of growing up to do and the challenges of life on the wild frontier is not always an easy one. The challenges of riding for the Pony Express isn't as straight forward as you might imagine as riding long distances can take a physical toll of the body as well as dealing with adversities like Indians, uncooperative horses and weather just to name a few. But the mail must move forward and this is a well written and engaging novel that fans of historical fiction will absolutely LOVE! 5 Stars in my opinion. An author's note at the conclusion of this novel highlights some of those unique facts about the Pony Express she used in the creation of this novel.