FIRST Wild Card Tour presents Call of the Prairie (Pioneer Promises Series Book 2) by Vickie McDonough

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
Vickie McDonough
and the book:
Call of the Prairie (Pioneer Promises Series Book 2)
Whitaker House (January 1, 2014)
***Special thanks to Cathy Hickling for sending me a review copy.***

VickiMcDonoughHS2 Short Bio & Author Website: Vickie McDonough is an award-winning author of 30 works and a founder of the Christian Fiction Historical Society ( Book 1 in her Pioneer Promises series, Whispers on the Prairie, was chosen by Romantic Times as a top “recommended read” last summer. A member of ACFW, Vickie served as treasurer for three years and treasurer for her local chapter. She and her husband, Robert, live in Oklahoma and have four grown sons, one daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter. When she isn’t writing, Vickie enjoys reading, shopping for antiques, watching movies, and traveling. The final book in her Pioneer Promises series, Song of the Prairie, releases the summer of 2014.

Visit the author’s website.


In her 22 years, Sophie Davenport’s overprotective parents have taken every possible measure to keep her from exacerbating her asthma—she feels like a prisoner in her own house with her activities limited to reading and needlework. Yet Sophie longs for adventure and love, so when an aunt living in Windmill, Kansas, falls ill, she volunteers to travel from St. Louis to help out. Sophie’s new role brings her into contact with two children boarding at her aunt’s home, along with their handsome uncle, Josh Harper. Josh has worked for his family’s stagecoach stop on the Santa Fe Trail for most of his life, but he’s far more bookish than his brawny brothers. It’s his book smarts that recently landed him a job in Windmill managing his uncle’s bank. Josh also looks after his niece and nephew who are living in Windmill to attend school. Josh loves spending time with them, but yearns for a family of his own.


I really loved this story. Sophie was an interesting person and I enjoyed following her to take care of her aunt and the adventures she finds in her new surroundings. This historical story with its ups and downs along with the bit of romance was very heartwarming, and I found myself submerged in the story until I finished. You will love this second book in the Pioneer Promises Series by Vickie McDonough!

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99

Series: Pioneer Promises (Book 2)

Paperback: 272 pages

Publisher: Whitaker House (January 1, 2014)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1603749624

ISBN-13: 978-1603749626


Louis, Missouri
Davenport held back the curtain and peered out the front window, her heart
jolting as a handsome man exited the carriage. He paid the driver, then turned
and studied her house. He was taller and nicer looking than she’d expected. She
dropped the curtain and stepped back, hoping he hadn’t seen her spying. She
pressed her hands together and tapped her index fingers against her lips,
unable to hold back her grin. Blake had finally arrived!
knock of confidence, not apprehension, sounded at the main entrance. Sophie
hurried to her bedroom door, which opened onto the main entryway, then held her
breath and listened. Blake stood on her porch, introducing himself to the
butler. Sophie could barely hold back her giddiness. She bounced on her toes as
Blake told the butler he had an appointment with her. His voice, deeper than
she’d imagined, floated through the open transom window above her like a
beautiful cello solo at the symphony.
patted her hair, hoping the humidity of the warm day hadn’t sent it spiraling
in rebellious curls. The swish of silk accompanied her as she hurried across
the room to the full-length oval mirror that stood in one corner. Pressing a
hand over her chest to calm her pounding heart, she surveyed her deep purple
gown. Was the fabric too dark? She’d chosen the violet silk taffeta because her
brightly colored day dresses made her appear younger, but today, she wanted to
look the twenty-two-year-old woman she was. Turning sideways, she checked her
bustle and bow, making sure they were straight. Everything was as orderly as it
could be. Would Blake like what he saw? Would he think her too short? Her light
brown hair too nondescript?
a piece of lint off her bodice, she turned and faced the door. She would know
soon enough. After more than a year of correspondence, Blake knew everything
about her, and he had adamantly insisted that none of it mattered. He’d fallen
in love with her through her enchanting missives, and he wanted her for his
vicious knock rattled the glass in the transom, and Sophie jumped. The
apprehension racing through her was less about meeting Blake and more about the
fact that she hadn’t told her parents about him. They would have cut off her
correspondence faster than their gardener could lop off the head of a snake.
But it was too late now. She attempted to swallow the lump lodged in her
throat, but it refused to move.
mother walked in, her whole face pinched like a prune, and quickly closed the
door. She stood there facing it for a long moment, her head down, then heaved a
loud, exaggerated sigh.
a good sign.
her mother turned. “You have a guest, Sophia—a male guest.” One eyebrow lifted.
“Would you care to explain to me how you are acquainted with this man,
especially since neither your father nor I have ever met him?”
pressed a hand to her throat. She knew this wouldn’t be easy. “His name is
Blake Sheppard. He and I have been corresponding for over a year.”
mother’s brown eyes widened. “A year? But how? I’ve never seen a letter from
him in the mail.”
her head, Sophie stilled her hands and held them in front of her. “Ruthie sent
and received them for me. Blake is her cousin—and a gentleman.”
gentleman doesn’t go behind the backs of a young woman’s parents to contact
her.” Maintaining her stiff stance, her mother puckered her lips. “So, you’ve
been deceiving your father and me?”
Sophie turned toward the front window. “Would you have allowed me to correspond
with Blake if I’d told you about him?”
ladies don’t exchange letters with men they’ve never been introduced to, and
certainly not without parental approval.”
a steadying breath, Sophie turned to face her mother. She’d known this would be
a battle. “Mother, please. Blake is a good man. Ask me anything about him.”
no need. We will go out to the parlor, share a cup of tea, and then you’ll make
excuses that will send him on his way. Is that clear?”
gasped. “But he’s traveled so far, and I’ve waited so long to meet him.” She
despised the pleading in her voice. Why couldn’t her parents let her grow up
like her sister? A wheeze squeaked out of her throat. She had to stay calm. The
last thing she wanted was to have an attack in front of Blake.
mother moved closer, her expression softening. She took Sophie’s hand. “You
know how things are, dear. You had no business getting that young man’s hopes
young man is my fiancé, Mother.”
that’s absurd! You know you can’t lead a normal life.”
her eyes, Sophie fought back tears. Why did her parents seek to limit her?
Given the chance, she was certain she could be a proper wife and mother, but
her parents just wanted to coddle her and keep her close. “You have to face the
fact that I’m grown up. I want to live a normal life.” She hurried past her
mother and reached for the door handle.
you are not normal, dear. Your father and I only want to protect you. We
couldn’t bear to lose you, and you know we’ve come close to doing that very
thing on several occasions.”
shuddered at the declaration. Her mother’s words rang in her ears: You are not normal. Yes, she had a
breathing problem; but, as she’d gotten older, the spells had happened less
often. Maybe in time, they’d go away altogether. Her parents were afraid to let
her live as her sister did. If she didn’t get away from them, she’d become a
spinster—if she wasn’t one already. She stiffened her back and pasted on a
smile, trying to ignore the pain of her mother’s chastisement. Blake was
opened the door and stepped into the entryway, her gaze searching for the man
she’d dreamed about so many times. Blake stood in front of the parlor sofa,
speaking with her father. He hadn’t noticed her yet.
sorry you’ve wasted your time traveling all this way, Mr. Sheppard,” her father
said. “But, as I’ve already stated, my daughter is not in the habit of
receiving male visitors.”
eyebrows drew together, his shoulders slumping, as he looked down at the
carpet. Sophie blew out several breaths and tried to calm herself, then hurried
through the entryway into the parlor, avoiding her father’s glare. Her gaze
latched onto Blake’s, and she saw the confusion in his hazel eyes. He offered a
tentative smile. “Miss Davenport, a pleasure to finally meet you.”
smiled, her cheeks warming, as she curtsied. “I’ve looked forward to this
moment for a very long time.” She waved a hand toward her father, and noticed
that her mother had followed her into the room. “I apologize, but I failed to
tell my parents about your arrival.” Because
I knew just how they would respond
. “I fear they are both a bit surprised.”
An understatement of mammoth proportions, if ever there was one.
gathered her courage and turned to her father. “I see you’ve met Blake,
Father.” Her throat tightened at his stern stare. Another wheeze squeaked out.
“B-Blake is my fiancé.”
father’s eyes widened, and his mouth dropped open. A pomegranate color climbed
up his neck, turning his ears red. He turned his fiery gaze on Blake. “You
presume a lot, young man. Did Sophie not inform you that she is not fully well?
She is not in a position to accept an offer of marriage.”
cleared his throat and straightened, as if he wasn’t ready to give up the
battle. “Yes, sir, she told me, but I thought—” His gaze captured Sophie’s, and
then he glanced at the floor again. He shuffled his feet, as if he were trying
to figure out a new dance step. “I thought Sophie—uh, Miss Davenport—was free
to make her own decisions, sir. I’m sorry that she failed to inform you of my
interest in her.”
me?” Her father puffed up like a tom turkey whose hens were in danger. “A
daughter doesn’t ‘inform’ a father that she is planning to marry a stranger. A
decent fellow seeks permission before
approaching a man’s daughter.”
swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing. “I’m sorry, sir.”
if an angry fist clutched Sophie’s throat, she felt it closing. She expelled a
wheeze, and Blake shot a glance in her direction. Her father’s tirade blended
with the words her mother had uttered, causing an ache within her so painful,
she didn’t know if she could bear it. She was losing Blake, and they’d only
just met. Was she doomed to live with her overprotective parents the rest of
her life?
fight for Blake. He was worth it.
opened her mouth to defend her fiancé, but the sound that came out more resembled
the bleat of an ailing goat than her own voice. Humiliation blistered her
took a step backward, away from her, his handsome face drawn in a scowl.
see, Mr. Sheppard, the slightest excitement can set off one of my daughter’s
attacks.” Father turned to Sophie’s mother. “Ring for some coffee, if you will.
It seems to help our Sophie’s spells.”
Spells. Attacks. What would Blake think?
held out her hand to him. Instead of taking it, he cast another worried glanced
at her father. She sucked in another wheezy breath, struggling to stay clam in
the midst of such turmoil. The room tilted. Sophie closed her eyes until the
spinning stopped. All was silent for several long moments, except for her
screeching breaths.
her eyelids fluttered open, Blake met her gaze with an apology in his eyes. She
knew in that moment she’d lost him.
sighed. “Perhaps I have been too hasty. I sincerely apologize, Miss Davenport,
but I must withdraw my offer of marriage. I hope you and your parents can forgive
me for troubling you so.”
stung Sophie’s eyes. She held out her hand again, hoping—praying—he’d take hold
of it. “No, please—”
skirted around her as if she were a leper, nodded to her mother, then snatched
his hat off the hall tree and rushed out the door.
collapsed in the nearest chair and watched her dreams march down the sidewalk
and out of sight. Tears blurred her vision as all hope of a future with Blake
died. How could her parents be so cruel as to not even allow Blake to express
his interest in her? How could they embarrass her so?
father walked to her and leaned over. “Try to calm down, Sophia.”
jumped up so fast, her head almost rammed his chin. He stumbled backward. The
room swerved as she struggled for a decent breath. “How c-could you, Father?”
wave of guilt washed over his face. “It’s for your own good, you know.”
clutched the end table for support for a moment, then stumbled past him.
took her arm. “Here, let me help you, precious.”
Please.” She yanked away. “I can…take care of…myself. I’m a grown woman, and
you both need to f-face that fact.” She inhaled a decent breath and then
charged on, by pure willpower. “I’m twenty-two and not your little girl
anymore. Stop sheltering me…let me live my life. It’s mine to live, not yours
to stifle.”
flash of pain in her father’s eyes only made her feel worse. Her shoes tapped
across the entryway as she hurried back to her room—the former library, where
her parents had relegated her, as if she were a pariah. She shut the door and
collapsed on her bed, wanting to cry but knowing that doing so would only make
breathing harder. She slammed her fist against her pillow. “Why, God? Why can’t
my parents let me grow up?”
had such hopes. Thought that when her parents met Blake, they’d see what a
quality man he was. But they hadn’t even given him a chance. Could she have
been mistaken about him? She smacked the bed, a futile outlet for her
frustrations and disappointments. Blake hadn’t bothered to fight for her one
bit; he’d fled out the door the first chance he’d gotten. She’d tried to
prepare him—to warn him about her episodes—but she must have failed.
barked a cough that sounded like a seal she’d once seen at the menagerie in New
York City’s Central Park. Sophie pushed up into a sitting position, in order to
breathe better. Blinking, she attempted to force away her tears, but new ones
came like the spring rains that flooded the banks of the Mississippi River. Why
had God cursed her with this hateful condition?
door opened, and her mother entered, carrying a tray. Coffee. She despised the
foul-tasting stuff, but it was thought to be helpful to people with asthma, as
were garlic, whiskey, and a number of other nasty-tasting concoctions.
are you, dear?”
slid back down on the bed and turned to face the wall. She didn’t want to
talk—couldn’t talk.
be that way. You need to drink this coffee.”
shook her head.
over, Sophia.” Her mother’s tone left no room for refusal.
obeyed but didn’t look at her mother. Instead, she started counting the thin,
blue lines in the wallpaper—all nine hundred sixteen of them—as she’d done a
thousand other times. Focusing on the task would keep her from weeping and from
lashing out in anger.
mother blew out a loud breath, then held out the coffee cup. “Drink this.”
shook her head. “Doesn’t help.” She sucked in a breath, thankful that this
episode was a mild one and already beginning to pass, in spite of the day’s
traumatic events.
mother set the cup back on the tray with a loud clatter and stared across the
room. “Whatever made you do such a thing? Don’t you know that young man must
have spent hard-earned money to come here? Taken time away from his job,
assuming he has one? You gave him false hopes, Sophia, and now he’s wasted a
year of his life pursuing a woman he can never have.”
clenched her eyes shut, losing count of the lines. Did her mother not care that
her heart was breaking?
nibbled its way into her mind like a mouse in a sack of grain. She hadn’t
thought how things would affect Blake if they turned sour. She’d been so
certain everything would work out in their favor. So certain that she could
persuade her parents to let them marry, that she hadn’t considered the negative
side. But her mother was right about one thing. Blake had taken leave from his
job as bookkeeper for a shoe factory in Chicago so that he could travel to St.
Louis to meet her. He had wasted his time and money to come here.
it was all her fault.
sucked in a sob.
mother patted her shoulder. “There, there. Things will work out.”
her father would go back to running his company. Her mother would attend her
social clubs and church functions. Her sister would continue as a happily married
wife and soon-to-be mother, while Sophie would continue her boring existence as
a lonely spinster living in her parents’ home.
bed lifted on one side as her mother stood and quietly left the room. After the
door closed, Sophie sat up and stared out the window, at the very place she’d
first seen Blake. She hated feeling sorry for herself, and she normally didn’t,
but today, her emotions were raw.
rose from the bed and crossed the room to her desk, where her Bible lay. She
picked it up and hugged it to her chest as she gazed out at the garden. Bright
yellow butterflies flitted from flower to flower. A big bumblebee disappeared
in a clump of pink azaleas. The beauty of God’s creation never failed to cheer
her, even on the saddest of days.
blew out a loud sigh. “Forgive me, Lord, if I’ve been selfish.” She hugged the
Bible tighter. “But please, Father, make a way for me to break free from my
parents. To prove to them—and to myself—that I can stand on my own. That I can
take care of myself. And please, Lord, if it be Your will, send me a man
someday who will love me for the woman I am and overlook my…flaws.”
pooled in her eyes, and her throat tightened. “But if it is Your will for me to
remain in my parents’ home and to never marry, help me to accept that and to be
that was the Lord’s will, He certainly had a monumental task ahead.

End of the Trail by Vickie McDonough by River North

End of the Trail


 Vickie McDonough

end of the trail


End of the Trail is part of a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896.

Brooks Morgan left home 11 years earlier and is just too stubborn to return home.  In 1896 he pulls into the town of Shoofly to take refuge from a storm and befriends John Langston in the local cafe. A high stakes poker game ends with Brooks holding the deed to John’s ranch with one condition – Brooks must promise to take care of Keri. Brooks agrees, assuming that Keri is a horse.

Overcome by guilt, Brooks return to the cafe to give back the deed but finds John on the floor dead. Brooks heads off to take care of John’s ranch and is ambushed. With a noose around his neck, hands tied behind his back he offers a prayer up to God.  A stunning shot is delivered from the rifle of a lady on horseback that breaks the noose and frees Brooks. But could this lady – Keri – be an enemy, too?


This is the sixth and last book in The Texas Trail Series, and I have really enjoyed all six of them! The End of the Trail tells Brooks Morgan’s story. Brooks has been gone from his home for eleven years, and finds himself about to hang, that is until he hears a shot from a strange woman that frees him. What will she ask for in return for saving his life?

I really liked Brook and the feisty Keri Langston, they made this book  very fun and humorous to read! Brook won property in a poker game, property that suppose to belong to Keri, and she is not happy, needless to say. This series is written by a series of authors, and Vickie McDonough did an amazing job of writing the ending, I really enjoy her work. The historical details were vivid and I easily found myself living the story with these solid and interesting characters. I highly recommend this if you enjoy a good clean fiction, and especially if you enjoy Historical fiction. You will find The End of the Trail by Vickie McDonough very delightful!

I received this book from River North, a part of Moody Publishers to read and 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 55

A Pioneer Christmas Collection “On Sale for $1.97… Nine authors including Margaret Brownley

A Pioneer Christmas Collection

From Barbour Books.
Nine authors including Margaret Brownley


First of all, I would like to thank Margaret Brownley for sending me a copy of this book to read and review. And the next thing is, I just found out that this book is for sale at Barbour Books for just $1.97. Wow that is a bargain! But hurry, not sure for how long. 


9 Stories of Finding Shelter and Love in a Wintry Frontier

by Margaret BrownleyKathleen FullerMarcia Gruver,Cynthia HickeyVickie McDonoughShannon McNear,Lauraine SnellingMichelle UleAnna Carrie Urquhart

Journey along with American settlers who learn that despite where the trail takes them or how primitive their lodgings may be Christmas is all about the heart. Determined to honor Christ’s birth, these pioneers find a way to make Christmas happen in places like a cave, a tipi, and a dugout. Modern readers will enjoy a peek into life before commercialism took over the sacred day, distracting us from the true blessings of faith, hope, and love. Enjoy nine original novellas of Christmas romance as penned from many of today’s leading Christian authors, including Lauraine Snelling, Kathleen Fuller, and Vickie McDonough.


A Pioneer Christmas Collection was such a good read! Each story is short enough that it can be read in an hour or so, but they are short but Awesome!! I especially enjoyed these because the setting of each is during the pioneer days and I love that era in history. Listed below are the nine stories, the author who wrote each one, and the historical time and place of the setting. If you only purchase one fiction to read during the Christmas Season, this is the one you need to choose! These stories are so neat because during the busy season, its comforting to sit down take a break and read all or half of one story at a time. And if you read the beginning of my blog, you saw that Barbour Books had this amazing book for only $1.97. But hurry, it may end soon!

And today I am mainly focusing on A Pony Express Christmas by Margaret Brownley, since Margaret so graciously provided a copy for me to read and review.

Ellie-Mae Newman was in search of her brother. He left home because of not getting along with their dad, but now that their dad was gone, Ellie-Mae wanted to find her twin. But at this time, she is sitting with a broken wagon with two stubborn mules to pull it with, that is if it was workable! Then she runs into a hanging about to happen, and offers money for the poor mans life. Thanking Ellie and walking away, Mr. Corbett thought he was free, but little did he know he had a price to pay.

Margaret Brownley makes every story she writes funny and fun to read. In the mist of the difficult situations Ellie-Mae and Mr. Corbett were in, she had be laughing most of the way through A Pony Express Christmas Collection. How these two kept going on their trail was anybody’s guess, but they kept one. Ellie-Mae was one determined woman, and Mr. Corbett was a fugitive. But as they stopped at each Pony Express office on the trail, them seemed to run into a dead end, but Ellie-Mae just wouldn’t give up. Wanna find out if they find this twin brother? The answer is in Ms. Brownley’s story, A Pony Express Christmas. And you will find this story in A Pioneer Christmas Collection from Barbour Books HERE.

And here is a list of the stories in A Pioneer Christmas Collection!

1. DEFENDING TRUTH by Shannon McNear, 1791 NC

2. THE CALLING by Kathleen Fuller, 1820 OH

3.  A SILENT NIGHT by Ana Urquhart, 1824 Scotland & 1830 MI

4.  A PONY EXPRESS CHRISTMAS by Margaret Brownley, 1862 NE

5.  A CHRISTMAS CASTLE by Cynthia Hickey, 1867 AZ

6. THE COWBOY’S ANGEL by Lauraine Snelling, 1875 ND

7. A BADLANDS CHRISTMAS by Marcia Gruver, 1885 ND

8. BUCKSKIN BRIDE by Vickie McDonough, 1889 OK

9.  THE GOLD RUSH CHRISTMAS by Michelle Ule, 1897 AK
I received this book from Author Margaret Brownley and the publisher Barbour Books to read and 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 55.

Texas Trails Series…..The Long Trail Home by Vickie McDonough


Book Blurb

Long Trail Home is part of a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896.  Although a series, each book can be read on its own.

When Riley Morgan returns home after fighting in the War Between the States, he is excited to see his parents and fiancee again. But he soon learns that his parents are gone and the woman he loved is married.

Riley takes a job at the Wilcox School for the blind just to get by. He keeps his heart closed off but a pretty blind woman, Annie, threatens to steal it.

Through painful circumstances, Riley and Annie learn that the loving and sovereign hand of God cannot be thwarted.



Long Trail Home by Vickie McDonough

Texas Trails Series from River North….Moody Publishers

The Morgan family saga continues with Riley Morgan returning to his home in Waco, Texas, excited about seeing his mom and dad, and wanting forgiveness from him for leaving like he did. It just didn’t happen that way though. Riley returned to find an empty house, no one too welcome him home or tell him what happened.

Riley ends up helping out a friend that is in charge of a school that takes care of blind children. He is happy to live in a room in the barn, do repairs and upkeep to the badly need buildings and such around the farm in exchange for room and board, and of course the wonderful meals he would enjoy.

What Riley didn’t anticipate was falling for one of the ladies at the school. Annie, who was also blind or so he thought. Was she?

I have thoroughly enjoyed each book in this series, and this one didn’t disappoint. Vickie McDonough brings her expert writing skills to the series with a story that will capture your being and keep you instilled into the pages until the very end. The characters are truly believable and realistic, giving you the feeling that you’ve known them for a very long time!

I really encourage you to visit River North, the fiction division of Moody Publishers, and check out the Six books in this series. I will assure you, if you read one, you will have to read them all!

This book was provided by River North Fiction for me to read and review. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

Check the book out on Amazon

About the Author

About   Vickie McDonough
VICKIE MCDONOUGH is the author of over twenty books including the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series. Vickie’s books have won the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, Texas Gold, and the ACFW Noble Theme contest. Vickie lives in Oklahoma and is a wife of 35 years. She has 4 grown sons and one granddaughter. Visit Vickie’s website:

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