About the Book
Title: Red Sky over America
Author: Tamera Lynn Kraft
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: February 11, 2018
In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.
America’s classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.
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America is a girl after my own heart. With a slave owning father, and the heart for freeing the slaves, she reminds me of what every single person in America should be. The name is fitting I think. Although the setting for this book is in the mid 1800’s, you can somewhat see the themes in the world today. People thinking they are better than others, treat others like they are not worth anything, and families divided over beliefs. For the most part, American was not willing to back down from her point of view and fought against those who did.
I felt slightly annoyed at her dealings with Harland. She seemed like such a strong character, and able to form good opinions about others, but I felt she was a tad naïve or blind when it came to Harland. I wanted her to push his buttons more. I wanted her to get into big arguments with him. Instead, it seemed as though he just took his words as truth and didn’t give them a second thought. Had it been another character, say her brother’s fiancée for example, she was quick to judge and speak her mind. It almost seemed like she was two different people.
William’s character however was not one to shy away. In fact, I applauded the times when he said he wasn’t backing down from evil. He was a hero in everyway….except for one thing he did with America. But I can’t say too much or it’ll totally spoil the book for you! From their initial conversation on the train I knew that they were two characters that were meant to be together. The fun part was seeing their stories separately more than together. It allowed you to get to know them better as individuals, and what they stood for without the other one hovering. I like reading books this way – makes it all the more enjoyable if the couple ends up together.
Overall I thought this was a great story. The inclusion of a few different point of views added depth and character to the story that enabled you to connect with each part of the plot. I look forward to the next installment of this series! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. She’s been married for 39 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren.
Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.
Guest posts from Tamera Lynn Kraft
100 Steps to Freedom
by Tamera Lynn Kraft
Before the Civil War, Ohio had the largest Underground Railroad of any state in the Union. It is believed that every county in Ohio had a route. Many slaves would escape over the Ohio River and through Ohio on their way to Canada. This was a dangerous undertaking because, even though Ohio was a free state, the Fugitive Slave Law made it so anyone helping escaped slaves could be fined and jailed.
One small town, Ripley, Ohio, is believed to have helped more slaves escape than any town in Ohio. Ripley is located on the banks of the Ohio River across from Mason County, Kentucky.
One man who helped slaves escape was a freed black man named John Parker. Parker was educated by his master in Virginia and eventually bought his freedom. He traveled to Ohio and opened a foundry on Front Street facing the Ohio River. He was the first black man to earn a patent for one of the inventions he used in his foundry. At night, he would search the Ohio River looking for escaped slaves and helping them find their way to an Underground Railroad Station.
Rev. John Rankin, a Presbyterian minister, owned a house on top of a hill in Ripley. He built one hundred steps to the house that could be seen on the other side of the river. At night, he would light a lantern and hang it from the porch to signal slaves that it was safe to cross. It is estimated that over 2,000 slaves escaped through the Rankin House. None of them were ever recaptured. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote her famous novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, about the escape of the slave, Eliza, after hearing the story from Rev. Rankin.
Rev. John Rankin’s house is in my novel, Red Sky Over America. John Parker also is introduced as a minor character. The story takes place on the Ohio River in Kentucky across from Ripley where all these exciting events happened.
Oberlin College: A School Ahead of Its Time
My current novel series, Ladies of Oberlin, is about 3 women roommates who graduated from one of the most amazing colleges in American history, Oberlin College. Book 1, Red Sky Over America focuses on America, a woman attending Oberlin who is an abolitionist studying to become a missionary. The problem is her father is a slave owner. Here’s a little bit about this amazing college.
Oberlin College, founded in 1833 in Northern Ohio, was a college ahead of its time in many ways. In 1835, it became the first college in the United States to regularly admit African Americans. It’s also the oldest co-educational college in the US. In 1837, it admitted four women, three of whom graduated and earned a college degree. Mary Jane Patterson, another Obeberlin graduate, became the first African American woman in 1862 to earn a Bachelor of Arts college degree.
One of Oberlin’s founders once bragged that “Oberlin is peculiar in that which is good”. Oberlin was peculiar in many ways in advancing the causes of the time. Charles Finney, the second president of the college, helped it earn its controversial reputation. He was the fiery evangelist of the Second Great Awakening, a Christian revivalist movement in the early and mid 1800s.
Oberlin College was the hotbed of abolitionist activity and a stop for the Underground Railroad before the Civil War. It was once called “the town that started the Civil War” because of its participation in the Oberlin Wellington Rescue in 1858. Slave catchers came to Oberlin to capture an escaped slave and return him to Kentucky. Most of the town came to the slave’s aid and rescued him. For their trouble, over twenty were arrested and put on trial for violating the Fugitive Slave Act. During the raid on Harper’s Ferry by John Brown, three men from Oberlin participated.
Oberlin College was also well known for the women who graduated from the college and participated in the suffrage and prohibition movements. Lucy Stone, considered a pioneer for the women’s movement, graduated from Oberlin College in 1847.
Oberlin was also very well known in the missionary movement of the late 1800s. Between 1860 and 1900, 90% of missionaries sent overseas by the American Missionary Society were graduates of Oberlin College. Between 1899 and 1901, thirteen missionaries from Oberlin were martyred during the Boxer Rebellion of China. An arch in Tappan Square at the center of Oberlin pays honor to their sacrifices.
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Bibliophile Reviews, June 10
Texas Book-aholic, June 11
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To celebrate her tour, Tamera is giving away a themed basket with autographed books of Resurrection of Hope, Alice’s Notions, Red Sky Over America, a copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (the book is mentioned in the novel) and a copy of Then Sings My Soul (stories about the hymns), plus a $10 Amazon Card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cebb/red-sky-over-america-celebration-tour-giveaway