- Young Adult
Grace and the Preacher
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From WaterBrook Press (March 2017)
At the age of twenty-four, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up hope of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can’t deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille—a man she deeply admires, but has only met through his letters.
Theophil Garrison is on the run from a past and a label he’s desperate to escape. Ten years ago, his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now their sentence is complete, but the plan for vengeance has only just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, a chance encounter could provide Theo with the escape he needs.
But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?
Grace and the PreacherBooks / Historical
My Soul Sings
From Wings of Hope Publishing (Decmeber 2016)
Jeremiah has been hiding in shadows. Tessy is afraid of the dark. Together will they learn that God is able to shed His light even in the shadows of their lives?
Jeremiah Hatcher witnessed war’s atrocities while serving as a missionary in Poland. No one knew of his secret missions to hide Jewish children on Red Cross ships and send them to homes in New York. The childhood bout of polio that made Jeremiah a cripple and weakened his heart forced him to leave Poland earlier than he wanted, and now he’s being sent to a small church in the hills of Arkansas to fill in for the minister while the man recovers from an operation. Jeremiah hopes his time in the beautiful mountains will help heal some of the wounds the war inflicted on his spirit and help him cast off his feelings of failure for not saving more souls.
Tessy McCleary grew up in Shyler’s Point. Although her father served as the local minister, superstitions surrounding the day of her birth have made her a pariah to the townsfolk. Her only friend is a hermit known as Ol’ Gordy. To escape the town’s scorn, Tessy spends a great deal of time on her own in the mountains, finding joy in sketching images of the beautiful flowers and wild creatures she encounters while traipsing through the woods.
Jeremiah is immediately drawn to the sad-eyed young woman named Tessy, and he wonders if God brought him to the community to help the townspeople overcome their irrational fears and accept her as one of their own. Their ostracism reminds him too much of the mistreatment the Jews faced in Europe. Unfortunately, a series of thefts and unusual happenings plague the town, and fingers of blame point at Tessy. Will befriending her steal his opportunity to truly minister to the people of Shyler’s Point?
My Soul SingsBooks / Historical
Jimmy and the Whale Hunt
From Wings of Hope Publishing (November 2016)
Jimmy misses his good friend, Jonas T. Whale, so he decides to find Mr. Whale and bring him back to Kansas. Along with his neighbor, Edmund, Jimmy sets off an adventure unlike anything he could have imagined. Will the boys find Mr. Whale before they starve to death or get captured by the law?
Join Jimmy and Edmund as they travel across the United States like a pair of hobos and learn the true meaning of “home” and “friendship” along the way.
Jimmy and the Whale HuntBooks / Children / Historical
Guide Me Home
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From WaterBrook Press (August 2016)
Working as a guide in Mammoth Cave might allow
Rebekah the chance to bring joy back to her family.
But will the cave claim more than it gives?
After tragedy leaves its mark on Rebekah Hardin’s family, she plans to help her parents and six siblings honor her beloved brother’s memory and alleviate their poverty by working as a guide in the dangerous cave system. Kentucky’s renowned Mammoth Cave presents profitable opportunities for hardworking, capable men. But Rebekah is determined and if it means presenting herself as a himself, then she’s up to the job.
Under the wing of experienced guide Tolly Sanford, “Reb” begins to learn the complexities of the cave. The two are joined by an aspiring young cartographer, Devlin Bale. The university student has traveled to the hill country to map tunnels—not to fall for a girl in disguise.
Can the God who designed miles of underground astonishment shape Devlin’s ambitious plans and free Reb from the weight of her past?
Guide Me HomeBooks / Historical
Jimmy and the Whale
From Wings of Hope Publishing (June 2016)
Life in the 1940s was hard enough with the war in Europe, the Depression, and nature playing tricks on farmers. How can one ten-year-old boy cope with all that plus a pesky little sister and a neighboring bully? Jimmy finds help in an unlikely form–a whale. That is, an unusual friend by the name of Jonas T. Whale. This tale of Kansas farm life, although written for children, will appeal to readers of all ages.
Jimmy and the WhaleBooks / Children / Historical
A Sentimental Journey Romance Collection
From Barbour Books (December 2015)
The 1940s produced a great generation of people who lived full and courageous lives. In this collection of nine short stories, young women take on challenges amidst an era of war. Ann protects a Gutenberg Bible from bombing. Margaret serves in the Royal Air Force. Helen sacrifices for her siblings. Rosemary, Anna, Annelise, and Sorena work together to free children from the Nazis. Trudy watches over the home front. And, Elisabeth endures isolation. Despite their present dangers and strife, each woman meets a man with whom ideals are shared and romance is ignited.
A Sentimental Journey Romance CollectionBooks / Historical
Heirloom Brides Collection
From Barbour Books (November 2015)
Meet four women whose lives are in transition and watch as something old, new, borrowed, or blue brings them joy, romance, and renewed faith. Betsy’s something old is a lost family watch. Wren’s something new is a home built with her in mind. Clara’s something borrowed is a farmhand from the neighbors. Darla’s something blue is her mother’s missing cameo. Will each woman find the treasure her heart is intent upon in these four historical romance novellas?
Heirloom Brides CollectionHistorical
Room for Hope
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From WaterBrook Press (Februrary 2016)
In a desperate time, can Neva find forgiveness for a grievous wrong—and make room for hope?
Neva Shilling has a heavy load of responsibility while her husband travels to neighboring communities and sells items from his wagon. In his absence, she faithfully runs the Shilling Mercantile, working to keep their business strong as the Depression takes its toll, and caring for their twins.
When a wagon pulls up after supper, Neva and her children rush out—and into the presence of the deputy driving a wagon carrying three young children. The deputy shocks her with the news that Warren and his wife have died, insisting it was their last request that the three children go live with “Aunt Neva.”
Neva’s heart is shattered as she realizes that Warren’s month-long travels were excuses for visits with his secret family. She wants nothing more than to forget Warren, but can she abandon these innocent children to an orphanage? Yet if she takes them in, will she ever be able to see them as more than evidence of her husband’s betrayal and love them the way God does?
Room for HopeBooks / Historical
When Love Returns
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From WaterBrook Press (September 2015)
It wasn’t easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own—have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family.
Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter, Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again—but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago?
Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends–and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne’s apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing?
When Love ReturnsBooks / Contemporary / Historical / Mennonite
When Grace Sings
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From WaterBrook Press (March 2015)
Alexa Zimmerman wonders if the Old Order Mennonite community in Arborville, Kansas will ever fully accept her. Her family roots here aren’t what anyone thought when she first arrived, but she is hopeful that her culinary and hospitality skills will win the skeptics over. The bed-and-breakfast she’s operating needs to succeed so Alexa agrees to allow Briley Forrester, the hotshot reporter from Chicago, to stay as a long-term boarder not knowing his real motives for being amongst the Plain folk.
But when Alexa agrees to host her cousin Anna-Grace Braun, the presence of extended family brings out Alexa’s insecurities and sets Briley on the trail to uncovering a web of hidden truths.
Plans for a secure future and the sweetness of young romance hang in the balance when Alexa and Anna-Grace have to face that their secrets are interconnected, binding the two in ways they could not have imagined. They must trust in a loving, heavenly Father and His plan for their futures.
When Grace SingsBooks / Contemporary / Mennonite
When Mercy Rains
From WaterBrook Press (October 2014)
She left, heavily weighted with secrets. But God reveals all things, in His timing. And He redeems them.
Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own.
Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love.
Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne’s prolonged secret—one that changes everything.
Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercy–and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?
When Mercy RainsBooks / Contemporary / Mennonite
Through the Deep Waters
From WaterBrook Press (May 2014)
A past filled with shame can be washed away with a love that conquers all.
Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amidst the secrets held in every dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn’t old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.
The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past. When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her. Despite his self-consciousness about his handicapped leg and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ’s love. But can she ever accept a gift she so desperately needs?
Through the Deep WatersBooks / Historical
Echoes of Mercy
From WaterBrook Press (January 2014)
When a suspicious accident occurs at the famous Dinsmore Chocolate Factory in Sinclair, Kansas, Caroline Lang goes undercover as a factory worker to investigate the circumstances surrounding the event and how the factory treats its youngest employees—the child workers. Caroline’s fervent faith, her difficult childhood, and compassionate heart drove her to her job as an investigator for the Labor Commission and she is compelled to see children freed from such heavy adult responsibilities, to allow them to pursue an education.
Oliver Dinsmore, heir to the Dinsmore candy dynasty, has his own investigation to conduct. Posing as a common worker known as “Ollie Moore,” he aims to find out all he can about the family business before he takes over for his father. Caroline and Oliver become fast friends, but tension mounts when the two find themselves at odds about the roles of child workers. Hiding their identities becomes even more difficult when fate brings them together over three children in desperate need. When all is revealed, will the truth destroy the love starting to grow between them?
Echoes of MercyBooks / Historical
What Once Was Lost
From Waterbrook Multnomah (Sept. 2013)
4-1/2 Stars & Top Pick! from Romantic Times
When Christina Willems’ mission is damaged, she and her twelve residents become displaced. Determined to rebuild and provide a home for them once again, she seeks help from Levi Jonnson, the local mill owner who prefers solitude. Having been hurt by people in the past, Levi is reluctant to become involved in Christina’s project. However, young Tommy Kilgore, one of Christina’s residents worms his way into Levi’s affections. When Tommy and Christina are threatened, will Levi set aside his unwillingness to reach out to others and find healing from the scars that haunt his soul?
What Once Was LostHistorical
A Story of Hope and Love Set Against the Backdrop of World War II
Lydia Eldredge longs to provide sanctuary for her young son, Nicky. But a constant threat comes from Nicky’s drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get him.
Dr. Micah Hatcher faithfully serves the immigrant population of Queens, New York. But under cover of darkness, he has a secret mission that challenges everything he thought he wanted out of life.
When Lydia and Micah’s paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other’s callings. Together, they seek a refuge of safety–for Nicky, for themselves, and for the needy people God puts into their lives. Amid turmoil and discord, can hope and love prevail?
- Excerpt – Download PDF
Sawyer is a gifted author who knows what readers want–and she delivers.
— Romantic Times
Award-winning author Sawyer continues to craft engaging historical love stories brimming with characters who are bold in their faith. Readers drawn to gentle historical romance set during WWII will be inspired as Lydia and Micah courageously shelter the imperiled Jewish refugees God has brought into their lives.
A Home in Drayton Valley
From Bethany House Publishers (October 2012)
A dream of a better life…
A tragedy aboard a wagon train…
A tentative agreement…
Will it lead to love for two seeking hearts?
Hoping to escape the poor conditions of 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines and her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher and their two children set off for Kansas aboard an unusual wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into a partnership with Joss that leaves them both questioning God and their plans for the future.
As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will they give up and go their separate ways? Or will God use their time in Drayton Valley in a way they never expected?
Sawyer treats readers to love stories that speak to the heart.
— Romantic Times
A Home in Drayton ValleyHistorical
When a Heart Cries (Book 3 of Mt. Lake Trilogy)
From Hendrickson Publishers (October 2012)
“Their beloved little home was full of love . . . but it still felt empty”
Samantha and Adam Klaassen started married life in the cozy little home built into the hill at the back of the Klaassen family farm. When they began looking forward to their own family, they knew they would need a real house with more room.
But now the silent bedrooms in the farmhouse built with such love and hopefulness by her husband haunt Samantha’s days and nights. Why does God not see her yearnings for a child and answer the nearly constant prayers? And watching her sister-in-laws joyfully welcoming new little ones into their homes while her own arms lay empty nearly does her in. Does God even listen when a heart cries so fervently and long?
(This is a rewritten version of Book 3 of Kim’s first series, originally released in 2002.)
When a Heart Cries (Book 3 of Mt. Lake Trilogy)Historical
Central Park Rendezvous
From Barbour Books (August 2012)
Welcome to the Big Apple where four generations of heroes find a love that never ends. Home from Afghanistan, Sean Wolfe is avoiding his dreams. Will Jamie Russo and an old coin give him new hope? Once betrayed by love, Alan James is embittered. Will a sweet reunion in Central Park heal his broken heart? Helen Wolfe is struggling to provide for herself and her family. Is Bernie O’Day her answer to prayer? Damaged in body and soul by war, William Wolfe’s fiancée has rejected him. Will he ever risk his heart again? Will love persevere despite unimaginable odds?
Central Park RendezvousBooks / Historical
When Hope Blossoms
- CBD Bestseller
- 4.5 stars Romantic Times
Amy Knackstedt hopes a new start in Weaverly, Kansas, will help heal the pain of losing her husband and provide a better future for her three children. But her new neighbor, Tim Roper, is not pleased to have an Old Order Mennonite family living next to his apple orchard. Tim left the Mennonite faith years ago and doesn’t want any reminders of his former life.
Yet when circumstances throw Amy and Tim together, they form a friendship that surprises them both. Will past hurts always be a barrier between them, or will this tentative relationship blossom into something more?
It is very important to know where you belong. In this novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer, the reader meets Amy Knackstedt, devoted Mennonite, when she is showing their new home to her three children, Bekah (13), Parker (11) and Adrianna (5). Amy is a widow, and the desire to escape painful memories and speculations about her husband’s death is the main motive of her move from her birth city, Arborville, to another small Kansas city, Weaverly. Thirty-three years old, Amy hopes for a better future. She believes that here, with God’s providence, her wounds would be healed and Weaverly would become for her and her children a promised land. However, she is about to lose the house and her small quilt business if it isn’t proven that her husband’s death was not a suicide but an accident.
You need to read the entire book to find out if Amy’s hopes come true, how it happens, and what role in all this 37-year-old handsome Tim Roper (also a widower, a former Mennonite and Amy’s closest neighbor) plays.
Portland Book Reviews, August 2012
“Mennonite Amy Knackstedt tries to escape the gossip surrounding her husband’s death by moving her children to a small town in Kansas. Her new neighbor, former Mennonite Tim Roper, is not pleased, but he can’t avoid Amy’s children, who try their best to befriend him.”
“Kim Vogel Sawyer’s well-crafted novel is a touching story of emotional healing, restoration, romance, and new beginnings, creatively blended with life lessons learned on God’s good plan for us in hard situations and how He strengthens us to get up again when life knocks us down.”
CBA Retailers + Resources
When Hope BlossomsMennonite
A Heart Surrenders (Book 2 of Mt. Lake Trilogy)
From Hendrickson Publishers (February 2012)
All David has ever wanted was love and security. He believes he can attain his desire by winning the heart of Josie Klassen. But Josie’s love for someone else casts a shadow on David’s dream, making him question if love is possible for someone like him. Can David set aside his own ideas and fears and open his heart to the one God has planned for him?
(This is a rewritten version of Book 2 of Kim’s first series, originally released in 2002.)
A Heart Surrenders (Book 2 of Mt. Lake Trilogy)Historical
A Seeking Heart (Book 1 of Mt. Lake Trilogy)
From Hendrickson Publishers (February 2012)
1917, and Samantha O’Brien, seventeen years old, runs away from Wisconsin to Minnesota to escape a drunkard father and broken home. She is accepted with open arms into the Klaassen family, German-Mennonites who show both love and patience to this lonely and defensive girl. Samantha’s fractured childhood and its devastating losses make it very difficult for her to accept the Klaassen’s genuine care and concern, because she’s sure nobody can love the likes of her. But with prayer, time and love, the family—including the young and handsome Adam Klaassen—begins to break through Samantha’s walls.
(This is a rewritten version of Kim’s first novel, originally released in 2002.)
A Seeking Heart (Book 1 of Mt. Lake Trilogy)Historical
Song of My Heart
From Bethany House Publishers (January 2012)
Bestselling Author Kim Vogel Sawyer Delivers Heartwarming Historical Romance
Sadie Wagner has always been devoted to her family. So when her stepfather is injured and can’t work, she decides to leave home and accept a position as a clerk at the mercantile in Goldtree, Kansas. Goldtree also offers the opportunity to use her God-given singing talent–though the promised opera house is far different from what she imagined. With her family needing every cent she can provide, Sadie will do anything to keep her job.
Thad McKane comes to Goldtree at the request of the town council. The town has been plagued by bootlegging operations, and Thad believes he can find the culprit. After he earns enough money doing sheriff work, he wants to use it to pay for his training to become a minister.
Thad is immediately attracted to the beautiful singer who performs in Asa Baxter’s unusual opera house, but when he hears her practicing bawdy tunes, he begins to wonder if she’s far less innocent than she seems. And when Sadie appears to be part of the very crimes he’s come to investigate, is there any hope the love blossoming between them will survive?
“Lured to Coldtree, Kansas in 1895 by the promise of jobs, Sadie and Thad are both devout Christians, and they are soon stepping out together. Sadie works as a clerk in the mercantile, sending her pay home to her parents, but her dream is to sing in the town’s opera house once it’s built. As the son of a drunk, Thad is motivated to become the town’s sheriff and stamp out the illegal manufacture and distribution of alcohol. Soon Sadie is coerced into singing bawdy songs at Asa Baxter’s secret gambling nights. Her cousin Sid, initially responsible for bringing her to town, is worried that she is looking so poorly, but he is too resentful of the time she spends with the virile sheriff to enlist the lawman’s aid on her behalf. Sawyer excels at setting scenes in her stand-alone Christian historical romances, and this one is no exception: her characters take on a life of their own, and their ethical quandaries engage the reader’s sympathy.”
–Lynne Welch, Booklist, February 1, 2012
“In Goldtree, KS, in the time of prohibition, Sid Wagner is a delivery-man for Asa Baxter. Asa is building an underground opera house and is in need of a singer. Sid’s cousin, Sadie, loves to sing and is in need of a job. Sadie jumps at the new opportunity to use her God-given talent and achieve her dreams. The mayor of Goldtree has just hired a sheriff to give a pretense that Goldtree is a safe town so people might move there and the town may grow–but is it?
“Recognizing sin is an important underlying theme in this story, and its subsequent resolution is a reminder that could benefit us all.”
–Kelsey Shade, CBA Retailers + Resources, February 2012
“Christian readers will enjoy this sweet story, which offers a mix of romance, mystery, and humor while focusing on biblical values. A large cast of entertaining secondary characters adds to the appeal, as does the carefully drawn, Western small-town setting.” —Historical Novels Review
“Pros: Good moral lessons; sweet romantic story
“Cons: Secondary characters seem caricatured; mystery isn’t much of a mystery; romance is a bit predictable
“Our Review: 3.5 / 5 – Good
“Sadie Wagner would do anything to help support her family financially, but her true dream is to sing. When a job opportunity opens up in the small town of Goldtree, Kansas and comes with the possibility of being able to sing in an opera house, Sadie can’t help but think that God has answered all of her dreams. Her initial experiences of working at the mercantile in Goldtree and singing in the luxurious yet bizarrely-located basement opera house run incredibly smoothly, and there’s the added bonus of the new sheriff, Thad McKane, who always seems to be around to lend a hand. Sadie has no idea that Thad has been hired specifically to track down the bootleggers who are manufacturing and selling illegal alcohol and could potentially destroy the town’s reputation. Thad’s struggling to find a lead, but it looks like the crime could be more closely tied to Sadie than either of them expect. When Thad starts to get an inkling of what’s truly happening in Goldtree, both of them are tested. Sadie has to decide how far she’s willing to go to support her family, and Thad begins to question what calling God has truly placed on his life; is he meant to be preaching or protecting?
“I’ve only read a couple of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s novels, but I can already tell why she’s so popular in the Christian historical fiction genre. While I’ll be the first to admit that she tends to follow what some would call ‘predictable” romantic plots, her novels never fail to entertain and always leave me feeling content. Song of My Heart is the epitome of the ‘feel good’ novel. I knew where the romance was going from the first page and figured out the mystery early on, but that didn’t make me want to quit reading. I still wanted to see how the characters reached their inevitable happy ending. A good novel isn’t all about the conclusion, but rather the journey that the characters take to reach this ending. After all, if this wasn’t the case, then why would publishers continue to publish romance novels?
“Although I enjoyed reading about Sadie singing in the opera house, I’d have to say that my favourite character in Song of My Heart was actually the hero, Thad. Sadie didn’t really have much to overcome as a character, but Thad certainly had a lot to deal with. His tough childhood led him to believe that he should be a preacher in order to atone for his father’s sins, and he glorifies the work of ministers. I was cautious initially about this storyline as I do think that a lot of Christians feel that they should be called to work in ministry, and that being a minister or doing mission work is more important to God than being a doctor or a high school teacher. Thad is just as confused about this. He enjoys working as a sheriff, and really feels productive in helping people out around the small town of Goldtree, but it takes him a while to realise that perhaps this is the job he’s been called to, and not the traditional sense of ‘ministry’. I was really pleased with the way Kim approached this topic, as I thought for a while that this might be another book that glorified church ministry above all else, but Kim very tactfully demonstrates how different occupations can equally bring glory to God. She doesn’t belittle the work of ministers, but nor does she suggest that being a minister is more worthy than being a sheriff. I’m sure Thad’s lesson will strike a chord with many readers and make them consider what God has truly called them to do.
“While Song of My Heart has a strong hero and an endearing heroine, the secondary characters felt quite caricatured at times. Initially I found them quite amusing, but after a while the humour seemed to wear off. Melva and Shelva, the sisters who run the mercantile, were two characters that I particularly found more annoying than amusing by the end of the book. I think that all of the side-characters did have the potential to be engaging, but the traits that made them stand out became too exaggerated to truly be realistic. And if believability is what you’re looking for, you may find the mystery aspect of this novel a bit disappointing as well. I’m not sure about other readers of this novel, but I certainly figured out who was behind the illegal alcohol as soon as his character was introduced. I didn’t mind this too much as none of the other characters in the novel knew who was behind the illegal activity, so it was entertaining to witness the mystery unfolding around them.
“While Song of My Heart isn’t one of the strongest historical novels I’ve read, it won’t disappoint in providing Kim’s signature blend of romance, mystery and endearing protagonists. Long-term fans of Kim Vogel Sawyer will definitely be satisfied with this offering, and even if the romance and mystery were a bit predictable, this book is sure to put a smile on your face.”
–Rachel Ropper, The Christian Manifesto
“This latest historical novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer is set in Goldtree, Kansas, in the 1800s. Sadie Wagner loves her family and does everything she can to support them when her stepfather is seriously injured and unable to work. When she receives a job offer from her cousin Sid in Kansas, she accepts and finds herself entagled in blackmail, illegal liquor, and deception. Yet she also gets an opportunity to fulfill a life-long dream–to sing in the Opera House. At the same time, she meets the man of her dreams, Thad McKane, who just happens to be the new sheriff. When Thad uncovers a connection between the crime he is investigating and Sadie, he wonders if she’s as innocent as she seems. Will Sadie compromise her principles in order to earn money to save her family? Will her guilty conscience lead her to confess her sins? Kim Vogel’s writing style and character development are excellent. Her characters are real and believable. This makes a great leisure read. However, the plot is very predictable. There is very little ‘edge of your seat’ drama. This is a good Christian coming-of-age historical romance with a satisfying ending where justice and love triumph. Rating: 3”
–MF, Libraries Alive, Summer 2012
Song of My HeartHistorical
A Whisper of Peace
- CBA Bestseller
- CBD Bestseller
- ECPA Bestseller
- 4.5 Stars from Romantic Times
Tender Romance from Bestselling Author Kim Vogel Sawyer
Ostracized by her tribe because of her white father, Lizzie Dawson lives alone in the mountains of Alaska, practicing the ways of her people even as she resides in the small cabin her father built for her mother. She dreams of reconciling with her grandparents to fulfill her mother’s dying request, but she has not yet found a way to bridge the gap that separates her from her tribe.
Clay Selby has always wanted to be like his father, a missionary who holds a great love for the native people and has brought many to God. Clay arrives in Alaska to set up a church and school among the Athabascans. He is totally focused on this goal… until he meets a young, independent Indian woman with the most striking blue eyes he’s ever seen.
But Lizzie is clearly not part of the tribe. And befriending her might have dire consequences for his mission. Will Clay be forced to choose between his desire to minister to the natives and the quiet nudging of his heart?
“It’s been four lonely years since Lizzie’s Athabascan mother passed. After fulfilling one last request, Lizzie will leave Alaska and join her white father in San Francisco. Clay and his stepsister, Vivian, are newly arrived in the Fort Yukon area to establish a mission. Clay will build, while Vivian keeps house and teaches English. But the Athabascans, though entertained by their white visitors, have no interest in hearing about God. Then Clay’s attraction to Lizzie results in the tribe threatening to expel the missionaries. It turns out that Lizzie and her mother were long ago banished from the tribe and have lived outside its protection with only her father’s dogsled team as company. Sawyer’s evangelical Christian frontier romance, set in 1898, provides a wealth of historical detail, showcasing the best of the missionaries’ intentions and behavior while contrasting their expectations and native peoples’ beliefs, all sympathetically presented.”
–Lynne Welch, Booklist, September 15, 2011
“Secrets are the unspoken divider in this fast-paced novel of the complex, painful, but loving interaction between the Athabascan Indians and white traders/missionaries in 1890s Alaska. Lizzie Dawson lives alone, banished from her mother’s tribe. Her mother had married a white man and on her dying bed begged Lizzie to make peace with her grandmother. Lizzie is making a moose hide coat for her grandmother as a reconciliation gift which she remains unsure will be accepted. Planning and doing are fillers for the lack of courage for fear of rejection anew. Along comes Clay Selby, a white missionary, and his sister Vivian. He is minimally accepted by the Indians, and this beginning becomes jeopardized when it’s discovered that he and his sister have been visiting Lizzie, and Vivian has gradually become close to her, although their different ways clash wildly at times. Thus the story proceeds to the moment when the secrets are revealed, and decisions about reconciliation, forgiveness, hope, love, and revelation culminate in an ending that is fraught with conflict but no less satisfying. A Whisper of Peace is a lovely novel.”
–Viviane Crystal, Historical Novels Review, Issue 59, February 2012
A Whisper of PeaceHistorical
Katy’s Decision (Book Four of the Katy Lambright Series)
From Zondervan Publishing (June 2011)
After This Summer, Katy’s Life May Change Forever
Katy is looking forward to the best summer ever. Her closest friend, Shelby, comes to stay with her when an accident forces her to miss her family’s mission trip. But when Katy’s aunt faces a serious illness and needs the girls to run the fabric store, Katy’s plans fall apart. Suddenly what should have been a summer of relaxation becomes filled with long hours at the shop.
But then a Mennonite boy visits her community for the summer. His presence complicates her life, as do her feelings for Bryce, her non-Mennonite crush. Katy has several decisions to make by the time August arrives, the largest being whether she will attend school in the fall and follow her dreams, or continue on in her Mennonite life to help her family. Katy struggles to choose between the two worlds she loves, but the final decision may be out of her hands.
Katy’s Decision (Book Four of the Katy Lambright Series)Mennonite / Young Adult
Courting Miss Amsel
- CBD Top-Twenty
Edythe Amsel is delighted with her first teaching assignment: a one-room schoolhouse in Walnut Hill, Nebraska. Independent, headstrong, and a firm 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?
Having raised his nephews since their parents’ untimely deaths, Joel Townsend is thrilled to learn the town council has hired a female teacher. His sons could use 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. Of course, Joel can’t help but notice that she’s also mighty pretty—and just might make a good mother for his boys.
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 teach the boys, how can he trust her with his heart?
“Edythe Amsel has arrived in Walnut Hill, NE, with a position as the new schoolmistress, leaving behind in Omaha four younger siblings that she’s raised since she was 14, when their mother died. Three are grown, while the fourth, Missy, is yet 14. Edythe decides she can’t take Missy with her to Walnut Hill, so she leaves her with one of their brothers.
“The school year starts amazingly well for Edythe; her students love her, her landlady has become her best friend, and she’s managed to keep all the single men in town at bay. Unfortunately, the man she wants to catch the eye of has decided Edythe isn’t worth his time Through many hardships, including Missy showing up unexpectedly, a disruptive student, and a school board that doesn’t agree with her teaching methods, Edythe finds her way into a saving relationship with the One who really matters.
“Courting Miss Amsel is an intriguing, well-written story, with characters that are hard to say goodbye to at its conclusion.”
–Kelsey Shade, CBA Retailers + Resources, January 2011
“Edythe Amsel, an insecure, but headstrong young woman with a belief in a well-rounded education, has accepted her first teaching assignment in the small farm community of Walnut Hill, Nebraska, in the late 19th century. Joel Townsend is a God-fearing local farmer who, with the Lord’s help, has accepted the job of raising his two young nephews after the death of their parents. Edythe is attracted to Joel, but after years of caring for her father and her siblings, does not want a commitment to anyone, other than her students. Joel is attracted to Edythe, but when he finds that her faith is not as strong and as focused as his, he has second thoughts about courting the pretty teacher.
“When Edythe’s sister Missy shows up, half dead, cold and hungry, Edythe’s dreams of a simple, single life ends. Not only is Joel in the mix, but the Town Council decides that Edythe’s teaching methods are way too radical for their tastes. It is up to Edythe to decide if she wants her job, Joel and the life she imagined for herself, or if she is willing to trust her life and her heart to God.
“Saywer is an excellent storyteller, and uses a light hand in terms of religious beliefs and faith. I recommend Courting Miss Amsel to lovers of the inspirational romance genre who are looking for something sweet and sincere and love a good ‘happily-ever-after’ story.”
–Monica Spence, Historical Novels Review, Issue 56, May 2011
“Edythe Amsel is a new school teacher in a small Nebraska town during the 1880s. The town is up in arms over her revolutionary teaching methods and her outspoken ways. We journey along with Edythe as she experiences her first year of teaching in Walnut Hill. We see her deal with the many issues and problems that arise. Edythe is an independent woman who is always in control, but when potential tragedy strikes, she gradually learns an important lesson that God is really in control. Joel Townsend is the guardian to his two nephews and is looking for someone to mother these boys. He has his sights set on Miss Amsel, but does Miss Amsel want to be courted? Although this is a love story of sorts, it is the strong personalities of the main characters and not romance, that dominates the pages of this charming prairie story. Kim Vogel Sawyer, author of numerous books in this genre, demonstrates her ability as a wonderful storyteller. Rating: 3”
–MF, Libraries Alive
“Becoming the schoolmarm in tiny Walnut Hill, Nebraska, in 1882, fulfills Edythe Amsel’s dream, although she regreats leaving Missy, her youngest sister, back in Omaha with their brother. But Joel Townsend and his nephews, Johnny and Robert, together with her landlady, Luthenia Kinsley, make Edythe welcome. Soon she is caught up in town life, her happiness marred only by one student’s malicious pranks and by the suspicion with which many parents view some of her innovative teaching methods. When Missy arrives during a bad storm, having run away from Omaha, and proves to be sullen and demanding, Edythe finds herself turning more and more to scripture with Luthenia’s support and guidance. Saywer’s first-rate, stand-alone Christian historical prairie romance moves rapidly. She sets the stage, then allows events to play out over the course of the school year as Edythe attempts to broaden her students’ perspective while introducing them to suffrage and current events around the world.”
–Lynne Welch, Booklist, December 1, 2010
Courting Miss AmselHistorical
Katy’s Homecoming (Book Three of the Katy Lambright Series)
From Zondervan Publishing (January 2011)
Just One Perfect Night
Katy gets the chance of a lifetime—she’s been elected to the homecoming court, and there are rumors her crush, Bryce, might ask her to go with him. What could be more perfect? For one unforgettable night she would be able to experience life as many other teenage girls do—a stunning gown, gorgeous hair, jewelry, and makeup. Except Katy’s Mennonite community prohibits dancing as well as fancy dresses and makeup, and her father would not approve. When an opportunity arises that could allow her to attend without her father knowing, Katy must decide: Will she hold tight to her convictions, or will she sacrifice her principles for one special night?
Katy’s Homecoming (Book Three of the Katy Lambright Series)Mennonite / Young Adult
In Every Heartbeat (Follow up to the award-winning My Heart Remembers)
From Bethany House Publishers (September 2010)
CBD Top-Twenty; ECPA Bestseller
Three best friends, three cherished dreams, three searching hearts…
As three friends who grew up in the same orphanage head off to college together, they each harbor a special plan for the future. Libby Conley hopes to become a famous journalist. Pete Leidig believes God has called him to study to become a minister. And Bennett Martin plans to pledge a fraternity, find a place to belong, and have as much fun as possible. But as tensions rise around the world on the brink of World War I, the friends’ differing aspirations and opinions begin to divide them, as well.
When Libby makes a shocking discovery about Pete’s family, will it drive a final wedge between the friends or bond them in ways they never anticipated?
On the brink of World War I, three orphans, Libby Conley, Pete Leidig and Bennett Martin, enter college together, each longing for something different: Libby wants to become a journalist, Pete is called to the ministry and Bennett just wants to belong and have fun. Libby soon learns that being a woman and wanting to become a journalist is difficult, as journalism isn’t an acceptable profession for women in society. Pete soon learns about his parents and wishes to find them, even though they abandoned him as a child and left him in an orphanage. Bennett, although gregarious and fun-loving, has difficulty fitting in with the other college students because he was raised in an orphanage.
This is a novel filled with inspirational messages of faith and the belief that God will see the major characters through their problems with prayer. Ms. Vogel’s novels have won many awards in the Christian community. I thought then novel told a good story, especially of Peter’s plight to connect with his family. It is a well-written book, although predictable in its outcome. Although the main characters held a strong Christian faith, I didn’t find the story too “preachy” but presented the fact that faith in God can help one to overcome life’s ups and downs. If you enjoy a feel-good story of human drama with interesting main characters, you will enjoy this book.
–Jeff Westerhoff, Historical Novels Review, Issue 55, February 2011
It’s 1914, on the brink of the Great War, when three longtime friends who grew up together in an orphanage are awarded scholarships to the University of Southern Missouri. But Petey, destined for the ministry, harbors revenge in his heart against the parents who cast him away when he was only seven years old, resulting in the loss of one foot and part of his leg. LIbby’s impetuousness repeatedly land her her in trouble and hinders her ambition to become a top-notch reporter, and Bennett substitutes food and fighting for the respect, admiration, and sense of belonging he desperately craves. As the school year progresses and their beliefs are tested, their ambitions take them in different directions until they are brought together again by an impending execution. Saywer’s stand-alone Christian historical is more judgmental than her usual fare, but there is still plenty of action, emotion, and background color to carry the story.
–Lynne Welch, Booklist, August 1, 2010
In Every Heartbeat (Follow up to the award-winning My Heart Remembers)Historical
Katy’s Debate (Book Two of the Katy Lambright Series)
From Zondervan Publishing (June 2010)
New Club, New Crush … New Mom?
Just as Katy is feeling settled in her new school, everything falls apart at home. Her father, believing she needs a mother, starts courting a woman Katy refuses to accept. Tensions rise as Katy schemes to send the woman packing. Meanwhile, the pressure builds at school as Katy joins the debate team, encounters a teammate’s scorn, and faces her growing feelings for a boy her father will never accept. Can Katy prove she doesn’t need a mother’s guidance even as she discovers more of what the world offers?
Katy’s Debate (Book Two of the Katy Lambright Series)Mennonite / Young Adult
A Hopeful Heart
From Bethany House Publishers (June 2010)
CBD Top-Twenty; CBA Bestseller; ECPA Bestseller; Crossings Main Selection
Can she turn her second-best chance into a golden opportunity?
Dowryless and desperate, Tressa Neill applies to the inaugural class of Wyatt Herdsman School in Barnett, Kansas, in 1888. The school’s one-of-a-kind program teaches young women from the East the skills needed to become a rancher–or the wife of one. Shy and small for her twenty-two years, Tressa is convinced she’ll never have what it takes to survive Hattie Wyatt’s hands-on instruction in skills such as milking a cow, branding a calf, riding a horse, and cooking up a mess of grub for hungry ranch hands. But what other options does she have? Abel Samms wants nothing to do with the group of potential brides his neighbor brought to town. He was smitten with an eastern girl once–and he got his heart broken. But there’s something about quiet Tressa and her bumbling ways that makes him take notice. When Tressa’s life is endangered, will Abel risk his own life–and his heart–to help this eastern girl?
“Sawyer treats readers to love stories that speak to the heart.”–Romantic Times
“Awkward and clumsy Tressa Neill is devastated when her socialite aunt sends her west to Kansas in 1888 to attend a new school that trains young ladies to be wives to hardworking ranchers. But Tressa soon finds that she is quite handy at practical matters under Mrs. Wyatt’s firm but sympathetic tutelage, and that Mrs. Wyatt’s staunch faith bolsters her self-confidence and leads Tressa closer to God. Solitary Abel Samms, struggling to keep his ranch despite significant losses he suspects are due to rustlers, soon becomes Tressa’s good neighbor, protector, and mentor despite his unhappy past with another Eastern woman. And he finds his own faith renewed as he observes Tressa’s struggle to believe. Sawyer’s plain-spoken historical and inspirational coming-of-age romance capitalizes on the resurgence in popularity of bride-train experiences on the American frontier, and offers a unique perspective on the herdsman’s schools established on the prairie.”
–Lynn Welch, Booklist, June 1, 2010
“In 1888 New York, Tressa is a well-bred young woman without means. Her aunt and uncle have given her a home since her parents died, but they cannot (or will not) provide the dowry required for her to marry. When Tressa’s would-be-fiance decaps, they send her to school to find a husband–out West. As a student at the Wyatt Herdsman School in faraway Kansas, Tressa gives it her best. The days are long, the work is hard (and so are the other girls), but she loves riding, learning to cook, and Abel, a wary young rancher. Jilted by a squeamish Yankee woman once, Abel stays away from Tressa at first. She’s no tenderfoot, however, as Abel soon discovers. When raiders, horse thieves, and false friends threaten Abel’s livelihood, he and Tressa overcome all odds together. A Hopeful Heart has winsome characters, an interesting premise, and a heavenly match made on earth. This will not satisfy readers looking for depth and complexity, but fans of inspirational romance novels will not be disappointed.”
–Jeanne Greene, Historical Novels Review, Issue 54, November 2010
A Hopeful HeartHistorical
Katy’s New World (Book One of the Katy Lambright Series)
From Zondervan Publishing (January 2010)
When Katy Lambright is given the opportunity to attend a secular high school outside her Mennonite community, she is ecstatic. But as Katy begins to adjust to life outside her community and begins to make decisions for herself, her relationships with her family and lifelong friends become strained. Can Katy balance her new world with the Old Order?
Katy’s New World (Book One of the Katy Lambright Series)Mennonite / Young Adult
Fields of Grace
From Bethany House Publishers (August 2009)
CBD 2009 Bestseller; CBA Bestseller; Crossings Main Selection
Will their Mennonite faith be shaken or strengthened by the journey to a new land?
With their eldest son nearly to the age when he will be drafted into military service, Reinhardt and Lillian Vogt decide to immigrate to America, the land of liberty, with their three sons and Reinhardt’s adopted brother, Eli. But when tragedy strikes during the ocean voyage, Lillian and Eli are forced into an agreement neither desires.
Determined to fulfill his obligation to Reinhardt, Eli plans to see Lillian and her sons safely settled on their Kansas homestead–and he’s equally determined that the boys will be reared in the Mennonite faith. What he doesn’t expect is his growing affection for Lillian–and the deep desire to be part of a family.
Sawyer treats readers to love stories that speak to the heart. —Romantic Times
Kim Vogel Sawyer’s emotionally rich Fields of Grace begins with Reinhardt and Lillian Vogt preparing to travel to America. Lillian and her three sons are reluctant to leave, but Reinhardt is adamant that only America can offer them the freedom they no longer have in Russia. He fears for the future of his sons, especially Henrik who will be eighteen soon and subject to military conscription.
The Vogts are one of the first families to leave and Reinhardt has convinced his adopted brother Eli to accompany them. A prosperous farmer, Eli was orphaned as a child and still has no family of his own. A man of deep faith, he is hoping for a new future for himself as well. Henrik Vogt, angry at being forced to leave the young woman he loves, evolves to become the story’s critical character. When both her husband and one of her sons die before the ship docks in New York, Lillian’s hopeful optimism is shattered. Realizing she can not return to Russia, she reluctantly accepts Eli’s proposal of marriage.
While Eli and Lillian’s love and faith are at the heart of the story, the roles her sons play add a rich depth of emotion. The characters are warm, caring and likeable even at their worst. We admire Eli and his steadfast ways, daily demonstrating his love for his new family and retraining his faith in God. Although Lillian readily accepts the hardships of making a home on an unsettled prairie, she struggles with guilt and sorrow as she begins to love her new husband.
Ms. Sawyer’s novel was deftly enhanced by research and gives us a compelling picture of Mennonite family life in the 19th century prairie. The story is also meant to be inspirational, and at that it succeeds very well.
–Veronika Pelka, Historical Novels Review, Issue 51, February 2010
Saywer brings to her readers a moving tale in Fields of Grace, based on her own unique family heritage.
Opening in Russia in the latter half of the 19th century, members of a Mennonite family are faced with one of the greatest challenges of their lives. In an effort to save their eldest son from being forced into military service on this 18th birthday, Lillian and Reinhardt Vogt face the grim reality of uprooting their family and leaving behind their close knit community to find religious freedom in America. What they discover on their journey tests the very foundation of Lillian’s faith.
Fields of Grace is a heart-touching story about what it means to be a family. Finding hope, the Vogt family rekindles faith and makes a new life in what becomes for them a true promised land.
–Vickie B. Mathews, Christian Retailing, September 7 2009
Sawyer’s latest novel provides rich detail about establishing a farm in 1872. It takes the reader through every step, from building sod houses to planting the fields and harvesting them. The reader can feel the children’s joy and wonderment at each new discovery and Henrik’s torment at leaving his homeland. However, Lillian’s remembrances of life in Gnadenfeld and of Reinhardt slow the story down and make it seem longer than it is.
SUMMARY: Reinhardt and Lillian Vogt decide to leave their home in Russia when their oldest son, Henrik, is nearing military draft age. They immigrate to Kansas with their three sons and Reinhardt’s brother, Eli. During the journey they experience tragedies that cause Lillian and Eli to make a decision that neither wants. Will they find the happiness that they long for?
–Cheryl Hanson, Romantic Times Book Reviews, September 2009
Fields of GraceHistorical / Mennonite
A Promise for Spring
From Bethany House Publishers (January 2009)
CBD Bestseller; CBA Bestseller; ECPA Bestseller; Crossing Main Selection
Can anything convince a well-bred Englishwoman to become a “wildflower bride”?
England-born Emmaline Bradford pledged her life to Geoffrey Garrett and then bid him farewell when he boarded a ship for America. Though Geoffrey planned to send for her within a few months, five long years have slipped by. And now Emmaline barely remembers her fiance.
Having Emmaline finally living on the sheep ranch he’s built on the north fork of the Solomon River is a dream come true for Geoffrey. But his beloved is not the free-spirited girl he remembers. In fact, she wishes to get out of Kansas as quickly as possible!
Begging Emmaline to give prairie life a try, Geoffrey offers a compromise: If she promises to stay until spring, he’ll pay her return fare if she decides to go back to her home country.
“After years of separation from her fiance, English-born Emmaline Bradford is shocked by the conditions on Geoffrey’s Kansas sheep ranch and wishes to return to England immediately. But Geoffrey offers a compromise: if Emmaline promises to stay until spring, he’ll pay her return fare if she decides to go back to England. Rich in period detail of the 1870’s Kansas prairie, this novel is a beautifully told story of two wounded souls, each fearful and desiring the other to be the first to change. Readers will empathize with both as they face the challenges foisted upon them, those of the heart and soul as well as those dealt them as ranchers in an often hostile land plagued with locusts, drought, fire, flood, pestilence and illness. When spring arrives will Emmaline return to England or will she marry Geoffrey and carve out a life with him in Kansas? Rating: 3”
–MF, Libraries Alive
A Promise for SpringHistorical
The Sommerfeld Trilogy
3-BOOK OMNIBUS including BYGONES, BEGINNINGS, and BLESSINGS.
Enjoy the Sommerfeld trilogy of three Mennonite romances by bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer all under one value-priced cover. Amidst a quiet Kansas Mennonite community three women seek a place to belong. Marie is returning to reunite with her family. Beth is seeking her place among new-found family. Trina is choosing between two cherished dreams. Will each woman find a home within community and a faith on which to depend?
The Sommerfeld TrilogyContemporary / Mennonite
Where the Heart Leads (Sequel to “Waiting for Summer’s Return”)
From Bethany House Publishers (September 2008)
CBD Bestseller; CBA Bestseller; ECPA Bestseller; Crossings Main Selection
Will the desires of his heart lead him away from his Mennonite upbringing?
After his graduation from college, Thomas Ollenburger is filled with big dreams and even bigger questions. What will he do for a job? Should he marry? Where will he call home? Torn between his Mennonite roots on the Kansas prairie and his love for the big city of Boston, as well as his affection for a girl from each location, Thomas doesn’t know which path he is meant to take. He has always sought God’s help with his decision-making, but now it seems Heaven is staying stubbornly silent. What will Thomas choose?
In Where the Heart Leads, the lives of simple Kansas Mennonites and big city Bostonians are brought together due to a young man trying to find his place in the world. Thomas Ollenburger is a recent college graduate who returns to his home to figure out what to do with his life. He is unsure if he wants to stay and help out his family on the farm or go back to Boston and pursue the career he’s always dreamed about. To make matters more complicated, both settings feature young women who are vying for a place in Thomas’s heart.
This book takes a subject not normally used in historical fiction. It is a unique and interesting read as it shows a different side of the Mennonites, who have often been portrayed as a modern version of the Amish. Here, the reader is taken back to the turn of the century and is shown how these people lived and survived in the Midwest. The characters in this novel are all very simple and down to earth. It is a rare occasion when the reader ends up feeling sympathy for both of the women who want Thomas to stay in their lives.
Politics and other hot topic issues of the time period are brought to life as Thomas delves into the newspaper business. The historical tidbits sprinkled throughout bring the story to life. The reader can feel the excitement of the upcoming election as the young people in the book are anxious to have their feelings and thoughts heard.
While this book is a sequel to Waiting for Summer’s Return, I feel it can be read as a standalone novel. Enough information is given so that a new reader will not feel lost while reading. If however, you have read the previous novel, it is a treat to be reunited with the characters and see how everyone has fared in the past years.
–Deborah Khuanghlawn, Christian Library Journal, October-December 2009
Thomas, a young Mennonite man from Kansas who has just completed college in Boston, has made friends with some prestigious people with backgrounds very different from his. His best friend’s sister dotes on Thomas and makes it clear she would like to marry him. But Daphne is not a Christian, and Thomas has been warned about being unequally yoked. And he has a girl back in Kansas waiting for him. He is torn between remaining in Boston, where he has promised Harry and Daphne he would work for a presidential candidate, and returning to Kansas, where his family anxiously awaits his return. He goes to Kansas for a few weeks, much to the delight of his father, who plans for him to open a business there. He enjoys spending time with his parents and younger sisters, but eventually returns to Boston to keep his promise. Working for the election turns sour when he learns things about his candidate’s background that conflict with everything Thomas has been taught. he turns to God for help in making these important, life-altering decisions, but God seems strangely silent. Should he follow the lead of his heart?
–MW, Libraries Alive
In Where the Heart Leads, sequel to Waiting for Summer’s Return, Kansas farmer Thomas Ollenburger, of German Mennonite heritage, is graduating from college in Boston in 1904. The mother-in-law of Thomas’ stepmother Summer–the main character of the first book–has taken him in for his schoolyears, and he commits himself to a presidential campaign and falls in love.
As he goes home to Kansas, he struggles to find God’s will–is he supposed to stay or go back to Boston? A love triangle of sorts forms when a friendship blossoms with neighbor Belinda. She helps him find the freedom to return to Boston, where he must face the truth about some issues he holds close to his heart.
Where the Heart Leads offers a light read for historical fiction fans, and though the story takes an unexpected turn that may disappoint those familiar with the genre, Sawyer’s characters do not fail to make the right choices in the end.
–Allison Hyer, Christian Retailing, September 22, 2008
Sawyer’s writing is so true to life that the reader will forget she is reading fiction. Characters are written with their heart on their sleeve, and they learn from their mistakes. Readers will be reunited with familiar characters from earlier books.
SUMMARY: Thomas Ollenburger has his life before him in 1904. He has graduated from college and made a life for himself in Boston. But he feels an obligation to return to his Mennonite roots in Kansas and help out his family–which is complicated by his feelings for two women, one in Boston and one in Kansas. In the past, he has turned to God for help, but it sees God is silent this time. Thomas hopes his heart will not lead him astray with the wrong choice.
–Patsy Glans, Romantic Times Book Reviews, September, 2008
Where the Heart Leads (Sequel to “Waiting for Summer’s Return”)Historical / Mennonite
Blessings (Book 3 of the Sommerfeld Trilogy)
OUT OF PRINT
- CBA & CBD Bestseller; ECPA Bestseller; PW Bestseller of 2008
Trina Muller has been blessed with the gift of healing God’s creatures. Desiring to use that gift, she seeks the opportunity for education but is met with resistance from her family.
Graham Ortmann loves Trina, but he can’t understand her desire to be more than wife and mother. Will this Old Order Mennonite girl be able to spread the wings she believes God has designed for her?
Blessings (Book 3 of the Sommerfeld Trilogy)Contemporary / Mennonite
My Heart Remembers
Crossings Book Club Main Selection; Top Pick for 2008
CBD Bestseller; CBA Bestseller; ECPA Bestseller; CBD Best of 2008
Recipient Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence ’09; Recipient CO Romance Writers Award of Excellence ’09; Recipient Inspirational Readers Choice Award ’09; Winner ACFW Carol ’09
United by blood, divided by time, will three orphan train siblings ever find one another again?
When their mother and father die in a tenement fire, three Irish-immigrant children are sent to Missouri aboard an orphan train to be adopted. Despite 8-year-old Maelle’s desperate attempts to keep her siblings together, each child is taken by a different family. But Maelle vows that she will never stop searching for them—determined that they will be together again one day, a family once more.
Eighteen years later, Maelle is still searching…but the years have washed away Maelle’s hope and her memories. What are Mattie and Molly doing now? Where has life taken them? Are they well and living happy lives? Do they wonder at all about the family they once knew and loved? United by blood, divided by time, will they ever be a family again? Only time…and God…can tell.
“Waiting for Summer’s Return is a tale of prairie life that will touch your heart and warm your soul.”
“Kim Vogel Sawyer is an exceptional storyteller who is sure to please fans of historical fiction. Her attention to detail and love of God shine through in each endeavor.”
–Tracie Peterson, bestselling author of the Ladies of Liberty series
“…fans of historical prairie stories will feel at home with Sawyer’s warm and tender voice.”
“This debut author hooked me from the very beginning by breathing the very life and soul into her characterizations…”
–Marilyn Rondeau, The Best Reviews
“If you thought there wasn’t a fresh twist on prairie romance, think again. And if you love Janette Oke’s books, you will be delighted with Waiting for Summer’s Return.”
–ACFW Book Reviews
“Kim Vogel Sawyer’s characters are so real they will step off the page into the reader’s heart.”
–Dancing Word Book Reviews
“Kim Sawyer turns in a fine writing performance with her strong, deep characters and gentle story.”
–Christian Book Previews
“From the first page to the last, Sawyer’s ability as a word weaver captured me and immersed me in the world she creates.”
When a tenement fire in 1866 New York City leaves three Irish immigrant siblings parentless, the children are placed on an ‘orphan train’ and sent to adopted out West. The children are separated when each is taken by a different family, and eight-year-old Maelle, apprenticed to be a traveling photographer, vows to be reunited with her brother and sister. A sympathetic protagonist and interesting historical detail enhance this sweet, simple story of family bonds and faith that spans nearly 20 years. A good family read, this title is appropriate for both adult and YA readers.
— Library Journal
The characters came alive in this book as you see God work, in His timing, and in response to their great faith. Anyone that read My Heart Remembers will laugh, cry….and grow spiritually. This is historical fiction at its best!
— Mary Saile, BookBargainsandPreviews.com
This is a wonderful story with memorable characters. Historical details are vivid without being overbearing, and the characters’ struggles are helped by their faith and beliefs. Sawyer is a gifted author who knows what readers want–and she delivers.
— Romantic Times
In this wonderful historical novel, Kim Vogel Sawyer knits a moving story that is both fresh and meaningful. She even manages to shed light on the many injustices shown to poor and orphaned children in the 1800s without disrupting the flow of the storyline. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Kim Vogel Sawyer book without the element of the love story, which she is so good at writing.
Woven with rich, fascinating historical details, and filled with captivating characters, romance, faith, and a compelling story that will keep the pages turning, this novel is destined to become a favorite on CBA lists. The threads about the orphaned children will challenge the hearts of readers, but My Heart Remembers will no doubt touch readers and fill them with hope and inspiration.
— Tina Ann Forkner, WriterInterrupted.com
“Kim Vogel Sawyer has done an incredible job of writing an inspirational Christian fiction book which has its own line of mystery, history and intrigue all rolled into one volume. My Heart Remembers is a book which will pull at your heartstrings. What an incredible love and determination the Gallagher children have in trying to hold on to the hope of ever seeing their siblings again. I had a very difficult time putting this book down. I simply loved it and hope that Kim Vogel Sawyer is writing another book similar to this one again soon. My heart will definitely remember My Heart Remembers for a long time.
— Lori Plach, ReaderViews.com
It’s been a long time since I read a book that brought tears to my eyes, but My Heart Remembers did, both sad and happy tears. This emotionally packed novel is sure to tug at your heartstrings as you read the story of the Gallagher children, who represent so many children who actually rode the orphan trains and were separated from their loved ones and thrust alone into unfamiliar circumstances. Readers will experience the children’s feeling of total loss, their fears, and longings through each of their points of view and will find it difficult to set this long book aside until it is finished. Some interesting and unique twists enhance the plot and add intrigue. Have a Kleenex handy. My Heart Remembers is definitely a book for your keeper shelf.
–V ickie McDonough, titletrakk.com
Kim Vogel Sawyer weaves the lives of the three siblings together in a way that not only exposes the plight of children during this era, but also explores the hope that remains in the midst of difficulty. It is a touching story that will remind you to cherish your children and to thank God for the providence and care he provides, regardless of the circumstances.
An orphan train carries three Irish children from their tenement life in New York City to Missouri in 1886. Before they are parted toward separate households, the eldest, Maelle, bestows on her brother and sister their heritage: a family bible for baby sister Molly, a family photograph to brother Mattie, and a packet of her parents love letters for herself. These become the talismans of the children’s lives, as Maelle searches to reunite her family for the next seventeen years.
Unbeknownst to each other, all have followed their father’s advice to ‘take care o’ the wee ones.” Mattie, a cowboy and sheepherder, protects the downtrodden, with his fists when need be. Molly uses inheritance money to found a school for orphans. Maelle becomes a photographer in the Jacob Riis tradition. Petey, an abandoned newsboy, brings the three siblings together as he winds each around his heart.
Kim Vogel Sawyer displays a good command of the conventions of the Christian historical novel, with a fast-moving plot and enjoyable characters deserving of their road back to family.
— Eileen Charbonneau, Historical Novels Review
I loved this book. It was so easy to read and just flowed along as a good story should. I quickly identified with the main characters and could easily visualise the various scenarios. This story, although fiction, was based on how orphans in America were treated approximately one hundred years ago. It was very clever how all the different threads of the story were carefully woven together, piece by piece and had everything from humour and romance, to tragedy and triumph. It really tugged at my heartstrings and I even cried towards the climax of the story. It was an emotional but a very enjoyable read. I found it hard to put this book down and kept picking it up to find out ‘what happened next’. I don’t usually read novels but this book has changed my mind, as I would read more if they were of this calibre.
— Janet Pollard, Christian Marketplace
When a devastating fire kills the parents of an immigrant family in New York, three children are taken to an orphanage. Maelle has had her hair cut short because of nits, and everyone thinks she is a boy. She doesn’t try to change anyone’s mind because it would mean she would be separated from her brother Mattie. Baby sister Molly has already been given away to a rich couple. Maelle and Mattie are sent on the orphan train to Missouri and become separated. Seventeen years later, Maelle has given up hope of ever finding Mattie or Molly when circumstances lead them all to a small Missouri town. God has a way of answering prayers when you least expect it.
— NP, Libraries Alive
My Heart RemembersHistorical
Beginnings (Book 2 of the Sommerfeld Trilogy)
OUT OF PRINT
- CBA & CBD Bestseller; Top 20 CBD Books 2007
Beth Quinn is starting over…in her place of residence, her occupation, and her relationships. Two men vie for her affection–Andrew Braun, a steadfast and helpful Old Order Mennonite who expects traditional roles between men and women; and Sean McCauley, a man with Christian convictions but who is seemingly more business-minded than people-minded.
In which world does Beth’s heart belong? With so many choices in front of her, how can she know what God has planned?
Beginnings (Book 2 of the Sommerfeld Trilogy)Contemporary / Mennonite
Kansas Weddings – Compilation of 3 Heartsong Titles
From Barbour Publishing (September 2007)
OUT OF PRINT
- DEAR JOHN — When Marin’s parents are killed on the way home from her college graduation, she inherits a huge responsibility… John, her older brother who has Down syndrome. She needs help, and she finds it in Philip Wilder, owner and operator of a job placement service for adults with disabilities. But an ugly secret from the past rears up to destroy the fragile bloom of Marin and Philip’s friendship…
- THAT WILDER BOY — (Voted Top 2006 Contemporary Story by Heartsong Presents readers; 3rd Place ACFW 2006 Book of the Year) Rocky Wilder is a changed man, determined to sow something other than wild oats. Carrie wants to believe Rocky is interested in her for reasons other than her wealth, but his reputation as “that Wilder boy” preceeds him. Can she trust that he’s truly a new creature in Christ?
- PROMISING ANGELA — Angela Fischer made some foolish choices, she wants her future to be brighter than her past. Ben Atchison feels drawn to Angela, but the fact that she once abused drugs stands in the way. Angela may have promised that she’s given up that lifestyle, but Ben heard that promise before from someone else he cares for. He knows sometimes promises aren’t kept.
Kansas Weddings – Compilation of 3 Heartsong TitlesContemporary
From Barbour Publishing (September 2007)
OUT OF PRINT
Christmas-themed novella set including All I Want For Christmas Is…You. Jingle-writer Kathy Morgan returns to her hometown of Mistletoe, Montana, to take a trip down “Memory Lane” and decide whether or not to accept the unexpected marriage proposal from a long-time co-worker. But local postman Erik Phillips turns her world upside-down by delivering much more than mail–he encourages her to seek fulfillment in a relationship with Jesus rather than a man. Will Kathy heed Erik’s advice before it’s too late?
Bygones (Book 1 of the Sommerfeld Trilogy)
OUT OF PRINT
CBA & CBD Bestseller; Finalist ACFW 2008 Book of the Year
Bygones (Book 1 of the Sommerfeld Trilogy)Contemporary / Mennonite
Where Willows Grow
- Crossings Book Club Main Selection; Top Pick for 2007
- CBA & CBD Bestseller
- ACFW 2008 Historical Book of the Year
Her heart aches for his return… but is the distance between them measured by more than miles?
Anna Mae isn’t sure her husband is being completely honest about his job with the Works Progress Administration. They’re building a castle? In Kansas? Harley promised he’d be at the worksite only long enough to earn enough cash to keep their farm. But the money hasn’t arrived, and Anna Mae fears Harley may be gone for good.
Harley Phipps has never been a man in need of luxuries, but he wants to do right by his wife and two little girls. He was about to lose all he’d worked for if he didn’t do something–there was no way he could pass up the government job, even if it meant leaving his family for a while. Anna Mae was awful mad when he sold the mules, packed his bag, and headed out. If only she’d send him a short note to let him know she and the girls are all right…
…this was a compelling story. As a mother I could really relate to Anna’s anguish as she worried for her children. As a wife I could relate to the realistic portrayal of the woman left to hold house and home together….This story continues Kim Vogel Sawyer’s tradition of gentle stories of hope, but it doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of life.
Armchair Interviews says: Well written and compelling.” –Jamie Driggers, armchairinterviews.com
Where Willows GrowHistorical
From Barbour Publishing (September 2006)
Following her drug-related arrest, Angela finds herself out of rehab and in God’s family. She’s working at New Beginnings to fulfill her community service hours, but beyond that, she’s never felt more alone. Her old friends only want her the way she used to be, and her newest Christian friend, Ben, can’t seem to forgive her past. Jesus and His promises are her only comfort. Ben Atchison’s attraction to Angela comes to a screeching halt when he learns of her history. His cousins suffered permanent disability due to an overdose. Once an addict, always an addict, right? How could God ask him to love another person traveling the painful road of drug abuse? Will Ben allow his heart to trust Angela and in the God who promises to make her new?
That Wilder Boy
From Barbour Publishing (August 2006)
Carrie Mays knows that to whom much is given much is required. That’s why she has to figure out what to do with the large inheritance she’s about to receive. She doesn’t want people to look at her and see dollar signs; she just wants to be loved for being Carrie. But when she is rejected because of her money, she doesn’t like that either. She has to surrender to the Lord and allow Him to bring her all that she needs. Rocky Wilder has always dreamed of having money. But now that he is a Christian all he wants is to follow the path the Lord has a laid out for him, and it looks like that’s becoming a landscaper. But he needs the funds to get his business up and going. Can he find a way to follow the Lord and not hurt people along the way? Has Rocky really changed, or is he still that Wilder boy?
That Wilder BoyContemporary
From Barbour Publishing (April 2006)
After losing her parents in a fatal accident, Marin must step at once into their shoes: her mother’s to take care of her brother, John; her father’s to run the advertising agency he founded. Her brother has Downs syndrome and has stayed at home most of his life, and Marin refuses to place him in an institution, despite the urgings of family and friends to do so. Phillip Wilder helps bring disabled and non-disabled people together by placing clients in jobs throughout the city. But when he receives a call from Marin Brooks, who hopes to use his service only as a day-care facility for her brother, he balks. What holds her back from letting her brother get a job? Will God help these two, who seem perfect for each other, reconcile their differences?
Waiting for Summer’s Return
- CBA, ECPA, & CBD Bestseller; CBD Top-Twenty Fiction 2006
- Crossings Book Club Main Selection; Crossings Top Ten Books of 2006
- FInalist Reviewer’s International Organization Award of Excellence 2006
- ACFW 2007 Historical Book of the Year
All alone on the Kansas prairie, Summer Steadman has few options. With her husband and children lost to illness, she has no desire to continue on farther west to where she and her husband planned to build their future. Instead, she seeks employment in a small Mennonite community in order to be near the graves of her family.
Widower Peter Ollenburger, the local gristmill owner, needs someone to teach his young son. When he hears of a “learned woman” in town, he believes she is the answer to his prayers. He soon discovers, however, that helping this outsider may have troublesome consequences.
There is little this father will not do for his son, but as the boy begins to look at Summer as more than a teacher, Peter must make a choice. Does he marry this woman to give his son a new mother, or does he marry only for love?
Will Summer’s broken heart ever be able to love again?
A tale of prairie life that will touch your heart and warm your soul.
— Janette Oke
Kim Vogel Sawyer is an exceptional storyteller who is sure to please fans of historical fiction. Her attention to detail and love of God shines through in each endeavor.
— Tracie Peterson, bestselling author of the HEIRS OF MONTANA series
Waiting for Summer’s Return is an excellent debut novel by a promising author. This tender love story with its historical detail is a page-turning delight.
— Carol Umberger
Kim Vogel Sawyer creates endearing character straight from the pages of history. Peter and Summer are the embodiment of the good-hearted, genuine people who settled the United States and made it into a great country. Selfless and generous, they tyr so hard to do the right thing that they almost miss the personal happiness God has planned for them. Once started, I couldn’t stop reading.
— Louise M. Gouge, author of Son of Perdition, Hannah Rose, and Ahab’s Bride
An endearing and gentle love story set on the Kansas prairie. You’ll be delighted as the residents of Gaeddert, Kansas, grow in their love, faith, and courage. A charming and satisfying read.
— Judith Miller, author of the FREEDOM’S PATH series