Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Captive Bride

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

I sometimes think Amish novels have overloaded the market, so when I had an opportunity to review Paradise Valley, the first book in this series a year or so ago, I declined. And to be brutally honest, the idea of an Amish novel written by a man just seemed a little strange. Oops. My bad! When I was in Atlanta last summer, my blog friend and roommate, Kim from Window to my World, raved about Dale Cramer's books, so I walked over to his book-signing one afternoon to meet him and take his picture for Kim. What a delightful and kind man he was! He had run out of books but after chatting with him a few minutes, my curiosity was piqued so I signed up for this blog tour. I'm so glad I did! This is nothing like any other Amish novel I have read. Set in 1923, it is about an Amish colony in Mexico, and while fiction, it is based on the story of Dale Cramer's paternal side of the family. I was fascinated--and heartbroken--by the clash between the peace-loving Amish families and the notorious group of bandits led by El Pantere, as well as by the harsh realities and hard choices that Rachel and her family faced. The Captive Heart held me captive, and this will definitely not be the only book I read by Dale Cramer!


View blog reactions

1 comment:

Carole said...

I appreciated your thoughts, Linda. I love being able to tell people that Dale Cramer goes to my church, so I've followed his writing career for many years now. I believe you would enjoy some of his earlier books, some of which aren't Amish - Sutter's Cross and Bad Ground, for example.