Sunday, October 9, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Hailee by Penny Zeller

It is with great pleasure that I bring to you today a review of Hailee, written by the very gifted author, Penny Zeller. Hailee is book three in the Montana Skies series and includes many of the familiar characters that we have come to love from the first two books, McKenzie and Kaydie.

From the cover:

For years, orphan Hailee Annigan was just a ragamuffin in the Cincinnati streets, stealing food to keep her two younger brothers fed. Her thievery landed her in a home for delinquent youngsters, where her life was changed, thanks to her teachers. Now, nineteen-year-old Hailee excitedly heads to Montana to be a teacher, yet she's still plagued by her shameful past and the fear of never seeing her brothers again.  

Based on his upbringing in high-society Boston, no one would have guessed that Maxwell Nathaniel Adams Jr. would attend seminary and become a church pastor in rugged Montana. Even now, Nate's parents refuse to put aside their own plans for his future and accept his calling.

When their paths converge, an immediate attraction draws Hailee and Nate together, even as the pressures and demands of others pull them apart. Can the unlikely pair come to terms with their pasts and face the future together?

My review:

There is always a feeling of great excitement and anticipation when I go to the Post Office and find the latest book by Penny Zeller waiting there for me. I was not disappointed when I picked up my copy of Hailee  either. I could barely wait to drive home, crack open the cover, and begin reading. The pages flew by all too quickly and I reached the final page long before I was ready for it. 

Once again, Penny has written an emotional and heart-warming story of love and adventure in the vast open spaces of the Montana frontier. The descriptions of life in in the late 1800s are so vivid that you feel as if you are one with the story. I became so engrossed in the plot that I ceased to feel like a spectator, but instead felt as if I were living the story right alongside Hailee. 

Hailee and Nate are both such likeable characters that you can't help but desire for them to be together. Hailee, however, feels unworthy of Nate's love because she has a secret past. When that past is inadvertently revealed to the townspeople and the parents of her students, Hailee's chance of a future with Nate seems doomed.  Can Hailee expect mercy from those whom she has deceived? Will Nate be able to forgive her for her wrong-doing?

What Hailee and the citizens of Pine Haven fail to take into consideration is that the misdeeds of her youth have long been forgiven and forgotten by the only One who truly matters. Since God has forgiven her, is it wrong for Hailee to hope that Nate will do likewise? Why won't the residents of the town that Hailee has already grown to love forgive her too? 

Many years ago, the English poet Alexander Pope wrote the words, "To err is human, to forgive Divine." This is the truth that Penny Zeller has so ably portrayed in the pages of Hailee.  God's forgiveness is easily obtained but it is the job of the Great Deceiver, the Father of Lies, to try to convince us that our sins are so vile that forgiveness is not possible. For a story that truly depicts the reality of Christ's mercy and forgiveness, I recommend that you read this excellent book.

Penny Zeller has generously offered to give a copy of her newest release to one lucky reader. In order to have your name entered in the drawing, please leave a comment, along with your email address in spam-proof format (yourname[at]provider[dot]com). I would also like to do something just a little bit different for this drawing. Instead of simply saying, "Please enter me in the drawing," I would like for you to tell me (and Penny) why you would like to win this book. It doesn't have to be a lengthy comment; just a few words will do the trick. 

Only entries from the United States will be eligible for the drawing and only those who comply with the guidelines stated above will be entered. For an extra entry, please become a follower of Write About Now.  If you are already a follower, please say so in a separate comment.

This contest will end on October 21st. 

Thanks to Whitaker House for providing a copy of Hailee for review purposes. This is my honest review. I received no compensation for this review, nor was I obligated to give a positive review.

For those readers who do not win a copy of this book, you can purchase it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christian Book Distributors.

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