Review: Trouble in Dry Springs

Even the peaceful town of Dry Springs is not without trouble.

Author: Kristina Hall

Genre: Christian Historical Romance


Even the peaceful town of Dry Springs is not without trouble.

When Eliza McCoslin’s brother sends for her, she exchanges war-torn Mississippi for Dry Springs, Texas. Settling into a new way of life proves difficult though, despite the arrival of the man she’s long admired.

Jesse Carrigan comes to Dry Springs seeking work and a place to start the ranch he’s dreamed of ever since his parents lost their farm. What he doesn’t expect to find is the woman he’d like to court—or his former colonel on the run from a deadly threat.

Given the circumstances keeping Jesse and Eliza apart and the danger looming on the horizon, he and Eliza find themselves facing the loss of future love—and life. When trouble comes to Dry Springs, who will be left standing?


5 Stars


When I heard Kristina Hall was writing another historical, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I knew I’d get a good story–I just didn’t know if I’d get another heart-attack inducing story.

I received both.

The plot is solid and interesting. Different from most historicals I’ve read. It trots along at a stead pace that allows the tension to build until you’re staring at the pages wondering if everyone who’s supposed to survive will.

Hall did well portraying a Wild West town, complete with both lovable and easily-hated characters.

I adore Jesse. He’s such a stalwart character, and he’s so humble and honest and just a great hero. I liked how human he was–he wasn’t a superhuman hero we sometimes see who can take on a thirty-man gang and win without breaking a sweat. He’s just a big sweetie who didn’t deserve what happened to him.

Eliza was a dear. I liked how her quiet spirit hid a spine of steel almost no one recognized she possessed. And she’s a bookworm! A double bonus.

The cast of secondary characters were gold as well. Mrs. Reilly kept me snorting with amusement (that woman needs her own book), and her forthright manners and ways created some absolutely hilarious situations. Colonel Burke was set up well for his part in Book Two (which I needed yesterday, please and thank you), and even Peterson grew on me. A little bit. I wasn’t sure what to think of that growly old grumpus at first.

Now, for the villains. Anson was detestable. Downright awful and horrid and nasty and barf. I disliked him more than the “bigger” villain, of whom I was gratified to see receive a fitting comeuppance, but back to Anson. At one point, I had a detailed list of all the ways he should die, complete with being consumed by fire ants. He’s that despicable. I don’t know how Mrs. Reilly, Jesse, or Burke found the grace not to hit him over the head with a shovel, because I certainly would have.

The romance is clean and sweet, and you’re rooting for it the entire time.

As always, it’s my favorite part of books. Hall infused Trouble with a gentle faith that sustained the characters through their difficult times.

A character gambles (which the MCs don’t condone), a character is shot, there’s general violence, a character is turned into a punching bag, and there’s a fight at the end. Nothing is gratuitous and I doubt it would scare any reader.

Hall penned a delightful, engaging tale filled with faith, courage, honor, and sweet romance. I look forward to Book Two. If you are a fan of Christian historical romances, I highly encourage you to read Trouble in Dry Springs.

*I received an advanced copy of this book for potential endorsement purposes. I was neither required to read nor leave a favorable review of this book.


Forgotten Memories Blog Tour: Book Spotlight + Giveaway Alert

All graphics—not the cover—are designed by Mountain Peak Edits and Design.

Today I am spotlighting Forgotten Memories by Penny Zeller. To read my review of this lovely, tender story, go here.


Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics. Today, Penny is the author of over a dozen books. She is also a homeschool mom and a fitness instructor.

When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, cycling, gardening, and playing volleyball.

She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website and her blog, random thoughts from a day in the life of a wife, mom, and author, at

Social Media Links:









Amazon Author Central:

Newsletter Sign up: Forgotten Memories to your Goodreads TBR:


Some memories are best forgotten…

The Wyoming Territory is rife with lawlessness and disorder, something Annie Ledbetter and her parents discover when their wagon train is robbed. Seven years later, Annie settles into her lifelong dream as a teacher in the small town of Willow Falls. When she meets handsome rancher Caleb Eliason through a humorous misunderstanding, she is quickly drawn to his kind heart and charming smile.

Former outlaw Caleb Eliason embraces his chance at a fresh start. Gone are the days of robbing stagecoaches and wagon trains. When he falls in love with the new Willow Falls teacher, he doesn’t realize they’ve met before—under much different circumstances. When his past comes to light, will it put the growing love between them at risk?

Can forgiveness and redemption heal two broken hearts or will the past keep them from sharing a future?

Where to Purchase Forgotten Memories



Penny Zeller | Is Forgotten Memories the Book for You?

Penny McGinnis | Book Spotlight

Charity’s Book Escapes | Book Review (Instagram)

Madi’s Musings | Book Review

Julie Arduini | Guest Post

Lee-Ann Brodeur | Book Spotlight


Vanessa Hall | Book Review

Saraina | Author Interview

Christian Books and Coffee | Book Spotlight (Instagram)

Quilling in the Pines |Book Review

Suite T | Guest Post

Mary | Review (Facebook)


Penny Zeller | Quotes + Meet the Characters

Cover Lover | Book Spotlight

Christian Books and Coffee | Author Interview (Instagram)

Reading and Flowers | Book Spotlight (Instagram)

t.r.b.e. | Book Review

Chat with Vera | Book Review, Giveaway

Donna Schlachter | Guest Post

Lena Nelson Dooley | Author Interview, Giveaway


Saraina | Book Spotlight

Cover Lover | Book Review

Christian Books and Coffee | Book Review (Instagram)

2friendstalkbooks | Book Spotlight (Instagram)

Abbigail | Book Review (Facebook)

Penny McGinnis | Book Review

Cindy’s Book Corner | Book Review*


Penny Zeller | Tour Wrap-up (Which Character are You, etc.)

Kristina Hall | Book Review

Madi’s Musings | Book Spotlight

2friendstalkbooks | Book Review

Patti’s Porch | Guest Post, Giveaway

Forgotten Memories is an amazing beginning to what I believe will be a beautiful and touching series. In fact, Book Two is already available for preorder. (On a preorder special for $0.99–check out that cover, too.) If you’re looking for a sweet, Christian historical romance set in Wyoming (finally! There aren’t enough Wyoming books out there.), you need to read Forgotten Memories.

The Refrain Within

Title: The Refrain Within (Music of Hope, Book Three)

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Publisher: Gilead Publishing

Length: 320 pages

Available: Wherever books are sold


To save a life, would you betray everyone you love?

Hungary in 1944 is a dark place. The Nazis have invaded and turned the country upside down, their evil making its way into every life.

Clarinetist Eva Bognar is engaged to conductor and composer Patrik Kedves, happily planning her wedding. At first she doesn’t think the war will affect her directly; everyone around her can be trusted to do the right thing. Then her Jewish best friend and sister-in-law Zofia goes missing–and instead of the Gestapo being to blame, a friend says it was Patrik who led Zofia away. Has he betrayed Eva and everything the family stands for?

When the rest of the family’s lives are directly threatened, Patrik’s secrets must come to light. The Bognars flee for the border in hopes of getting out of the country to the safety of Palestine. Eva must put her life and the lives of everyone she loves in the hands of the very man who betrayed her–and they may not all make it out of the war alive . . .

Positive Elements:

Characters risked their lives to save others.

Negative Elements:


Spiritual Elements:

Characters pray; a character does her best to trust God; characters put their faith in God’s hands and discuss hoping in God; God using Rahab is mentioned; a passage from Revelation is quoted.


It is mentioned Jews are being rounded up en masse; characters are roughed up, beaten, injured, and interrogated; cities are bombed with injuries sustained and lives lost; it is mentioned characters are taken to Auschwitz; a character is kidnapped; innocent lives are taken; a character is struck by a car; it is mentioned a minor character was involved in two rapes and murders; one character’s torture and another’s suicide are described in a non-gruesome manner; it is implied a character is executed.


Characters kiss; characters lie to protect others and get Nazi officers drunk.


5 Stars.


Be prepared to be teary-eyed during certain parts of this book. Excellently written, powerful, and heartbreaking, The Refrain Within evokes emotion with sympathetic characters and plot. For the reader who recognizes the parallels between current events and WWII, The Refrain Within is not only an emotional read, but a chilling one, as well. Liz Tolsma is a master weaver of words and did an excellent job. This book is a must read.