Monday, January 10, 2011

Courting Miss Amsel

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Courting Miss Amsel
Bethany House (January 1, 2011)
Kim Vogel Sawyer


Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren.


Edythe Amsel is delighted with her first teaching assignment: a one-room schoolhouse in Walnut Hill, Nebraska. Independent, headstrong, and a strong believer in a well-rounded education, Edythe is ready to open the world to the students in this tiny community. But is Walnut Hill ready for her?

Joel Townsend is thrilled to learn the town council hired a female teacher to replace the ruthless man who terrorized his nephews for the past two years. Having raised the boys on his own since their parents' untimely deaths, Joel believes they will benefit from a woman's influence. But he sure didn't bargain on a woman like Miss Amsel.

Within the first week, she has the entire town up in arms over her outlandish teaching methods, which include collecting leaves, catching bugs, making snow angels, and stringing ropes in strange patterns all over the schoolyard. Joel can't help but notice that she's also mighty pretty with her rosy lips, fashionable clothes, and fancy way of speaking.

When Edythe decides to take her pupils to hear Miss Susan Anthony speak on the women's suffrage amendment, the town's outcry reaches new heights. Even Joel isn't sure he can support her newfangled ideas any longer. And if he can't trust her to know how to teach the boys, how can he trust her with his heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Courting Miss Amsel, go HERE.

Courting Miss Amsel by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a fast-paced historical romance with a lot of heart. Edythe Amsel is determined to start living her life on her terms when she takes a position as schoolteacher in Walnut Hill, Nebraska, away from her family in Omaha. The children of the school quickly fall in love with her when she refuses to use the brutal tactics for discipline that the former teacher employed, but the parents aren't as sure of her ability when she insists on teaching them more than just readin', writin' and 'rithmatic. Joel Townsend has never viewed caring for his nephews, Robert and Johnny, after the death of their parents as a burden, but he understands that any woman he courts must have the same view. Edythe's insistence that she is done with caring for others sets a rift between the two of them that is so large, only God will be able to overcome it. Sawyer's writing is always populated with likable characters and solid plots with God at the center, and this book is no exception. Readers will sympathize with Edythe's love for her students. Joel is strong hero with love for his nephews and the Lord. Readers will hope that Sawyer intends to revisit Walnut Hill again soon.