Sunday, July 26, 2015

A quartet of southern love stories -- Among the Fair Magnolias

Among the Fair Magnolias is a collection of four love stories by four different authors set in the South in the decade following the Civil War.  Even though the stories share a common time period, the authors' writing styles, the settings, and the characters are quite different in these four enjoyable stories.

I was drawn to the novella collection when I saw that Tamera Alexander had written Savannah Derby's story.  Savannah was an "old friend" from To Win Her Favor and had a story that needed to be told.  In her typical style, Tamera (who appears to be a proper southern belle herself) told a beautiful tale of love and faith that was my favorite of the four.

Shelley Gray is the other author that I was familiar with before reading this book.  Russell's return home was a very fitting addition to her Heart of a Hero series, bringing some of the characters full circle to where their lives seemed to fall apart, while learning important lessons about their own feelings. 

Elizabeth Musser's story dealt with some of the most difficult and ugliest parts of this time period and did so with a great deal of class.  Some of the twists and turns in this story certainly helped keep the interest level up.

Dorothy Love wrote a story of well-to-do southerners forced to make difficult decisions with far-reaching consequences.  This story did not draw me in as much as the others in the collection did.

Fans of good historical fiction should enjoy Among the Fair Magnolias.  I am not always a fan of short novellas, usually preferring the opportunity to see stories develop over the span of a longer book.  But I found these stories to be well paced, even with the limitations of 80-90 pages each.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

See what other readers think about Among the Fair Magnolias here.

About the Book:

In the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history, four Southern women—destinies forged by birth, hearts steeled by war—face near impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love.
To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home. So when new owner, Aidan Bedford, a Boston attorney and former Union soldier, seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But the clock is ticking. Can she find the
box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front. This time, one of the heart.

An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray
When Russell Champion returns to Fort Worth, he’s determined to begin a new life. But when he arrives at his mother’s homestead, he discovers she’s very ill, and the woman he loved is still as beautiful and sweet as he remembered. With time running out, Russell must come to terms with both his future and his past.

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
Abigail knows all too well what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin Charles and take her place in society. But her heart belongs to another. A terrible incident forces Abby to choose between love and duty.
Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
Emily has a secret: She’s in love with one of the freedmen on her family’s plantation. Meanwhile, another man declares his love for her. Emily realizes some things are not as they seem and secrets must be kept in order to keep those she loves safe.

About the Authors:

Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of numerous books including “A Lasting Impression” and “The Inheritance.” Tamera is a two-time Christy Award winner, two-time RITA winner, and a recipient of the prestigious Library Journal Award.

A native of west Tennessee, Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels.

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), “The Protector,” recently made the New York Times best seller list.

Elizabeth Musser, a native of Atlanta, Georgia now living in France, is a novelist who writes what she calls ‘entertainment with a soul.’ For over 25 years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in mission work with International Teams.

Here is a video where you can get a little background information and learn a few "fun facts" about the authors of these stories.

Find out more about Alexander, Gray, Love, Musser at


  1. Good video, ladies. I think you have sent me to find your ebook. Thanks for the recipes, too.

  2. What a great video and what a great book!