Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Quilted Heart ~*Three Novellas in One*~ by Mona Hodgson, ©2014

Illustration by Howard Sanden. Looks like the women at Elsa Brantenberg's Quilting Circle in Ripples Along the Shore, a Quilted Heart novella.

~*Dandelions on the Wind*~ ~*Bending Toward the Sun*~ ~*Ripples Along the Shore*~

Gatherings with valuable wisdom shared together amid prayer, fill needs deep within one's heart.

Widow Elsa Brantenberg has been hosting the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse for many Thursdays with friends bringing new friends. Changes are coming. Some will be staying while others are preparing to travel west by wagon train. The Civil War has altered what they have known in their Missouri lives. Have you begun quilting? Such a nice time to gather hearts sharing generational wisdom, prayer, and encouragement.

God knows what we don't know. He sees the purpose in what happens.
   --Maren, The Quilted Heart, 250.

Saint Charles, Missouri, is located on the Missouri River which branches over to the Mississippi River by St. Louis. It is the fall of 1865, as the novellas begin. Every time we go this way by car to our daughter's, I gaze at the arch. Memories of our girls being younger and going to the top to look out on a foggy day. Gateway to the West. Have you stopped to walk along the shoreline?
The Oregon Trail migration, more correctly known as the Oregon-California Trail migration, is one of the most important events in American History. The Oregon-California trail was a 2,170 mile route from Missouri to Oregon and California that enabled the migrating of the early pioneers to the western United States.
Leaving in six months, Garrett Cowlishaw [Ripples Along the Shore] will be gathering his third wagon train company on the Oregon Trail; twice serving as a scout and this time as captain. He interviews those wishing to join the caravan, assessing whether they can withstand the four to five months on the trail. A supply list is passed out among those signing to go West as part of the Boone's Lick Wagon Train. Boone's Lick Road is where they will be beginning from in Saint Charles. If you were going on a wagon train, would you pack light, or stop along the way to look through the treasures left behind by others to lighten their load? Somehow we think of these places as being in the past, but Boone's Lick Road still exists in St. Charles, Missouri.
ST. CHARLES COUNTY • In the early 1800s traders and settlers used the Boone's Lick Road, also known as a trail or a trace, to get from St. Charles to central Missouri.
   Now some historians hope that the route gets yet another designation — a national historic trail.
   Advocates must persuade Congress to order a National Park Service feasibility study, then to pass a bill actually making the national trail designation. --St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 22, 2011
Founded in 1827, Lindenwood remained a female college until 1969 when it became co-educational ~ a four-year liberal arts university in St. Charles.
Roemer Hall
A freighter/passenger steamboat brings these supplies to the riverfront where a wagon awaits to load and deliver them to Heinrich's Dry Goods and Grocery, housed in the bottom floor of the Old Capitol Building. [Bending Toward the Sun] Quaid McFarland makes deliveries with his father and brother from McFarland Freight House. Emilie Heinrich is attending Lindenwood Female College near their store. Quaid, with hopes of seeing Emilie, would like to switch off with his father to take the dry goods and college freight deliveries. Unfortunately, earlier in the Spring of the same year there had been a steamboat disaster.
SS Sultana The explosion of this steamboat paddlewheeler on the Mississippi River is considered the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history. On April 27, 1865, the ship left New Orleans bound for St. Louis, with stops along the way to pick up passengers and make repairs. Many of the passengers were Union soldiers who had been released from Confederate prisons and were trying to make their way home, resulting in a severely overcrowded ship. Three boilers exploded off Memphis, Tennessee, at about 2 a.m., turning the wooden ship into an inferno. Many died from burns, drowning or hypothermia. The death toll is estimated at up to 1,800.
Rutherford "Woolly" Wainwright has returned after serving in the American Civil War. He had left four years earlier after the childbirth death of his wife leaving his newborn daughter, Gabi, with his mother-in-law, Mrs. Brantenberg. Maren Jensen [Dandelions on the Wind] is a mail-order bride suddenly without a groom when her eyesight begins to fail. She has been staying with Mrs. Brantenberg, helping on the farm and with Gabi's care. Upon Gabi's PaPa's return, Maren moves to town and helps out at the dry goods while Emilie is at school. Jack Rafferty comes home from war, bitter with an amputated leg, miserable and a misery to his wife, Jewell, their children, and sister-in-law, Caroline Milburn, awaiting her husband's return from the war. They each have adjustments to make. Attitude is supreme.

Apple picking party ~ harvesting is a time of coming together as the friends go to the Brantenberg farm to help harvest the apples and enjoy a lunch together. This is a fun time for those joining activities at  today's orchards. There is nothing like the taste of fresh picked apples.

They gather at church services. Another time of getting together, unexpectedly brings Caroline and Garrett near each other again. Garrett is staying at the Brantenberg farm with his friend. With Caroline visiting the Presbyterian Church for the first time, she is surprised to find him entering the same pew with them.

These three novellas were offered earlier as eBooks. I was glad to receive a print copy to review. I had not read them. I liked how one story wove into the next, and it was seamless to read them. I was eager to find out what happened next, coming acquainted further with the characters. I have read and reviewed Prairie Song [], enjoying the first part of their journey West. I am looking forward to the next book in the Hearts Seeking Home series.

***Thank you to Mona Hodgson for the opportunity to read and review The Quilted Heart. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Stick around for a surprise! Mona Hodgson is offering three signed copies of The Quilted Heart to three winners ~ holds the key to your entry.

Lane Hill House is the final blog on the tour with a feature review connecting The Quilted Heart to real-life happenings. There are eleven other blogs on the tour, listed below.

Blog Tour for The Quilted Heart & Book Giveaway

Quilted Heart Blog Tour banner

Release date ~ Tuesday, January 21st!

A Blog Tour for The Quilted Heart Omnibus is part of the fun. Join Mona and several bloggers for stories behind the stories, character interviews, and opportunities for you to win a signed copy of The Quilted Heart.

Visit the blogs on the Blog Tour, commenting on each blog ~ and then comment on Mona Hodgson Author Page on Facebook letting her know which blog posts you commented on, for a chance to win a signed copy of The Quilted Heart omnibus–all three novellas in one volume!

~*Monday, January 13 - Juanita Nobles Blog (Character Interview & Blog Tour Drawing),

~*Tuesday, January 14 – Diana Montgomery Blog (Author Interview & Blog Tour Drawing),

~*Thursday, January 16 - Linda Finn Blog (The Quilted Heart feature & Blog Tour Drawing),

~*Monday, January 20 - Martha Rogers Blog (Character Interview & Book Giveaway),
~*AND Margaret Daley Blog (Character Interview & Book Giveaway),

~*Tuesday, January 21 – Jasmine Augustine Blog (Character Interview & Blog Tour Drawing),
~*AND Martha Rogers Blog (Character Interview & Book Giveaway), 

~*Wednesday, January 22 – Britney Adams Blog (Author Interview & Blog Tour Drawing),
~*AND Stitches Thru Time Blog (Book-Related Guest Post and Book Giveaway),

~*Thursday, January 23 – Trish Perry Blog (Author Interview & Book Giveaway),

~*Friday, January 24 - Britney Adams Blog (Character Interview & Blog Tour Drawing),

~*Tuesday, January 28 – Kathleen Belongia Blog (The Quilted Heart Feature & Blog Tour Drawing),

Blog Tour Drawing – How to Enter!

Leave a comment here, then comment on Mona Hodgson Author Page before Friday, January 31st to enter the BLOG TOUR DRAWING for one of three signed copies of The Quilted Heart. Tell Mona which blog(s) you visited and commented on!

You can enter once for each Participating Blog (noted above) you visit and comment on.
Join Prairie Song on the first part of their journey West


  1. What a wonderful job you did, Kathleen. As always. So much fun to read the extra historical tidbits too. You are a blessing!

  2. Thank you, Mona.
    I look forward to re-reading Prairie Song, now that I have met these ladies of The Quilted Heart novellas before their further adventures.
    Earlier posting than planned and readers will have additional time to enter the blog tour drawing on your author page before Friday, January 31! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

  3. i sure do love your books and would be thrilled to win this one thank you
    Shirley B.

    1. Good to see you here, Shirley. Blessings! Mona

  4. This one dounds so interesting especially now that my son is living in Missouri

    1. Thanks for joining us here, Sharon. I really appreciate your interest in The Quilted Heart. I'll be back in St. Charles, Missouri, May 16-18 for Heritage Days. Blessings! Mona

  5. I really enjoyed this post so many interesting new facts that I was unaware of. Love the history. Thank you. Also I am so looking forward to reading The quilted Heart. Mona really has great characters.

    1. Hi, Jackie. Kathleen did a great job on the post. Fun tidbits. I appreciate your interest in The Quilted Heart. Happy Reading!

  6. Finally found it. A place to comment. Great job Kathleen. Really enjoyed it. Sure want some of these books. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  7. Good to see you here, Maxie. I appreciate your interest in my books. Blessings!

  8. Hi everyone, My husband and I have just returned home tonight from being away to family. Thank you for the comments and you will love these novellas; and reading Prairie Song, the first part of their journey West.
    Mona, thank you so much for responding during our absence.
    Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House