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Monday, January 9, 2012

The Captive Heart

The latest novel, The Captive Heart is the second book in the Daughters of Caleb Bender series by Dale Cramer and could easily be read as a stand alone book as well. The first chapter is dedicated to an overview of just how the Bender family arrived in Mexico after leaving Ohio. They were facing a lot of persecution from the local government and school board for being Amish and adopting the Amish ways of life in regards to the education and raising of their children. Faced with jail time unless they were willing to change, the Bender family opted to move to Mexico for a new chance at living the life they have come to love without any interference from outsiders. The land was also cheap to purchase and ripe for a new start.

Now in the midst of the Mexican Revolution, the Bender family is having to deal with renegade bandits who will rob the family, kill their livestock and take the women because no one has stopped them up to this point. With the exception of Domingo, a Mexican farm hand her father has hired, the Amish community is at a loss for how to deal with this situation since the family does not believe in violence or even carrying weapons except for hunting.

However when the renegade group of bandit lead by El Pantera insist on provoking the Amish community to the point of kidnapping one of the women, they wonder if God will really be the answer to their prayers and protect them. Will Miriam find a way to fall in love with Domingo despite the fact he isn't an Amish man or will God have other plans for her?

I received the book, The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and was so excited to discover that this was the next book following Paradise Valley! This was a bonus for me and the excitement that is unfolding in each chapter keeps the reader flipping pages as fast as they can read just to see what will happen next. I could not put it down until I finished the final page in under four hours, and for me, that makes this an exceptional novel well worth 5 out of 5 stars.

Here's even more information regarding the author, the book and even a first chapter sneak peek below:
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Captive Heart
Bethany House (January 1, 2012)
Dale Cramer


Dale Cramer spent his formative years traveling the world as an Army brat, then settled in Georgia at the age of fifteen when his father retired.

After high school he became an electrician, a job that took him to places as diverse as power plants, stadia, airports, high-rise office buildings and a hard-rock mining operation.

Twenty-five years of experiences in the trades provided him with the wealth of characters, stories and insights that populate his novels.

When he married his childhood friend, Pam, in 1975 he had no way of knowing they would not have children until fifteen years later.

In his early forties, when Dale left his job to become a stay-at-home dad, he suddenly found himself with time on his hands, so he pursued a lifelong dream and taught himself to write.

Using an online writer’s forum as a training ground, he wrote his first short stories in 1996. As his writing skills improved he turned to novels, publishing his first book, Sutter’s Cross, in 2003.

Since then, Dale has published four more novels and garnered a measure of critical acclaim with two Christy Awards, a listing among Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2004 and numerous other Best lists. Dale and his wife Pam live in Georgia with their two sons.


Bandit troubles intensify as Caleb Bender's family tries to settle into their new life in 1920s Paradise Valley. When El Pantera kidnaps Rachel and leaves her brother, Aaron, for dead, Jake Weaver and the Mexican native Domingo pursue the bandit leader to his mountain stronghold in a hopeless rescue attempt. Jake and Domingo manage to escape with Rachel, with the bandits hot on their trail. In a desperate attempt to avoid recapture, Domingo puts himself squarely in harm's way, giving Jake and Rachel time to get away. This is not the quiet life Caleb Bender envisioned when he led his family out of Ohio. What is a father to make of his daughter's obvious affection for a man outside the fold? And how will a pacifist Amishman like Caleb respond to the events that threaten his family and their way of life?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Captive Heart, go HERE

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an intriguing book. I always enjoy finding authors from my home state of Georgia. Enjoyed your review.

    Thoughts in Progress


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