21 March 2013

Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow


Dawn Comes Early



Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 stars~

Strap on your spurs for this wild ride into the desert of Arizona, and keep a look out for wild boars, deadly rattlesnakes, prickly cactus, a wannabe infamous outlaw, and the most intriguing array of characters… because you’ll meet them all and more at the Last Chance Ranch in Cactus Patch in the Cochise County of Arizona.  And try hard to stay seated in your saddle with the Laugh-Out-Loud humour that Margaret Brownley frequently and flawlessly weaves into this entertaining, yet heartwarming historical romance.

It’s 1895 and Kate Tenney a frustrated romance writer from Boston whose latest work was banned, reads an advertisement for a professional woman to be heiress to a cattle ranch. Desperate for work but mostly for the respectability and security that comes from owning land, she applies for the position. The no-nonsense owner of the ranch, widowed Eleanor Walker, is seeking an heir with a love for the land and similar hard-working ethics to her own.

Eleanor gives Kate four months to prove herself. If Kate then accepts the position, she will have to sign an agreement never to get married so that she may devote her life solely to the ranch. This is something that Kate has no problem with as she is very disillusioned with having had very poor examples of parents and having seen too many bad marriages. 

But can this educated lady from Boston even survive the extremely rigorous demands of ranch life? She will be sorely tested, but Kate is resolutely determined to succeed, even when Luke Adams the handsome blacksmith distracts her goals by threatening to dispel her beliefs that all men cannot be trusted.
Luke’s not as educated as Kate nor is he great with words, but that was part of his undeniable charm for me, as was his relationship with his loyal wolf dog, Homer.

On your venture into the West, you’ll also encounter the wonderfully memorable and unique characters of Cactus Patch, including Luke’s comical aunts, Bessie and Lula-Belle; the local bandit Cactus Joe, whose chief aim is to be revered as a serious outlaw such as Jesse James; and the sheriff Marshall Morris who relishes the idea of fame much more than unrecognized law work. The men at the Ranch were a fascinating bunch also, each with his own ‘barn name’ suiting his predominant characteristic.

This undertaking of Kate’s and her experiences with the Wild West, pushed her to her limits. Although often when that occurred and she had trouble coping, Kate resorted to her fictional character and imagined what the character would do. It put a great spin on the story and you’re rewarded at the beginning of each chapter with a few lines of the novel Kate’s writing which also had a relevant reference to her own life.

In this western romance novel, Margaret Brownley gives you the opportunity to gaze into the life and times of the late 1800’s in a small Arizona desert town and cattle ranch, while creating an authentic ambience of the era. There is also a great message on the effects of a terrible upbringing and how it is possible to learn to trust and have faith in people and in God again.

This really was a very rewarding and enjoyable story and I heartily recommend this book and series to everyone!

Buy Margaret's books at AmazonCBD, and other bookstores.
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GIVEAWAYS: Margaret is generously giving away a copy of “Grieving God’s Way.” She is also giving away a copy of  “Waiting for Morning.” 
We are also giving away the choice of any of Margaret’s books this week, choice of format, to one of our commenters.

QUESTION: If you were to write a fiction story, in what part of the world would you like your setting to be? And what message would you wish to share or encourage your readers with? 


48 comments:

  1. Great review as always--you gals know how to draw us into these GREAT books! Of course this goes into my list of TBR...I will soon be buried by all these books! ;-)

    As to what part of the world I would like the setting to be for a fiction story, should I write one--that is a tough one for me. Lately, I have been thinking about trying my hand at some writing--something I have thought about for a long time, and had others saying I should do--I do after-all have the gift of gab! LOL I have been to many different locations that would make wonderful settings, Germany, England, Denmark, to name a few, and I just finished reading a 3 book series that took place in Paris and Seattle, WA. that I enjoyed very much. I also have many fun memories of time on the Oregon coast, which is a beautiful place and would be fun to share with others in story. So, that is truly the question--which place?
    Vicki OWG
    vmarney(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you VICKI, I know you'll LOVE this one!! LOL, sometimes I read my reviews over on OWG and want to read the books again myself because they were such great stories!! ;)

      Lol, I love how you answered the question but at the same time didn't answer it! :) Actually any one of those places you mentioned would make a great setting for a story. How blessed you are to have seen all those amazing locations!

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  2. I remember the aunts -- they were so funny! :) As always you wrote a great review, Noela.
    Actually I have been thinking about writing a short story for a while, but the setting and in what language to write is something I haven't figured out yet.

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    1. MARIAN, they really were fantastic characters weren't they! I'm smiling here thinking about them. I really want to read this one again! :)

      Have you got any of the plot figured out yet? If you know if it'll have to take place in a city or the country for example, it'll give you a starting point. I'm sitting here thinking where my setting would be and I'm thinking maybe a small tropical island off the east coast of Australia could give heaps of possibilities of plot lines. And I think my main message would be that of salvation. :)

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    2. Probably in the country, or forest. Not sure about the message. I like a good Christian message in fiction books, but don't want it to get too preachy. Maybe the story will never be written, but it's nice to dream about...

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    3. Dreaming is the first step! Keep on 'dreaming' and you never know Marian, a story just might be birthed one day!! :)

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  3. great review, I like this and would like to read this book. The cover is wonderful, makes you want to be there !!!!If I were to write a book, it would probably be in the south or west, I love the ranch/farm setting.. I love being outdoors and I love gardening, and would love a couple of animals.. so that's where I would set it.. The message I would put out, work hard and live well and God will give you what you need.. I was born in the wrong era !!! :-) thanks for the chance to win one of great prizes being offered !!!

    Rosemary rfoley@salemstate.edu

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    1. Thanks ROSEMARY, and I absolutely love this cover also!! :) It's an amazing story and I hope you get to read it soon!

      Lol, I think you WERE born in the wrong era, but then I probably was too - your setting sounds just perfect and reminds me of my Grandparents old farm! I think it's why I'm often drawn to books with those settings! Tell you what, you write your book and I'll read it - how's that sound?! ;)

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  4. MY book would be set in the west some where ,most likely in Texas, IN the 1800 i always loved how people can ans settled the land, i was born in the wrong time as i love that part of history. I would want my readers to know that no matter where your at, what your doing, what your going through, God is there ever step of the way, and He will work all things out for your good, i would love to win theses books thank you for the chance
    Shirley jcisforme@aol.com

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    1. Hi SHIRLEY, thanks for stopping by to read the review and for sharing your thoughts!

      It would've been incredibly hard work, but very exciting and satisfying I would think in finding land to build on, working the land, and raising a family there. I love your message too and that is actually one of my favourite messages to read about, because we often get frustrated and impatient, while God is busy working all things together for good for us!

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  5. I would want it to be someplace tropical. I can't wait for the warm weather to get here! I would want my book to reach out to those who feel alone and to let them know that God is always there for you no matter what!
    makeighleekyleigh at yahoo dot com

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    1. Hi MEGAN, I'm in Australia where it's Autumn at the moment, but we have had a very hot summer and I think we're all looking forward to winter here! But if you're from the US, I believe most of you have had a freezing winter... so I can understand the tropical location for the book! :) Excellent idea for the book message too!!

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  6. Enjoyed the review. Although I'm no writer, I most enjoy reading about life in pioneer and homesteading days, so that would be my choice for the era I would most likely write about. Someplace in the midwest or western states, or even central/western Canada would be my choice of location... Modern life is not of much interest to me, nor the eastern part of the country...

    thanks for this opportunity to win!

    Karen Schulz
    aregeetee5162 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thanks KAREN!! It's a fascinating period to read about isn't it? I really enjoy reading about that era too!! All the best in winning one of Margaret's fabulous books! :)

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  7. Really great review, NOELA! I must run or will be late for my app't but will think about your question while I am there. Hmmmm....

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    1. Alaska or Africa, NOELA. I guess I better go there and start my research. ;)

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    2. Thanks,sooo which place are you going to go to first DIANA? Very different packing for those places!! :) I'd like to read stories based in either of those... hmmm, do you need a research assistant??

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  8. If you were to write a fiction story, in what part of the world would you like your setting to be? I'd like the setting to be on a farm somewhere here in the US.

    And what message would you wish to share or encourage your readers with?
    The message would be about Romans 8:28

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    1. A wonderful setting for a story, CINDI! The Lord has been giving us OWG gals scriptures from Romans 8 all this week! Thanks for another one!

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  9. NOELA, You have expressed in perfect words the essence of this story!

    I have no desire to write fiction, just to read it :)

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    1. Me neither, ANNE! I love reading everyone elses' stories and promoting them! NOELA does such a beautiful job, I agree!

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    2. Thank you ANNE and DIANA for your kind, sweet words!!

      I would love to write fiction... if I could! ;) But I LOVE reading and am sooo grateful to these amazing authors that do write these brilliant stories!

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  10. Noela, you did a great job again! If I could write a story? Hmm, well I have written a bunch! But we have a policy on OWG that prohibits me from promoting my own stuff, so... :) Great question, though! blessings!

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    1. Lol Carrie...well I do believe I think colonial Virginia would be an awesome location for a story!! ;) Thanks and God's blessings back! :)

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  11. Good review, seems like a book for me :) If I would write a story it would probably take place in europe, the more I think about it the more the story unfolds ,haha, but not this time but back in time in the year 1566.
    after the iconoclastic outbreak. And what that was like for the christians that where not Catholic.

    mirjamatfotoflitsdotcom

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    1. MIRJAM, I'm looking forward to reading it! There will be romance right? -- gotta have some romance! lol Thank you for stopping by!

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    2. You're writing it in English, Mirjam? ;)

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  12. I think this was a really good review which showcased the story very well, and I would love to win a copy. If I were to write a novel it would probably be staged in somewhere like Colorado where the place lends itself to so many scenes and adventures. I personally like the days of the gold miners but anything in the 1800s would do. My purpose would be to see that Jesus was proclaimed and God's lovingkindness and tender mercies made known. Blessings! Darlene

    spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. What a wonderful book that would be, DARLENE! Wow, we really have some followers with great imaginations here on OWG! Better than my ideas. AHEM!

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  13. Loved the post...sounds like another great book.I would choose Colorado,and I would love to encourage people that no matter how hard things get,not to give up.

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    1. Thanks so much JACKIE and you're so right, it really is a fantastic story!

      Colorado would be a perfect setting!! Would it be in the days of the wild, wild west? :) Awesome message to share Jackie! God bless you.

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  14. DAWN COMES EARLY goes straight onto my reading list.

    I'd set a book in colonial Australia. A time of new beginnings and great hardship. My message would be one of hope and acceptance.

    OWG

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  15. That's awesome MARY, you'll just love it!! :)

    Oh and I also LOVE where you've set your fictional book!! There's so many stories that could be imagined during those days and I for one would just love to read them!! Hope and acceptance are VERY worthwhile ideals to be included too. You need to write this book MARY! :)

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  16. Oh my, Noela, I love this. With the first paragraph you had me hooked. I loved it, and laughed at the descriptions you gave. With the things you say, I have no doubt you could write a very interesting book. Get busy girl. And, Marian, when you write that book of yours, it has to be in English or I can't read it. :( I have a big mouth and talk too much to suit some Im sure, but not when it comes to writing a book. I can't even remember good enough to tell a complete story from my past. Sad! When I was younger I wrote a lot of poems, but not even good at that anymore. I like so many of the Eras, but have always loved Western and Indian stories. So, I think Wyoming and Colorado would provide fantastic settings. The beautiful Tetons of WY. and Rocky Mountains in Colo. and all of the lakes are such beautiful works of GOD. And, all sorts of things happened there. I love all of the Pionere stories too. I like clean stories, that also peoples faith in God to help them get where they need to be, Noela, I think you would fit right in with the ladies on Pistols and Petticoats blog. LOL I hope to win a choice of Margaret's books and pick this one. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. MAXIE!!! You just made my day with your wonderful comment!! :) I think if I were ever to write a book, God would have to part the heavens, flash some lightening and tell me in a big booming voice! ;) Right now, I'm just loving these amazing stories I'm reading and reviewing!
      And I'd love to read some of your poems Maxie!!
      Pistols and Petticoats is a great site and certainly have some awesome authors on it... like Margaret Brownley for example! :)

      Yes I think if it's a western type story that's going to be written, you can't go past places like Wyoming and Colorado and the amazing mountains and landscape, not to mention the incredible history of those places!!
      Here's hoping for a win for you Maxie!

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  17. NOELA your reviews just get better and better and I didn't think that was possible. :)

    If I was going to write a book and that is a BIG if, I have two places in mind. One would be AUSTRALIA so I could visit my sister while doing research ;) The other is out West, I have always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon and the National Parks.

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    1. Aww TERESA, you're sooo sweet!! But I think with these great books and God's help, it sure makes it a lot easier! :)

      YAYYY, yes well NOW you have to write a book on Aus, so that you will can come visit me!! :) I'm still yet to even get in a plane but I would love to visit the US and my list of places is growing all the time with the more books I read! My daughter has been to LA and the Grand Canyon however. Hope you get to travel there too!

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    2. Carlton is always teasing me about flying or even going on a cruise. I figure if the good Lord wanted me to fly He would have given me wings and after all the bad things that have happened on Cruise ships lately I know I'm right about not getting on one of those either! :D

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  18. Well, since you said I answered the question without answering the question, how is this? I should write a story about someone who travels all over like I do & how God is with them no matter where they go. And knowing me, there would have to be some crazy adventures in there. And I think, instead of a "new romance", I would be tempted to write about the love that is already there. Am I making sense? Another words, I like to read about "true to life" fiction, which may not always be a new and exciting life, but how a loving relationship can have new and exciting life together.
    Vicki OWG

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    1. Lol VICKI, your other answer was a good one though! ;) But I do like what you wrote here! So have you now got your idea for your story that you want to write?! :) You can give me a credit in the beginning of your book for inspiration, lol!! ;)
      And hey, why not write about an existing romance with a love already in your life?! It can still have similar elements of love and romance, conflict and resolution, and grand adventures together! :)

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  19. If I were to write a story it would be a historical one in the wild west of Texas teaching the message that to trust God and lean on him through the hardships of life!
    Lisa
    deiselbuffs@gmail.com

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    1. Sounds like a good book idea and setting, LISA! Texas is just one of those places you can find such great story ideas. Good luck in the drawing~

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  20. I can't wait to get this book. I love the old west settings and long dresses and cowboys. So I know this will be one of my favorites. Shirley Culpepper
    bluebell5071@yahoo.com

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    1. SHIRLEY, I know this will become a favourite of yours too, it's such a wonderful story!!
      The Old West settings were just the perfect set-up for stories weren't they?! ;)

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  21. Just another note. I LOVE you gals on OWG. My favorite site! I can always count on getting my laughs for the day. :) And, they say to laugh a lot because it is good for your health. God Bless each of you. <3 Maxie

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    1. MAXIE thank you and we LOVE you too!! How wonderful that it's your favourite site and we get to make you laugh and feel good - THAT is a huge blessing for us to hear that! God bless you!!

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  22. I would want Europe, such as Paris or Austria. I like themes of trusting God and forgiveness. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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