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A man who wants to rule in Hell. A woman who wants to find her faith again…
Charles McIntyre owns everything and everyone in the lawless, godless mining town of Defiance. When three good, Christian sisters from his beloved South show up stranded, alone, and offering to open a “nice” hotel, he is intrigued enough to let them stay…especially since he sees feisty middle sister Naomi as a possible conquest. But Naomi, angry with God for widowing her, wants no part of Defiance or the saloon-owning, prostitute-keeping Mr. McIntyre. It would seem however, that God has gone to elaborate lengths to bring them together. The question is, “Why?” Does God really have a plan for each and every life?
Why this book…
My Grandma Ward was the sweetest, most gentle woman I’ve ever known. Just thinking about her conjures fond childhood memories made in her home. Among them is the smell of Sunday pot roast, the metal cookie jar that never let us get away with sneaking a treat, her patiently teaching my brother and I to play Rummy at the kitchen table, and lounging on her plastic covered love seat to watch shows like Bonanza and Gunsmoke. The later was the impetus behind my desire to finally add a Christian Western novel to my book review blog.
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17
In A Lady in Defiance– Rebecca, Naomi, and Hannah are sisters traveling on a wagon trail headed West to California when disaster strikes. As the women contemplate their next move, Naomi feels God’s gentle prodding — urging the ladies to settle in the Colorado mining town of Defiance. They find a lawless, godless town overwrought with greed and debauchery.
Of the three sisters, I felt a sort of kinship with Naomi. She reminded me a little of the OT prophet Jonah when she prayed, “I don’t like these people, God, and I don’t have compassion for any of them.” I’ve prayed a similar prayer during my own ministry work, and like Naomi, God honored my prayer by softening my heart. Despite her belief in God, trials cause Naomi to question God’s plan and purpose for the sisters in Defiance. Her doubts play out in a spattering of humorous, willful, and quick tempered interactions with Charles McIntyre. Their tension filled and sometimes explosive relationship held me captive to the very end.
The Audible version of A Lady in Defiance is narrated by Angel Clark. By fluctuating her tone and pitch she gives voice to a minimum of 8 women as well as a number of gentlemen. Each unique character depiction kept the path of conversation straight in my mind. My only critique would be that her accents, particularly her Irish brogue and Latina sass, sounded a little stereotypical. Whether this should be attributed to the narrator’s performance or the author’s writing I am not certain. Regardless, her interpretation and delivery of the story was entertaining.
This story had all of the elements I would associate with a Western — booze, brawls, and working girls. Yet from the beginning, the story coveys an overtly Christian message about reaching the lost with the gospel. The sisters live as missionaries by praying for and serving their new community. Overall, I am pleased that my first foray into Western fiction came through the gifted pen of Heather Blanton.
I received this book from the author for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
The Story Continues with…
A Promise in Defiance (June 22nd, 2016)
Stay tuned for my interview with author Heather Blanton.