Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man?
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
Jennifer AlLee believes the most important thing a woman can do is discover her identity in God—a theme that carries throughout her stories. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and RWA’s Faith, Hope and Love Chapter. When she’s not spinning tales, she enjoys board games with friends, movies, and breaking into song for no particular reason. Jennifer lives with her family in the grace-filled city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Please visit her at www.jenniferallee.com.
Angela Breidenbach is a bestselling author, host of Grace Under Pressure Radio, and the Christian Author Network's president. And yes, she's half of the fun fe-lion comedy duo, Muse and Writer, on social media.
Note from Angela: "I love hearing from readers and enjoy book club chats. To drop me a note or set up a book club chat, contact me at email@example.com. Let me know if you'd like me to post a quote from your review of this story. If you send me the link and your social media handle, I'll post it to my social media with a word of gratitude including your name and/or social media handle, too!"
For more about Angela's books (especially more Montana-inspired romances) and podcast, or to set up a book club chat, please visit her website: http://www.AngelaBreidenbach.com
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/AngelaBreidenbachInspirationalSpeakerAuthor
Bestselling author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over fifty books and more than 250 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont. You can find Darlene online at www.darlenefranklinwrites.com
Cynthia Hickey grew up in a family of storytellers and moved around the country a lot as an army brat. Her desire is to write about real, but flawed characters in a wholesome way that her seven children and five grandchildren can all be proud of. She and her husband live in Arizona where Cynthia is a full-time writer.
ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of over a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn't "cure" her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper” in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.
TIFFANY AMBER STOCKTON has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today she is an award-winning author, speaker, social media consultant, and a freelance website designer who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son and a vivacious Flat-coated retriever named Roxie. Her writing career began as a columnist for her high school and college newspapers. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Historical Romance Writers. Three of her novels have won annual reader's choice awards, and in 2009, she was voted #1 favorite new author for the Heartsong Presents book club. You can read more about her at her website.
Niki Turner is a novelist, journalist, and blogger. Her first completed manuscript earned second place in the Touched By Love 2009 contemporary category romance contest. She writes for local newspapers and won second place for best agriculture story at the 2013 Colorado Press Association annual convention. She is a coblogger at www.inkwellinspirations.com. Niki is the president of the Western Slope chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers. Connect with Niki on Facebook or Twitter, and visit her website for information on her other books: www.nikiturner.net.
ECPA- bestselling author Gina Welborn worked for a news radio station until she fell in love with writing romances. She serves on the American Christian Fiction Writers Foundation Board. Sharing her husband's love for the premier American sportscar, she is a founding member of the Southwest Oklahoma Corvette Club and a lifetime member of the National Corvette Museum. Gina lives with her husband, three of their five Okie-Hokie children, two rabbits, two guinea pigs, and a dog that doesn't realize rabbits and pigs are edible. Find her online at www.ginawelborn.com!
Becca Whitham (WIT-um) is a multi-published author who has always loved reading and writing stories. After raising two children, she and her husband faced the empty nest years by following their dreams: he joined the army as a chaplain, and she began her journey toward publication. Becca loves to tell stories marrying real historical events with modern-day applications to inspire readers to live Christ-reflecting lives. She’s traveled to almost every state in the U.S. for speaking and singing engagements and has lived in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Alaska. She can be reached through her website at www.beccawhitham.com
Read an Excerpt
The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection
9 Historical Women Win More than a Blue Ribbon at the Fair
By Cynthia Hickey, Gina Welborn, Jennifer AlLee
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2016 Cynthia Hickey
All rights reserved.
North of Lansing, Michigan, 1889
Across the narrow train aisle from Sarah, a matron examined her Friday newspaper, the bold print headline proclaiming Another Balloonist-Succumbs in Kalamazoo.
The woman's companion, a silver-haired man with a drooping mustache, tapped the paper. "Why do those foolish young men engage in such folly?"
Indeed, why did they? Neither Sarah Richmond nor the lady had an answer.
"Mama, won't there be a balloon show at the fair?" asked a boy in the row diagonal and forward from Sarah.
"Not after last year's ... mishap." She patted the boy's hand.
Mishap? The death of a balloonist before thousands of state fair attendees in Detroit? Sarah wouldn't call that a mere mishap. She chewed her lower lip. Her fiancé's death, now that could be referred to as such. A niggling began in her conscience. She had to stop blaming Arnold for his death. But new determination rose up against the hospital staff who might have been able to save him had they been more diligent. If her quilt won the blue ribbon, she'd tell any journalist who'd listen that Battle Creek wasn't the only place in the state that needed to provide excellent health care to its citizens. And if a wealthy fairgoer wished to purchase her quilt, she'd contribute the money to the small hospital in her community.
Beside her, a schoolteacher from Ohio patted Sarah's arm. "You might not want to keep tugging on that beautiful quilt, dear. Not if you hope to win a prize at the fair."
She hadn't realized she'd been pulling at the fabric's scalloped edges. "Oh ... yes." Her fingers traced the red-and-yellow tulips she'd worked to cover her first wedding quilt's design. Patting the folded quilt, Sarah smiled at the lady, who'd been visiting family up north near the Straits of Mackinac, where Sarah resided. "Thanks."
Her seatmate resumed her knitting, aided by the light streaming through the window.
Fatigue washed over Sarah. Before long, her head nodded.
When she awakened, the little family had departed, as well as the older couple.
The conductor angled through the narrow passenger aisle. "This is your stop, miss."
"Thank you." Sarah rose and stretched. She smiled at the schoolteacher. "I pray your trip will be pleasant and you get home safely."
"Thanks. I hope all goes well at the fair."
They exchanged good-byes, and Sarah departed the train, the sounds of happy greetings carrying back from the platform. There'd be no one there to meet her here at the fairgrounds. Her aunt would be picking her up later, after Sarah had registered.
The railway man took her satchel. "I imagine we'll get pretty busy at this stop once the fair begins." He held out a hand for her, and she accepted it.
"Thank you." Sarah stepped down onto the landing. "Do you think someone could direct me to Home Arts Pavilion?"
"Certainly." The conductor waved at a dark-haired man attired in a jumpsuit. "I need some help for this young lady."
"Me?" The man's deep voice expressed confusion.
"Yeah, you. Ain't ya wearin' one of them state fair getups for a reason, young man?"
Michigan State Fair was emblazoned on his upper left pocket. The man looked to be in his late twenties or early thirties. He stood a head taller than the conductor and shot him a look that would've quailed even her rowdiest brother. Deep-set, dark blue eyes dominated his face. High cheekbones turned the faintest shade of rose, as did the full lips beneath his Roman nose. Sarah suddenly felt dizzy and closed her eyes.
"Are you all right, ma'am?" The worker's baritone voice made her knees weaker.
The railway man jerked a thumb toward her. "That quilt she's got bundled round her is goin' in the contest. And she's got that satchel."
The stranger bent his head closer to hers, and she caught a whiff of sandalwood and something else she couldn't quite identify. "Any other luggage?"
She carried her most cherished possession, her quilt, which had become an albatross since Arnold had died. Sarah shook her head.
"That's it?" His handsome features crumpled in confusion. "No trunk?"
"All right." A faint smile tugged at his lips, sending a quiver through her.
"I can manage if you'll point me to the Home Arts Pavilion. I need to register."
"No, ma'am. I'll carry this for you."
"It's miss." Not that he needed to know her marital status. "Miss Sarah Richmond."
"Grant Bentley. Pleased to meet you, Miss Richmond." His eyelids lowered halfway. But instead of the usual slow, salacious appraisal of her buxom figure as he scanned her appearance, his features tugged in sadness. Then a faint smile flew past before he once again settled into a mask of ... what? She was unaccustomed to such a reaction. Now his features fixed, as though he'd schooled himself in indifference.
"Thank you for your help, but I don't want to trouble you." The discomfort this man stirred in her wasn't something she could name. Suddenly she didn't feel safe around him. Not that he'd harm her. More that he could crack something in her heart that had hardened to stone.
"No trouble at all." He set off, and Sarah struggled to keep up with the handsome man's long strides.
"Can you slow a bit?"
"Sorry." He grinned down at her, the corners of his eyes crinkling.
They continued on, but Grant stopped for no one, instead giving a brief greeting in reply to the women or a half grunt to the men, one of whom called him "Professor." A strange greeting, but perhaps young gents in the city used different nicknames than they did up north, where often one was called by his nationality.
As they passed by each section of the front of the fairground, Mr. Bentley pointed out the attractions. "The bicycle race is held over there." He pointed to a long, elliptical track.
As they passed rows of small buildings, all labeled for different fair submissions and events, someone belted out the tune "Slide, Kelly, Slide." Sarah hummed in time with the lyrics.
"Do you know this ditty?"
He stopped, and they found the source of the music. A piano had been set up on a platform near a beer wagon, surrounded by fair workers. "Let's sing it."
Sarah laughed but then joined her mezzo soprano with his mellifluous baritone. She hoped he didn't want to partake of the beer offered there, not that it was any of her business.
When done, he crossed his massive arms, his armbands dark against the crisp white of the jumpsuit sleeves. "You possess a beautiful voice."
"As do you."
They exchanged a long glance, and her heart skipped a beat.
"I used to sing in our church choir."
A dapper gentleman in a gray-checked suit strode toward them, pulling a gold watch from his vest pocket. His eyes skimmed Sarah's figure before focusing on Mr. Bentley. "You just need to hook that balloon up to the city's gas valve on Main Street to fill it."
A muscle in the handsome worker's jaw jumped.
With a curt nod, the suited gent snapped his watch shut and rushed off toward the beer wagon.
"Who's that?" Sarah watched the man push through the crowd to the front of the line.
"He's one of the fair managers."
"And what did he mean about the balloon? I heard they'd canceled that dangerous ridiculousness because of the death last year in Detroit."
Mr. Bentley's mouth opened, but no words came out.
Of course, he had no control over such things and merely had to do as directed. Sarah frowned. "Another of those aeronauts died just yesterday in Kalamazoo."
He ran his hand over his lips and chin.
Sometimes she spoke out of turn. How many times had she had to do as directed by her father at their farm, without questioning him?
They walked on in silence. She deliberately avoided his sapphire gaze. Soon he stopped at the pavilion and set her bag down by the registrar's desk.
"Here you go, Miss Richmond."
She grabbed his arm, sensing the firm muscles beneath his gabardine uniform. "Thank you for your help. I appreciate it."
Grant tipped his head and sighed. "I'll come back to check on you when my work is through."
Absolutely nothing in the man's tone indicated he harbored anything more than altruistic motives. And for some reason, that annoyed her. Wasn't she pretty enough, dainty enough that he'd like to see her again? And why was she thinking such things? After losing two fiancés, she would never risk her heart on a man again.
* * *
Grant surveyed the newly built dining hall. Everything here, at what would be the permanent home for the Michigan State Fair, was newly built. Although he and his business partner weren't technically state fair employees, anyone displaying or engaged in commerce at the event could eat in the cavernous building. Rows of windows punctuated every wall, save for that where the kitchen workers served up hearty food.
His friend and partner, Lee Hudgins, joined him in line. "This is some mess hall, isn't it?"
"Top notch." As was the young woman he'd directed to the pavilion earlier.
Long tables, set up picnic-table style, were flanked by benches. The few ladies in the room sat primarily at the end of the benches. Several tried futilely to manage their bustles, sitting cockeyed to do so. Silly contraptions.
"Humph," Grant snorted. "We've been tethered."
"The fair manager told me just now." Grant ground his back teeth together.
"Like hucksters?" Lee grimaced. "Showmen?"
"But we're not circus performers. We're engineers." One day soon, massive balloons, unlike anything ever seen, would carry crowds of people into the air. With an engine there would be more control, too.
"Tethered. How will we make any money?" The son of a prominent Virginia congressman, Hudgins, like Grant, was bullheaded enough to think he had to prove himself on his own. Hence their need of capital.
When they reached the counter, Grant inhaled the scent of poultry, potatoes, and a sharp odor that prickled his nose. He pointed to a huge bowl of yellowish vegetables. The server, a woman with wisps of silver curls framing a pleasant round face, beamed up at him. "Turnips?"
Turnips? The Bentley household had never deigned to serve turnips before Grant had been turned out, after college, for refusing to follow his father into the banking business his ancestors had built up in New York. If he'd been willing to tuck tail and crawl home, though, he'd likely be welcomed.
"Yes, madam, I'd like to try them."
Hudgins cast a sideways glance at him.
The woman's eyes widened. "Try them? Have ye not et 'em before?" Her thick Irish accent recalled that of Cook's at home, and for a moment, Grant could picture her scolding him for not at least trying the oyster soufflé she'd prepared.
"He has, ma'am." An elbow jutted into Grant's side as Hudgins laid on his Southern drawl, thicker than the gravy being poured over his potatoes. "I believe he's meanin' he's nevah had them with fried chicken before."
She glanced between the two of them then finished filling Grant's plate.
Hudgins leaned in. "Any okra, ma'am?"
"Don't be askin' fer none of that up here. Too many former Union men ain't too happy to even hear a Rebel drawl, much less et their food."
With that caution, Grant headed toward the closest table holding space for two men. Working men attired in either the uniform of a state fair worker or in laborer's clothing occupied most tables. The newly constructed buildings still required work before attendees arrived several days hence.
When a lady hastily removed her half-eaten tray of food from a table and departed, they slid into the vacancy. Across from them, two men with dirty blond hair stared hard, one wiping his greasy fingers across the front of his streaked tan coveralls. They looked to be brothers, with matching squashed noses. One had a bandanna around his neck that might have once been red. The other's neck sported a nasty faded pink scar, perhaps from a failed garrote attempt. The back of Grant's neck tightened.
Hudgins bit into the chicken and sighed. "Almost like Mama made."
"You South —" the stranger across from Hudgins began but then suddenly his chin jutted upward, his eyes fixed on someone in the front.
The other brother whistled. "That's some kind of woman."
"Just my type."
"Yup." After setting his chicken on his plate, the scarred man motioned his hands into a pronounced hourglass shape and winked at Grant.
Heat crept up his neck. A gentleman didn't make such lewd gestures nor respond to them. He dipped his spoon into the diced turnips and raised them to his mouth. Foul smelling. He took a bite. Nasty. Like the brothers across from him. Grabbing his tin cup of ginger ale, Grant took a swig.
"You two, take a hike." The one with the neckerchief jerked his thumb to the end of the table. "We need room."
"Not a chance," Lee mumbled around a mouthful of potatoes.
The click of a knife opening got Grant's attention. Even in this room full of people conversing and the scraping of chairs and tables as they came and went, he'd discerned that warning sound he knew all too well. A man on his own in the world better recognize danger, immediately, if he wished to maintain his life and his wallet.
"My friend can take you." Hudgins grinned at the brothers, a dimple deep in his right cheek making him look far younger than he was — and deceptively innocent.
The two strangers laughed. "Kin he now, ya heah?" Mocking Lee wasn't a good idea. The "friend" Lee spoke of meant a combination of fists and his pistol, always strapped somewhere on his person.
Both men ceased guffawing and stared just behind Grant, dual jaws dropping open and then clamping tight.
Someone's skirt brushed against Grant's arm. He looked up into the dark eyes of the young lady he'd rescued earlier.
Lee shot to his feet. "Ma'am?"
Exhaling, Grant stood, too. "Miss Richmond."
Lee poked Grant's side. "You two met?"
Her face flushed pink. "Earlier."
When the pretty brunette glanced down at them, the brother with the open knife closed it shut. His leer revealed several blackened teeth. "They's just leavin'."
"Weren't ya, fellas?" The brother narrowed his eyes.
"Indeed we were." Grant focused his attention on Sarah. "Might you wish to take your meal outside with us, miss?"
She glanced first at the laborers and then back at Lee. "Lovely notion."
Over the brothers' protests, Grant and Lee rose.
Outside, Lee located a bench beneath a large maple tree, whose leaves were beginning to change. "Let's sit yonder."
"The cafeteria crowd seems a rough sort. They may cause you extreme discomfiture." Or worse. Grant wouldn't allow himself to contemplate what devilry these men were capable of.
* * *
Sarah was discomfited. "Those men ..." She shivered. The way they looked at her, like she was a whole plateful of fried chicken they'd like to consume, had made her skin crawl.
"Not fit company for a flea-infested hound, much less a lovely young lady."
Mr. Bentley cleared his throat. "Miss Sarah Richmond, this is my friend Lee Hudgins."
"Nice to meet you. What do you do at the fair?"
"We help." The way Mr. Bentley's lips tightened, he appeared embarrassed of their job. No shame in being a groundskeeper.
Dressed in button-up jumpsuits, the two men made a handsome matched set. And far more gentlemanly than she'd have imagined the fair employees would be. Sarah nibbled her lower lip. God was good. She'd been through the loss of two men she'd expected to marry. She'd never fall in love again, not even if the man's wavy dark hair begged to be pushed off his forehead, not even if his full lips invited her to ...
"Oh!" She blinked, trying to re-collect herself. She balanced her tray on her lap. "I should say grace."
Right before she closed her eyes, Mr. Hudgins grinned like her brothers did when they had a secret. Was it he or Grant who had something to hide?
Dear Father, please bless this food, and keep me safe. Thank You for helping me earlier.
"Yoo-hoo!" Striding up sawdust-strewn walkway, Aunt Bonnie waved.
Mr. Bentley leapt to his feet. He turned to Sarah. "Do you know this woman?"
Mr. Hudgins languidly rose and waved.
"There stands the bane of my existence." Mr. Bentley muttered so low, Sarah almost didn't hear him.
Excerpted from The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection by Cynthia Hickey, Gina Welborn, Jennifer AlLee. Copyright © 2016 Cynthia Hickey. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsRequilted with Love,
Seven Medals and a Bride,
A Taste of Honey,
Better with Butter,
Driven to Distraction,
First Comes Pie,
Front Paige Love,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Blue ribbons are a coveted prize at county fairs. I remember competing myself with many exhibits in our Five-County Fair. I entered a sweetheart cake, many clothing items I had sewn, and I modeled an outfit that I had sewn. I did win several blue ribbons as well as some white and green ribbons. Our fair also awarded money for each prize, a delightful gift for one who did not have much if any spending money. The nine women are eager and excited participants in the fair. I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend the novella collection written by nine talented authors. I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Barbour Books. I was not given any monetary compensation for my review.
I loved this collection of stories set at county and state fairs around the country. All the authors did a great job. All the stories were unique and I liked all of them, but I think my favorites were Requilted With Love, A Taste of Honey, and First Comes Pie. I would recommend this book.
From quilts, pies, butter sculptures, hats, peaches, pigs and more.... this collection of stories brings to life the wonders of the "fair". Each story tells about entries in to the fair and what can happen with each entry. Family loyalty, devotion, artistic expression, winning ribbons and finding love are all found in these stories. I enjoyed reading this book. Read this book and you may just want to attend the fairs in your area.
Blue Ribbon Brides is a delightful collection of stories about romance amidst the county and state fairs all over the country. Authors, such as Carrie Fancett Pagels, Angela Breidenbach, Gina Wellborn, Niki Turner and five others have written novellas set in the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Characters are fun, feisty, full of dreams and award-winning ideas in regards to quilts, honey, butter, pies, and even pigs. Readers are drawn into each story as the action includes mishaps and misunderstandings, feuds over land, fire, sabotaged fair entries and auto polo races. Each story has some sort of tension with the would-be sweethearts, whether they be childhood friends or newly acquainted...competition in the fair, blame for things of the past, different dreams for the future or family obligations. And with the disappointments and discouragements that come, faith in God is displayed as the couples-to-be look to Him for help and guidance. Blue Ribbon Brides is an entertaining set of stories that give a little history, are quick to read and remind readers of the sweetness of the first blush of love and romance.
The Blue Ribbon Bride Collection: Nine Historical women win more than a ribbon at the Fair By: Cynthia Hickey, Gina Welborn, Jennifer AILee, Angela Breidenbach, Darlene Franklin,Carrie Fancett Pagels, Amber Stockton, Niki Turner ,Becca Whitham The Blue Ribbon Bride Collection is made up of Nine wonderful authors and each has written a wonderful novella and they are based on the State Fairs. These all are different historical Fiction novellas and do not have to be read in order. These authors captured my heart and i caught myself trying to read faster to see what was going to happen next. These novellas are all filled with faith, hope, and love. Women are entering the fairs in hopes of winning the blue ribbon prize. I fell in love with the characters and it felt like I was right there with them. The Authors has did a wonderful job on each novella. I was given a complementary copy of this book , but I was not told that I hd to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection! The fair theme is delightful, taking readers to a variety of locales and featuring an array of award-winning entries. I loved that each story is uniquely told, and every one is full of charm. With its nine collective talents, this book deserves its own blue ribbon! Lovely inside and out, The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection is recommended for all who enjoy lighthearted historical romance. I received a complimentary copy of The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection: 9 Historical Women Win More than a Blue Ribbon at the Fair. This collection starts in 1889 and goes through 1930 by 9 different authors who all write about people in their timeframe that go to the fair with and earn blue ribbons and so much more. My favorite was Seven Medals and a Bride, written by Angela Breidenbach. I thought it was fun to read and loved how she created her characters to show such strength in wills. Neither of the main characters really went to the fair expecting what they received through their time at the World Fair. Exciting to see Breidenbach’s style throughout the book. With these kinds of collections with so many different authors contributing, it’s fun to see the different styles and how they have researched their time period to show the reader what is happening around that time and the differences in how people looked at life in the different years. Although I didn’t necessarily ‘love’ all of the books, I did enjoy that they all kept accurate with the theme and were fun to read. I would recommend this collection to any avid historical reader because there is definitely something in there for everyone to enjoy! I was given this collection by Netgalley. All thoughts and comments in this review are my own.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection ~ Requilted with Love by Carrie Fancett Pagels, © 2016 Nine Historical Women Win More than a Blue Ribbon at the Fair by Jennifer L. AlLee, Angela Breidenbach, Darlene Franklin, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Tiffany Amber Stockton, Niki Turner, Gina Welborn, Becca Whitham Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man? There is excitement in the air for County, State, and World's Fair ~ for all ages; the youth tending their animals all year, the ladies preparing their entries, the men hoping for the best price for their season of hope ~ Come One, Come All ~ it's Fair time to be enjoyed by all generations through the decades! ~*~ Thank you, author Carrie Fancett Pagels for sharing a copy of The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection with me! EnJ*O*Y her opening story, "Requilted with Love." Michigan State Fair, 1889 Home Arts Pavilion With the bustle of people coming and going at the train station, the conductor calls out to a man to help a lady with her baggage and show her to her destination. Startled, Grant Bentley ushers Sarah Richmond on her way. With the Michigan State Fair patch on his pocket, what more could have been determined? By appearances...and mistaken identity. "If you're going to wear the state fair uniform, they may expect labor from you." Requilted with Love, 26. Directed at Grant's friend, Lee Hudgins, he too was decidedly assigned. Assumptions. How then, do you reveal yourself when you didn't know you were hidden? Sarah happily finds that she and Denise Drefs are to share a table together. They met at a previous fair. With quilts brought for display in the Home Arts Pavilion, they are hopeful of winning a State Fair prize ribbon. There is more to win at a fair than ribbons ~ renewed acquaintances far and near, neighboring friends and relatives meeting together, excited for what lies before them. And... there are the competitors, not always so friendly. I like how Sarah knows what true value is, avoiding vain conflict and being true to what she knows is right. Busily occupied with event and afternoons serving refreshments in the pavilion, Sarah is provided a basket each day filled with her aunt's blue ribbon cooking; more than enough to share. Trust overshadows misgivings promoted by Sarah's past fears. For a shadow to appear, light exposes it. God's direction is right on time for Sarah's protection, with her unaware. This story is so well written with the characters interweaving effortlessly! A beautiful example of respect and honoring one another. I liked the humor bantering between Lee and Grant showing the camaraderie they held for each other. (And they were representing northern and southern heritage, lol.) You will enjoy reading other stories written of adventurous and fun characters by author Carrie Fancett Pagels. ***This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
REQUILTED BY LOVE A sweet story, with enough misunderstandings, twists and bad guys and gals to make the ending unsure. And a surprise at the end. Nope, not telling! I loved how Carrie incorporated history into her story, and though I have no interested in riding one of those “contraptions” myself (I would rather be reading) I do enjoy watching the balloon festival in Glendale, Arizona each winter. All the stories were well researched and superbly written, with characters that enthralled me and kept me reading. Living during the depression years must have been difficult, and having a fair in your community might have been the highlight of the year. SEVEN MEDALS AND A BRIDE I thoroughly enjoyed this light hearted, yet honest story. I connected with Bettina as she tried to make the world a better place for the poor and downtrodden, and agreed with her, for the most part. I loved the handsome engineer, Luke, but I absolutely loved the quirky ladies from Montana. Their bet with the Montana men, and the detailed descriptions of the buildings and displays of the fair. The ending was unexpected to me. A TASTE OF HONEY This story is as sweet as its name suggests. Every young girl has dreams, and not all come during the night. I loved that Edith’s came about from something she was already doing. Both Grant and Edith matured in this short story and though secrets and misunderstandings happened, they worked them through. Edith is loveable even when she is so single minded about winning. Both are responsible in their actions toward others ALTERED HEARTS There is a lot of good advice in this story, passed from parents and friends to children, that is still applicable today. Lots of history that was fun learning about. It's about a time when women’s role in the family or the world was changing, and needless to say, not everyone grasps change with open hands. There was change in both Reba’s life and Levi’s life and I felt like I was part of that. BETTER WITH BUTTER I guess debate has always been part of the history of margarine. It was interesting to read about the debate at the fair...that and the misunderstandings, and the suspense Kept me turning the pages much faster than with many other short stories. Ella was easy to connect with as she molded butter into, of all things, a cow! Max was a man with a look to the future. DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION Auto Polo? I had never heard of it before and I googled it...and yes it was invented in the United States. It does not seem to have been all that popular, because the pictures I found were all from the early 1900s. Do we think of how our attitudes might affect future generations? This story clearly shows how two best friends became offended at each other, and how their children suffered years later. It was a fun story and well written. The adventurous part of me connected with Jolene. She was a peacemaker at heart. FIRST COMES PIE I loved all the elements and characters in this story, from Loralie to Emmett and Jimmy. Full of surprises and twists and turns I had to keep reading until I found out the winning end! Loralie has done her best to make sure her neighbor is cared for until he passed away. Now his heir is about to sell the place to the highest bidder. The problem with that is Loralie needs that orchard for her business. FRONT PAGE LOVE This story is a twist on the girl next door. Not to give away the story, but it wa
Nine stories of young women seeing blue, Blue Ribbons that is of which they wish to win at their State Fair. But that may not be all they win. Some are watching the crowds for that one Mr. Right, hoping they might have the chance to win his heart. Some of these young men may have been a little resistant and other are not resistant at all to this idea. Each novella takes us to a different state telling the history for that year and about the Fair itself. Like how the Fair is set up, what it offers as attractions and more adventure than any of these young people may have ever experienced in the lives. I liked all nine of the novellas. Some captured my heart a little more than others. To say which one is a favorite I must keep that a secret. The County Fairs I attended were not State Fairs but I found them memorable unlike these young people had enjoyed. My kids have even walked away with some Blue and Red Ribbons showing Nubian Dairy Goats. Congratulations to these authors for this adventurous collection of romance novellas with Christian values. Let's give all of them a big Blue Ribbon. Disclosure: I received a free ebook from NetGalley/Barbour for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man? 1-Requilted With Love by Carrie Fancett Pagels 1889...North of Lansing, Michigan....Sarah Richmond is hopeful of winning a Blue Ribbon as she enters her quilt in the Michigan State Fair and knows exactly what she will do with the winnings—donating it for a chance at getting better medical care in her home town. Grant is a balloonist - dangerous work - and developing an engine to hopefully make them more steerable. He is more than willing to look after the lovely Miss Sarah and protect her from all the leering jerks at the fair, and also protect her from knowing the truth about his occupation. But what will happen when she discovers the truth? Will she be brave enough to face her fears? And will she win the blue ribbon (and prize money) for her quilt? Will Grant earn enough money selling balloon ride tickets to pay his bills? My thoughts: Requilted with Love is a cute story set around a quilt that took five years to make... I was a bit confused why she'd want to donate money to a facility that provided such shoddy care, I'd be more wanting to fire everyone and hire competent workers, but it was explained later in the book. Miss Sarah is still a much nicer person than me though in regards to that. She has the gift of mercy and service and is quick to step in. Grant is a dear hero, kind and considerate, though not weak, even when he gives in. I enjoyed getting to know both these characters. Enjoyed the historical information in the author's notes, and that a mutual friend of both Ms. Pagel and I shared was honored by having a character named after her. 2-Seven Medals and a Bride by Angela Breidenbach Fair in 1893...Bettina is a Chicago native with a degree in botany and she's interested in making contacts. Luke is a mine owner from Montana and all the ladies with him from Montana are searching for a bride for him. Bettina is their first choice. But she isn't even remotely interested in a miner. What is a man and matchmakers to do? My thoughts: This is a fun story that had some laugh-out-loud moments. I loved this story, and couldn't read it fast enough. It was fun reading about the world fair in Chicago and Luke's efforts to find Bettina after meeting her on the ferry. 3-A Taste of Honey by Darlene Franklin Spruce Hill, Vermont 1896...Edith Grace harvests honey from the bee hives in the meadow between her property and her neighbor, Mr. Oscar. She is experimenting with the honey in different recipes to come up with the perfect recipe hoping to win a blue ribbon at the upcoming state fair. However, Mr. Oscar's son, Grant has other ideas and they don't include Edith using “his” honey. He wants to plow the land under and use it for crops. Will they come up with a workable compromise? My thoughts: This story was really cute and fast paced. I enjoyed getting to know Edie and Grant and their different personalities. I loved how things had been worked out between previous generations--and I won't say how so I won't give things away. This story held my interest all the way through and I had to keep reading once I started it. Parts seemed a little contrived, but
The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection by Cynthia Hickey, Gina Welborn, Jennifer Atlee, Angela Breidenback, Darlene Franklin, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Amber Stockton, Niki Turner, and Becca Whitham. This series is a wonderful collection of historical fiction novellas. This collection is full of faith, love, hope, and so much more. This wonderful collection of novellas has women that are competing for the blue ribbon prize in their fair. Each story a delight that will surly capture your heart. Be sure to order your copy of The Blue Ribbon Bride collection today. 5 stars! I received a complimentary copy of this book. This review is my honest opinion.
I really enjoyed reading this collection. A walk through time with the competitions at state and county fairs ranging from baking, to pigs and to my favorite – quilts! I found the history of this time was interesting, the research into the stories must have been fascinating and the romance.. he authors made the characters and stories so real and true to life. I’ve competed in fairs and I loved how each of these stories especially the Requilted with Love story took me back to some very special memories.
What a delightful collection of nine novellas that all have the common theme of seeking blue ribbons for various reasons at fairs. I love the faith based stories that each tie romance into them. They make you laugh, get teary eyed, and leave you wanting more. The historical aspect is very endearing and interesting. The characters are real and identifiable. Carrie Fancett Pagels, Cynthia Hickey, and Darlene Franklin were familiar authors to me that you can always count on for a wonderful read, but I also enjoyed the new to me authors as well. This book does not disappoint, as for me it is a step above other novella collections I have read. I received a complimentary copy of this from Carrie Fancett Pagels. The review and opinions are my own and I was not required to write them.
The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection is filled with 9 different delightful historical novellas by different authors. We are taken to county and state fairs in 1883-1930 through the states of Arkansas, Wyoming, Colorado, Michigan, Vermont, Chicago, South Dakota, Washington and Nevada. We witness many changes in traveling, clothing and styles and each fair through each of the years as the women via for a blue ribbon. There are surprises in store for the women and for me as well as I read each story. (this is a shortened review for Barns and Noble, for my complete review see: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1574808553?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1)
Format: Paperback This book is about nine women competing for blue ribbons at county or state fairs between the years of 1893 through 1930. We will travel to Michigan, Colorado, Vermont, Chicago, South Dakota (my state! Which was fun to read!!), Nevada, Washington, Wyoming, and Arkansas. Throughout the years we several changes in the modes of transportation, hair styles, clothing, etc. Each woman proves that she is worthy to be the blue ribbon winner. Some of these women may not win a blue ribbon but they win something much more valuable! I learned different things from each of these stories. One thing I didn’t know, car polo! What?! I have never heard of a game like this where a car was used! That was pretty interesting! And I didn’t know you could sculpture butter, I found this fascinating! I love quilts, I would’ve love to see the quilts on display at the Michigan State Fair. Speaking of fairs, as I was reading these stories, I had the thought that the fairs we experience today are nothing compared to the fairs in the past. I wish I could time travel and visit a fair from one of these time periods. In Carrie Fancett Pagels story, I looked up one of the songs they sang on YouTube. Oh how lively and fun it was to listen to it! Ahh the history these lovely ladies brought to life in their stories! This was a great compilation of stories by a great group of ladies. I have read books for seven of these authors, two of them are new to me. I will be looking for more of their books. Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, in Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255." Thank you to Netgalley and Barbour Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Blue Ribbon Brides
Nine authors and 9 different states with a wide variety of things that were considered 'State Fair' worthy. A blue ribbon was the ultimate prize. If a monetary prize came with it, that was even better. 1889 in Michigan begins our 'tour' of state fairs with its lovely quilts. Who would have known that balloonists were called professors? The Colombian Exposition or the Chicago World's Fair introduced the world to all the wonderful things America had to offer - especially as you moved west to Montana with its wonderful flora and minerals. Vermont produced the very best honey - one could almost see the beautiful flowers as you ate it. The turn of the century brought fancier things forward. Millinery was very new in a South Dakota - after all, when did a farmer's wife need a fancy hat? Butter had been around almost forever but margarine was something new at the 1916 fair in Nevada. After all, margarine didn't need a cow and it had a unnatural color - did it even taste good? Washington State had auto polo at its fair in 1917. Imagine cars racing towards a large ball in the middle of a field with a man on the running board holding a mallet and trying to hit that ball toward the other goal. Good thing cars did not travel very quickly in those days! Colorado's Fair featured many lovely baked items, not the least of which was apple pie made from the Colorado Orange Apple. Wyoming was a place where dreams came true - especially with cherry cobbler. No fair would be complete without animals. Around 1930 there wasn't much to bring to the fair, but in Arkansas the decision was made that the 'fair must go on'! There were all sorts of animals on the farm and many were blue ribbon winners, including the pig in this story. Having never been to a state fair, this book was really fun to read. I received a copy from NetGalley to read and review. There was no expectation of a positive review.