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A Promise Engraved

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Can Promises Made in Times of Struggle Endure 200 Years?   Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance. Young, spirited Josie Wilkins life is about to take a turn when faced with political turmoil and forbidden love in San Antonio of 1836. John Gilbert has won her Can Promises Made in Times of Struggle Endure 200 Years?   Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance. Young, spirited Josie Wilkins life is about to take a turn when faced with political turmoil and forbidden love in San Antonio of 1836. John Gilbert has won her heart, despite being a Protestant preacher who is forbidden to practice his faith in Texas. Will either of them survive an epic battle for liberty to create a legacy of love?   Nearly 200 years later, Kayleigh Hewland takes breaks from her demanding job as a refugee coordinator working with Mexican migrants to attend flea markets where she has found a uniquely engraved ring. Enlisting the help of appraiser Brandon Mullins, they piece together a love story long forgotten. But will dangers linked to Kayleigh’s work end her own hopes for leaving a legacy built on hope, faith, and love?  


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Can Promises Made in Times of Struggle Endure 200 Years?   Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance. Young, spirited Josie Wilkins life is about to take a turn when faced with political turmoil and forbidden love in San Antonio of 1836. John Gilbert has won her Can Promises Made in Times of Struggle Endure 200 Years?   Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance. Young, spirited Josie Wilkins life is about to take a turn when faced with political turmoil and forbidden love in San Antonio of 1836. John Gilbert has won her heart, despite being a Protestant preacher who is forbidden to practice his faith in Texas. Will either of them survive an epic battle for liberty to create a legacy of love?   Nearly 200 years later, Kayleigh Hewland takes breaks from her demanding job as a refugee coordinator working with Mexican migrants to attend flea markets where she has found a uniquely engraved ring. Enlisting the help of appraiser Brandon Mullins, they piece together a love story long forgotten. But will dangers linked to Kayleigh’s work end her own hopes for leaving a legacy built on hope, faith, and love?  

30 review for A Promise Engraved

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Texas history I received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. This is a story of 1830's Texas and modern day Texas and a ring that connects both. It touches on the political issues of each era. It is perhaps a bit too fanciful on the connections between these eras although it is a sweet story. Texas history I received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. This is a story of 1830's Texas and modern day Texas and a ring that connects both. It touches on the political issues of each era. It is perhaps a bit too fanciful on the connections between these eras although it is a sweet story.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    1835 & Present Day San Antonio area, Texas What a great addition to the Doors to the Past Series! In A Promise Engraved, central to both threads is a ring with a mysterious engraving. Pieces to the puzzle of what the engraving meant and where the ring had been unravel in both story lines. The historical and current day threads were equally engaging. Texas history of 1835 was brought to life in the pages. Such brave men and women they were to defend the canon in Gonzales (I never knew the canon didn 1835 & Present Day San Antonio area, Texas What a great addition to the Doors to the Past Series! In A Promise Engraved, central to both threads is a ring with a mysterious engraving. Pieces to the puzzle of what the engraving meant and where the ring had been unravel in both story lines. The historical and current day threads were equally engaging. Texas history of 1835 was brought to life in the pages. Such brave men and women they were to defend the canon in Gonzales (I never knew the canon didn't even work!) and the Alamo in San Antonio. My gratitude to Barbour Publishing for a complimentary NetGalley copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chautona Havig

    Who Knew A Promise Engraved Two Centuries Ago Could Endure? In true Liz Tolsma style, she took her first split-time novel, A Promise Engraved, and knocked it out of the park (or should I say, 'won the day'?). Despite one thing that irked me, this book has made it to the top ten books I've read this year.  No mean feat with some truly incredible fiction coming out this year.  Some split-time novels have a tenuous thread between storylines that don't really need to be told as one story. This one, wh Who Knew A Promise Engraved Two Centuries Ago Could Endure? In true Liz Tolsma style, she took her first split-time novel, A Promise Engraved, and knocked it out of the park (or should I say, 'won the day'?). Despite one thing that irked me, this book has made it to the top ten books I've read this year.  No mean feat with some truly incredible fiction coming out this year.  Some split-time novels have a tenuous thread between storylines that don't really need to be told as one story. This one, while having two interesting stories that could stand alone, needs both together for the greatest impact.  YES! One advantage historical fiction authors have over contemporary authors when writing split-time fiction is that they know how to handle the historical side well. They become familiar with the cadence of speech and writing--of knowing what would be important to people living during that time and what wouldn't. Good authors know how not to impose modern sensibilities on historical culture without seeming to condone what we abhor today. Being contemporary people makes these same authors capable of writing an authentic dual timeline without sounding stiff or formal. Those who allow themselves to break out of the historical mode, that is. Liz Tolsma does both. So what do we get from A Promise Engraved? The contemporary story showcases real issues Texans face today--children sent across the border in hopes of a better life.  The impact on those children and on those who have to watch the pain and sorrow the victims of this kind of human trafficking endure. The heartbreak those children face for decades to come. Add to that the reality of dealing with creepy stalkers, and... whoa. But as much as I loved the contemporary story, the way Tolsma handled the historical counterpart is nothing short of wonderful. She took a hard, cruel story, let us know all the horrors Josie endured, and never once took it so far that I couldn't handle it. This book recounts a young girl's captivity by a vile man. We know what she endured. But we never have to endure it with her.  Thank you, Liz. In true Tolsma fashion, I did give the slightest little eye-roll at the declarations of undying love. Liz is much more effusive that way than any author I know, and that's fine for her. It just never rings true for me. I've never heard people be quite so... gushy with their endearments as her characters tend to be. But like Basham's "stick-your-head-in-the-freezer" kisses, they're part of who Liz and her books are.  And I'm okay with that (like she cares if I am. Snort). Besides... the characters! They're so likable! Josie is impetuous and strong--determined not to be a victim again.  Defying anyone to tell her what she can and cannot do. While some might see her as "before her time," I see her as a product of her time. Women were strong, resilient. Not only that, they became so without losing their femininity. It's something modern women could learn from. Kayleigh is somehow her own, unique person and the contemporary counterpart to Josie. Their stories are so very different--and so very much alike. They both have a stalker; they both serve their communities. They both have men in their lives that see past the clumsily glued pieces of their hearts and appreciate the beauty within. Neither woman is perfect. We wouldn't want them to be.  Both women will creep into your heart and make you glad you met them. My only complaint nearly stole a star from this book. But the more I reflected on it, the more I realize that I don't know if it could have been avoided. One suspenseful thread feels like it needed more somewhere.  The problem is, that given any more, it would have destroyed everything.  Liz did the right thing, and I have to acknowledge that.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Faye

    A cats-eye ring links two women centuries apart in their search for family, answers, and love. Haunted by her past Josie Wilkins finds it hard to hope after losing so much, yet I admired her strength and bravery in being willing to risk her life fighting for freedom. John is a kind man who lives by his faith, I loved how he solidly supports Josie, offering comfort and acceptance. Kayleigh in the present day is passionate about her work, but a ring with ties to her past has her searching for answ A cats-eye ring links two women centuries apart in their search for family, answers, and love. Haunted by her past Josie Wilkins finds it hard to hope after losing so much, yet I admired her strength and bravery in being willing to risk her life fighting for freedom. John is a kind man who lives by his faith, I loved how he solidly supports Josie, offering comfort and acceptance. Kayleigh in the present day is passionate about her work, but a ring with ties to her past has her searching for answers. I loved her heart for the children, as well as her friend Paula, and new friend Brandon. Kayleigh's story definitely has a lot of mystery and suspense to it. Overall, this was a quick read, I enjoyed reading about the brave men and women who fought for their way of life, as well as the strong themes of faith and trusting God even in a world of pain and suffering. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    Another great read in the Doors to the Past series. Each book in this series is a stand-alone dual timeline. This author is amazing in her research to bring the past to life and she does that with the Alamo flawlessly. Add to that her ability to weave fiction in with facts and you have the makings of a great story but then add a contemporary storyline that ties to solving the past and you will be hooked. I was impressed that she dealt with difficult subject matter with finesse. Josie was such a Another great read in the Doors to the Past series. Each book in this series is a stand-alone dual timeline. This author is amazing in her research to bring the past to life and she does that with the Alamo flawlessly. Add to that her ability to weave fiction in with facts and you have the makings of a great story but then add a contemporary storyline that ties to solving the past and you will be hooked. I was impressed that she dealt with difficult subject matter with finesse. Josie was such a strong free spirit and John was so kind in showing her some things we blame ourselves for are not our fault. I especially loved the mystery of the ring and how it ties everything together. A complete package that you must read. I received a complimentary copy from CelebrateLit. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin Miller

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 4.5 ⭐️   Enriched in history, A Promise Engraved follows the stories of two women in different periods of history. The first timeline transports us back to the 1830s, where Josie Wilkins experienced setbacks, heartbreak, and breakthrough in San Antonio and the Battle of the Alamo. The second timeline takes readers to the present day, where Kayleigh Hewland, a refugee coordinator, stumbles upon an engraved ring that may unlock the secrets to her past that she’s desperately wanted for years. There w 4.5 ⭐️   Enriched in history, A Promise Engraved follows the stories of two women in different periods of history. The first timeline transports us back to the 1830s, where Josie Wilkins experienced setbacks, heartbreak, and breakthrough in San Antonio and the Battle of the Alamo. The second timeline takes readers to the present day, where Kayleigh Hewland, a refugee coordinator, stumbles upon an engraved ring that may unlock the secrets to her past that she’s desperately wanted for years. There were several things I appreciated about this book.  The first was how, even though this book is a shorter read (roughly 224 pages), the author does a fantastic job of making it feel like a full-length novel. The flow is great, the transition between the past/present day is smooth and easy to track with, and the characters and storylines for both timelines were engaging.  The second was the approach the author took on some really traumatic things one of the characters endured—sexual abuse. Josie’s character dealt with the trauma that comes from being abused and all the bitterness that roots itself in our hearts when we’ve been deeply hurt. The angst the character experienced and her journey from seeking revenge to finding peace were well done.  The second was the suspense the author weaved into the story in the present-day scene with Kayleigh’s stalker. I had my suspicions about who the mystery person was, but I was wrong in my guesses and was pleasantly surprised to discover it was someone I never would have guessed. I appreciate it when the mystery stalker isn’t predictable or easy to figure out.  One thing I wished was done differently about this book was more of a suspenseful build-up at the climax for the present-day scene where Kayleigh encounters her stalker. The scene felt a bit anti-climactic to me and I wished there had been more of a confrontation before the police arrived. This, however, is just a minor personal preference of mine and didn’t distract from the overall story. Anyone who loves history, clean storylines, and touching themes of forgiveness and redemption will definitely enjoy this book! 

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    A gripping tale of the battle of the Alamo using some real characters and fictional ones. A cat’s eye ring ties the past to the present as Kayleigh and Brandon search for the meaning of an inscription on the ring. Steeped in the history of Texas with all the danger of the battle for independence from Santa Anna, Ms. Tolsma weaves a possible scenario around an interesting artifact. Filled with facts from bygone days and a believable story of what might have happened, we see danger and connections A gripping tale of the battle of the Alamo using some real characters and fictional ones. A cat’s eye ring ties the past to the present as Kayleigh and Brandon search for the meaning of an inscription on the ring. Steeped in the history of Texas with all the danger of the battle for independence from Santa Anna, Ms. Tolsma weaves a possible scenario around an interesting artifact. Filled with facts from bygone days and a believable story of what might have happened, we see danger and connections both in the past and in the present, all the while with an underpinning of faith. This makes me want to visit San Antonio and the Alamo. I am really enjoying these forays through The Doors To The Past. * I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishers. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    This riveting tale is a dual timeline dating back to the 1800’s. The historical and fictional characters leaped from the pages with the flow of Tolsma penned words and creativity of the past to the present with struggles, faith, and romance for each character. I appreciate the history found in the story surrounding the battle of the Alamo and the sacrifices made along with the romance during difficult times. Tolsma never disappoints with her historical fictional books as the history is well rese This riveting tale is a dual timeline dating back to the 1800’s. The historical and fictional characters leaped from the pages with the flow of Tolsma penned words and creativity of the past to the present with struggles, faith, and romance for each character. I appreciate the history found in the story surrounding the battle of the Alamo and the sacrifices made along with the romance during difficult times. Tolsma never disappoints with her historical fictional books as the history is well researched and characters that stand out with their traits. A Promise Engraved is another wonderful contribution from Barbour Publishers for their Doors of the Past series. Each book is filled with well research historical events, dimensional characters, faith and a budding romance for each dual timeline. I look forward to the next book in this series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishers without any obligation to write a positive review. I have expressed my own thoughts.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Bryant

    A Promise Engraved is another beautifully written, captivating read from storyteller extraordinaire Liz Tolsma. This unputdownable book kept me immersed from beginning to end! The dual timeline plot set in San Antonio is brilliantly executed splitting its time between 1836 and present day. Each timeline follows its own journey merging in a harmonious ending. I love how the mysterious ring ties the two stories together. The historical element is amazing as well as informative evidencing extensive A Promise Engraved is another beautifully written, captivating read from storyteller extraordinaire Liz Tolsma. This unputdownable book kept me immersed from beginning to end! The dual timeline plot set in San Antonio is brilliantly executed splitting its time between 1836 and present day. Each timeline follows its own journey merging in a harmonious ending. I love how the mysterious ring ties the two stories together. The historical element is amazing as well as informative evidencing extensive and impeccable research. Historical fact is intertwined flawlessly with fiction to weave an entertaining, riveting tale. The characters, real-life and fictional, are well-crafted and memorable. Inspiring spiritual truths are skillfully incorporated into the story. I love Barbour’s multi-author Doors to the Past series, and this book is a fitting and worthy addition. I highly recommend this read especially for fans of historical fiction and dual timelines. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley with no obligation to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chautona Havig

    Who Knew A Promise Engraved Two Centuries Ago Could Endure? In true Liz Tolsma style, she took her first split-time novel, A Promise Engraved, and knocked it out of the park (or should I say, ‘won the day’?). Despite one thing that irked me, this book has made it to the top ten books I’ve read this year. No mean feat with some truly incredible fiction coming out this year. Some split-time novels have a tenuous thread between storylines that don’t really need to be told as one story. This one, whil Who Knew A Promise Engraved Two Centuries Ago Could Endure? In true Liz Tolsma style, she took her first split-time novel, A Promise Engraved, and knocked it out of the park (or should I say, ‘won the day’?). Despite one thing that irked me, this book has made it to the top ten books I’ve read this year. No mean feat with some truly incredible fiction coming out this year. Some split-time novels have a tenuous thread between storylines that don’t really need to be told as one story. This one, while having two interesting stories that could stand alone, needs both together for the greatest impact. YES! One advantage historical fiction authors have over contemporary authors when writing split-time fiction is that they know how to handle the historical side well. They become familiar with the cadence of speech and writing–of knowing what would be important to people living during that time and what wouldn’t. Good authors know how not to impose modern sensibilities on historical culture without seeming to condone what we abhor today. Being contemporary people makes these same authors capable of writing an authentic dual timeline without sounding stiff or formal. Those who allow themselves to break out of the historical mode, that is. Liz Tolsma does both. So what do we get from A Promise Engraved? The contemporary story showcases real issues Texans face today–children sent across the border in hopes of a better life. The impact on those children and on those who have to watch the pain and sorrow the victims of this kind of human trafficking endure. But more than that, the heartbreak those children face for decades to come. Add to that the reality of dealing with creepy stalkers, and… whoa. But as much as I loved the contemporary story, the way Tolsma handled the historical counterpart is nothing short of wonderful. She took a hard, cruel story, let us know all the horrors Josie endured, and never once took it so far that I couldn’t handle it. This book recounts a young girl’s captivity by a vile man. We know what she endured. But we never have to endure it with her. Thank you, Liz. In true Tolsma fashion, I did give the slightest little eye-roll at the declarations of undying love. Liz is much more effusive that way than any author I know, and that’s fine for her. It just never rings true for me. I’ve never heard people be quite so… gushy with their endearments as her characters tend to be. But like Basham’s “stick-your-head-in-the-freezer” kisses, they’re part of who Liz and her books are. And I’m okay with that (like she cares if I am. Snort). Besides… the characters! They’re so likable! Josie is impetuous and strong–determined not to be a victim again. Defying anyone to tell her what she can and cannot do. While some might see her as “before her time,” I see her as a product of her time. Women were strong, resilient. Not only that, they became so without losing their femininity. It’s something modern women could learn from. Kayleigh is somehow her own, unique person and the contemporary counterpart to Josie. Their stories are so very different–and so very much alike. They both have a stalker; they both serve their communities. They both have men in their lives that see past the clumsily glued pieces of their hearts and appreciate the beauty within. Neither woman is perfect. We wouldn’t want them to be. Both women will creep into your heart and make you glad you met them. My only complaint nearly stole a star from this book. But the more I reflected on it, the more I realize that I don’t know if it could have been avoided. One suspenseful thread feels like it needed more somewhere. The problem is, that given any more, it would have destroyed everything. Liz did the right thing, and I have to acknowledge that.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patti Wolff

    Liz Tolsma's "A Promise Engraved" is an absorbing installment of the multi-author Doors to the Past series. This meticulously researched novel's past timeline centers around Texas's fight to break free from Mexico and the resulting Alamo tragedy. This serious work is a seamless blending of fiction with a lot of fact. There is much sadness and death to overcome, but with faith, lovely heroine Josie Wilkins and Pastor John Gilbert eventually find happiness after living through some horrible events Liz Tolsma's "A Promise Engraved" is an absorbing installment of the multi-author Doors to the Past series. This meticulously researched novel's past timeline centers around Texas's fight to break free from Mexico and the resulting Alamo tragedy. This serious work is a seamless blending of fiction with a lot of fact. There is much sadness and death to overcome, but with faith, lovely heroine Josie Wilkins and Pastor John Gilbert eventually find happiness after living through some horrible events. The present timeline features Kayleigh Hewland and her work with Mexican border-crossing children, a political minefield she navigates because of her own childhood. Meeting jeweler Brandon Mullins, she and Brandon search for the true story behind the ring that ties together the present and the past. Tolsma's prose is lovely, although much of the subject matter is raw and gritty. Characters are well-drawn, good guys and bad guys alike. The timelines converge in a satisfying ending. Thanks to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing for an ARC of this riveting novel.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kirby

    A Promise Engraved is the eighth installment in the multi author Doors to the Past series, and is a dual timeline story that highlights Liz Tolsma's wonderful gift of storytelling. Set in Texas, this particular title focuses around the events of the Alamo in 1836, and a ring in the present day that seems to have connections to this horrific period in history. As our two female protagonists in the past and the present suffer horrendous circumstances, a mystery grows that pulls many players into a A Promise Engraved is the eighth installment in the multi author Doors to the Past series, and is a dual timeline story that highlights Liz Tolsma's wonderful gift of storytelling. Set in Texas, this particular title focuses around the events of the Alamo in 1836, and a ring in the present day that seems to have connections to this horrific period in history. As our two female protagonists in the past and the present suffer horrendous circumstances, a mystery grows that pulls many players into a centuries rich bit of history. I have to admit that going into this one, my knowledge of the events at the Alamo were minimal at most. I especially enjoyed how rich in history this particular title was, and I definitely came away feeling like I'd gained new knowledge about many details unknown to me before. One of my favorite type of mystery stories is ones that connect between the past and the present, and I thought this was handled beautifully throughout. I'd never have known without reading the end acknowledgments that this was the author's first foray into the dual timeline genre. A story rich in both history and mystery, A Promise Engraved is another wonderful addition to the Doors to the Past series. I only ended up having a couple of minor complaints. First, I felt some of the questions raised weren't answered in a way I found totally satisfying. It might not bother every reader, but it left me feeling like I'd missed something in the ending. Secondly, this one did take me quite awhile to get into, but once I got to the halfway point I was definitely finding myself glued to the pages. Lastly, because of the part of history it's based upon, this book is definitely heavier and darker, and was one that I couldn't read too much of in one sitting. However, I much appreciated that the darkness was balanced with the light of Jesus, and I thought that part was handled beautifully. All in all, I really enjoyed this one, and I look forward to reading more from this series and from this author in the future. Final Rating: 4/5. Thanks so much to Barbour for allowing me to advance read and review this one! I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary advance reader copy of this novel from the publisher (Barbour) in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    A Promise Engraved is an excellent story with a dual timeline. Josie Wilkins and John Gilbert are in 1835, and have known each other for quite a while, and Josie knows she is in love with the minister. She lives through the battle of the Alamo, thinking he has been killed. As it turns out, he is somewhere nearby during the battle, and they are soon reunited after the terrible battle. She has a special ring that is used to send messages, but it is taken from hr near the end of her story. 200 year A Promise Engraved is an excellent story with a dual timeline. Josie Wilkins and John Gilbert are in 1835, and have known each other for quite a while, and Josie knows she is in love with the minister. She lives through the battle of the Alamo, thinking he has been killed. As it turns out, he is somewhere nearby during the battle, and they are soon reunited after the terrible battle. She has a special ring that is used to send messages, but it is taken from hr near the end of her story. 200 years later, Kayleigh Hewland finds a ring exactly like her mother's ring in a Mexican market, and she begins to research the history of it. A jeweler, Brandon, becomes her friend and helps her to unfold the mystery behind it. Together, they uncover a long lost love story that include her own grandparents. Great story!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Becky Lewis

    Kudos to Liz Tolsma for crafting such an unputdownable dual-time novel. I was hooked from the first page and hated that I was unable to finish the novel in one sitting. Have Kleenex handy and maybe something to squeeze when the tension gets high. You’re going to need both, a lot!! A cat’s-eye ring connects Josie Wilkins, a young spy for those Americans who fought Santa Anna at the Alamo in 1836, and Kayleigh Hewland, a young Hispanic American who is haunted by vague memories of her birth parents. Kudos to Liz Tolsma for crafting such an unputdownable dual-time novel. I was hooked from the first page and hated that I was unable to finish the novel in one sitting. Have Kleenex handy and maybe something to squeeze when the tension gets high. You’re going to need both, a lot!! A cat’s-eye ring connects Josie Wilkins, a young spy for those Americans who fought Santa Anna at the Alamo in 1836, and Kayleigh Hewland, a young Hispanic American who is haunted by vague memories of her birth parents. Come read this novel for the intrigue, for the romance, for the danger. Get lost in the gripping emotions, the fascinating history, and the faith that kindles and slowly builds into solid flame. Tolsma creates characters that are readily relatable. Others you will despise with a passion, just as their actions dictate. A few, like Bright Star and Running Deer, need to have stories of their own. I wanted to know them better. I enjoyed the way that Tolsma set off the ending of each time period. Each period would wind up at a climax with a cliffhanger, before preceding to the next segment to rebuild the angst and anticipation. Themes are having faith in God and others, and believing God brings good out of bad. We are reminded that while searching for biological parents fills a need, God also provides through adoptive parents, not to be taken for granted. Plus, we are urged to realize that many innocent, young children are caught up in our country’s border wars. I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit, plus I bought my own copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own. Notable Quotables: “Let your head rule the day, not your heart.” “…we have no guarantees in this life and that we must entrust the ones we have into the Lord’s hands.” “Time to sit back and let God.” “Never let them hear you, never let them see you, never let them smell you.” “Appealing to a man’s stomach was always a good choice to bring any argument to an end.” “Faith. It meant taking that giant step and putting herself in someone else’s hands.” Don’t miss out on the future because of what you lost in the past.”

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    A Promise Engraved is the eighth installment from the multi author series, Doors to the Past. I have always loved books by Liz Tolsma and this one is no different. I loved the vivid historical details that made me feel as though I was transported back in time to 1830s San Antonio. It was interesting to find out how the past and present tie into one another. This was a great book to read and could not wait to find out how it would all end. A Promise Engraved will be getting five plus stars from m A Promise Engraved is the eighth installment from the multi author series, Doors to the Past. I have always loved books by Liz Tolsma and this one is no different. I loved the vivid historical details that made me feel as though I was transported back in time to 1830s San Antonio. It was interesting to find out how the past and present tie into one another. This was a great book to read and could not wait to find out how it would all end. A Promise Engraved will be getting five plus stars from me. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy reading clean historical and romantic suspense with dual time lines. I look forward to reading the next book from the Doors to the Past series, Allison Pittman’s Laura’s Shadow. I received a copy of A Promise Engraved from the publisher, but was not required to write a positive review. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rae

    This book is part of the "doors to the past" series which are standalone books but all contain congruent stories - one historical and the other contemporary. I enjoyed both halves of the story although I felt confused by one plot point which was not solved in the contemporary story. I could be overthinking it though. I got this in exchange for a free review. As a result of reading it, I ordered it for my library and will be encouraging others to read it. I felt the main characters were strong wom This book is part of the "doors to the past" series which are standalone books but all contain congruent stories - one historical and the other contemporary. I enjoyed both halves of the story although I felt confused by one plot point which was not solved in the contemporary story. I could be overthinking it though. I got this in exchange for a free review. As a result of reading it, I ordered it for my library and will be encouraging others to read it. I felt the main characters were strong woman who learnt to overcome their pasts.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    A wonderful dual timeline story focusing on the Alamo. This is one of the better stories from this series by various authors. I enjoyed how the present day and historical storylines came together at the end. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melissa’s Bookshelf

    “Faith. It meant taking that giant step and putting herself in someone else’s hands.” Enjoyed this dual-time period story about two young women separated by almost 200 years and connected by a cat-eye ring. With lush historical details and inspiring stories of perseverance and faith, this story transported me to 1830’s Texas and the battle for independence. As a young woman, Josie Wilkins has experienced more than most could survive. She witnessed horrible atrocities and was kidnapped by an evil “Faith. It meant taking that giant step and putting herself in someone else’s hands.” Enjoyed this dual-time period story about two young women separated by almost 200 years and connected by a cat-eye ring. With lush historical details and inspiring stories of perseverance and faith, this story transported me to 1830’s Texas and the battle for independence. As a young woman, Josie Wilkins has experienced more than most could survive. She witnessed horrible atrocities and was kidnapped by an evil man who still haunts her. Now two years later and reunited with her family, their homeland is under threat from Santa Anna and his troops. One brave handsome minister is determined to win Josie’s hand, but will he accept her past and will they survive the battle for independence? Kayleigh Hewland’s life is turned upside down when a purchase at a flea market could be the link to the past she’s been searching for. The cat-eye ring with the strange engraving looks like the ring her deceased mother once owned. Enlisting the help of jewelry store owner Brandon Shuman, they search for clues about the ring’s origins, but as they unravel the past, danger lurks. Will Kayleigh learn to trust and open her heart or will her past come back to haunt her? This story took me a while to really get into, but once I did, I was hooked. At first, I felt like I was dropped into the middle of the story, but that jarring feeling works because it puts you directly into the heroine’s while pieces of the past are slowly woven in. I enjoyed both stories and the way they were linked together. There were two despicable villains in both stories who kept tensions high. There was plenty of action, mystery, and romance to keep me invested in both stories and hoping for happiness for both women. The religious messages of faith, trust, and hope were a big part of the stories, but woven into the characters’ lives in a natural way that wasn’t overbearing. Highly recommend this story to Christian fiction and historical fiction lovers. Content: stalker, rape (no explicit details), some violence. I received a complimentary copy from CelebrateLit through NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I was not required to provide a positive review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    Two women are separated by almost two centuries. Both struggle with their faith in the Lord and events in their pasts. They are connected by a ring that had belonged to their mothers. And they know Christian men who grow to love them despite each woman trying to avoid romance. This is the first dual timeline story written by this gifted storyteller, and it is excellent! The characters and the Texas Revolution, including the Alamo, and the outcome of the war, are brought to life through realistic Two women are separated by almost two centuries. Both struggle with their faith in the Lord and events in their pasts. They are connected by a ring that had belonged to their mothers. And they know Christian men who grow to love them despite each woman trying to avoid romance. This is the first dual timeline story written by this gifted storyteller, and it is excellent! The characters and the Texas Revolution, including the Alamo, and the outcome of the war, are brought to life through realistic conversations, actions, and emotions. This will appeal to many who appreciate faith challenges, history, and suspense. Josie has survived things that many women could not have faced. She was kidnapped by Manuel, a man from the Mexican army, after he murdered her baby sister and their mother, then ripped the cat’s eye ring off her mother. Josie was held captive for over a year before she was found and rescued. Her father remarried a woman named Charlotte. Josie now helps her stepmother with chores as she is pregnant. Charlotte lost her first baby and is trying to protect this one. Josie, having been taught many things by close friend Bright Star and her warrior brother, courageously spies on the Mexican army to learn their plans. John, the pastor of their church and part of the fight for independence, is clearly interested in her, but if he knew her past, she is sure he would reject her. Kayleigh works to help unaccompanied children who crossed the border from Mexico. Most people do not know that she was once in their position. Her parents died shortly after they crossed. She found a cat’s eye ring at a market that looks like the one her mother had until the human smuggler pulled it from her hand after she died. Kayleigh took it to a nearby jewelry store. Intrigued, the owner researches the kind of ring she has and the inscription inside, and became interested in Kayleigh. Since purchasing the ring, her life is suddenly, repeatedly threatened. Each of the young women has significant faith struggles that many readers could understand. Watching Josie and Kayleigh in their daily lives and relationships is heartwarming. Each, despite her background, contributes to the needs around her. The Texas Revolution is demonstrated so well that I could grasp the events and want to know more. A completely non-political point of view is shared regarding the needs of innocent children who cross the border, often with smugglers or other strangers. This novel captured and held my attention as I appreciated and learned from Josie and Kayleigh. I love how Kayleigh learned Josie’s story. I like how, in the notes of the author, she explains what events were real. I enjoyed reading about Texas, secrets of the ring, and how our lives are entwined with others both present and past. I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy dual timeline fiction that includes Texas independence, faith and grace, and Christian growth. Note: While the accounts are minimal and not detailed, those sensitive to violence against women may be triggered. From a thankful heart: I received a copy of this novel from Celebrate Lit, and the publisher through NetGalley, and this is my honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Loraine

    The newest release in the Doors to the Past series by Liz Tolsma is another wonderful split time novel. The historical timeline is set in the 1830's when Mexico and Texas were battling for the territory that would eventually be part of Texas. The contemporary timeline is set in San Antonio. The two periods are connected by a uniquely engraved cat's eye ring. Josie Wilkins has feelings for Protestant pastor John Gilbert, and both of them are caught up in the politics and battle for Texas to gain The newest release in the Doors to the Past series by Liz Tolsma is another wonderful split time novel. The historical timeline is set in the 1830's when Mexico and Texas were battling for the territory that would eventually be part of Texas. The contemporary timeline is set in San Antonio. The two periods are connected by a uniquely engraved cat's eye ring. Josie Wilkins has feelings for Protestant pastor John Gilbert, and both of them are caught up in the politics and battle for Texas to gain the territory that Mexico is claiming. Will they both survive and will they find their way to each other? Kayleigh Hernandez spots a cat's eye ring that catches her interest in a San Antonio Riverwalk store. But the owner/appraiser, Brandon Shuman, isn't sure he wants to let it go as he suspects it is connected to his family. Will Kayleigh and Brandon be able to work together to find the history of the ring as well as discover the meaning of the engraving on it? Both of the time periods were well written and extremely interesting. As a Texan and having visited the Alamo, the historical period was fascinating as I learned more of the story of the Mexican-American War. As an avid genealogist, the contemporary period as they researched the family history and tried to determine what the engraving signified was intriguing. Well written and well researched, Tolsma once again pens a novel that captivates from start to finish. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Connie Saunders

    This is an intriguing dual-time story revolving around the lives of two couples separated by almost 200 years. Josie Wilkins meets and falls in love with John Gilbert in 1835, but their romance is marred by Josie's secret past and the deepening conflict between Texians and Mexico. In the present time story, Kayleigh Hewland and Brandon Mullins forge a friendship as they work to uncover the history behind a unique cat's eye ring found at a flea market. Is this the same ring that was ripped from J This is an intriguing dual-time story revolving around the lives of two couples separated by almost 200 years. Josie Wilkins meets and falls in love with John Gilbert in 1835, but their romance is marred by Josie's secret past and the deepening conflict between Texians and Mexico. In the present time story, Kayleigh Hewland and Brandon Mullins forge a friendship as they work to uncover the history behind a unique cat's eye ring found at a flea market. Is this the same ring that was ripped from Josie's finger by the brutal Manuel Garcia? Were Josie and John able to survive the deadly Battle of the Alamo? What was the meaning of the engraving on the inside of the ring? I learned about the Texas Revolution and the Battle of the Alamo a long time ago and reading this book was like a refresher course in American history. I was totally invested in the plight of those brave people, and I couldn't wait to learn if there truly was a connection between Josie and Kayleigh. If you enjoy historical fiction and Christian romance, you will want to read A Promise Engraved. It is a fascinating addition to the Doors to the Past series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK A Promise Engraved is another book in the Doors of the Past series from Barbour Books. I have enjoyed the books so far in this series and I look forward to others in the future. This one is a split time story, which I enjoyed do much. Author Liz Tolsma’s writing is phenomenal and the transition from one time period to another goes really smoothly, which is a must in these type stories. The story goes from 1836 when San Antonio, Texas is going through intense times while th MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK A Promise Engraved is another book in the Doors of the Past series from Barbour Books. I have enjoyed the books so far in this series and I look forward to others in the future. This one is a split time story, which I enjoyed do much. Author Liz Tolsma’s writing is phenomenal and the transition from one time period to another goes really smoothly, which is a must in these type stories. The story goes from 1836 when San Antonio, Texas is going through intense times while the Battle of the Alamo is going full swing. I really enjoyed learning about the Alamo, a subject I knew hardly anything about. Tolsma does an exceptional job of research and it shows in so many vivid details. The characters, both historical and current time are so well created and develop accurately throughout the story. If you love this type stories, you will love this one. And if you enjoy historical reads, I think you will especially enjoy the historical part here. This is such an awesome read and I gladly give it Five Stars. A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christina Sinisi

    The historical detail in this book is fantastic. So often we think we know a good deal about a topic, but we don’t. I have toured the Alamo and read the signs carefully, in addition to taking a guided tour. However, I knew little to nothing about what led up to that infamous tragedy. The author did a wonderful job of finding out unique details and sharing. I also enjoyed the romance between the hero and heroine. The one aspect of the book I didn’t enjoy was the heroine’s risk-taking and placing h The historical detail in this book is fantastic. So often we think we know a good deal about a topic, but we don’t. I have toured the Alamo and read the signs carefully, in addition to taking a guided tour. However, I knew little to nothing about what led up to that infamous tragedy. The author did a wonderful job of finding out unique details and sharing. I also enjoyed the romance between the hero and heroine. The one aspect of the book I didn’t enjoy was the heroine’s risk-taking and placing herself in jeopardy. I think her behavior was irresponsible and anachronistic. A girl of those times simply wouldn’t have been by herself that much or have been in the position to do all she did. The secondary, modern romance also struck me as a bit off. I couldn’t quite see how the hero would keep coming back for more mistreatment (perhaps too strong of a word). I recommend this book for the fascinating history and recommend a bit of patience on the side of the reader.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Set at the Alamo, this dual timeline book features Josie, John, Kayleigh, and Brandon. Josie and John live during the 1800's and the time of the battle of the Alamo, while Kayleigh and Brandon live in the present age. I'll be the first to admit, I get confused when reading a book or watching a tv show/movie that switches back and forth, but this one did not confuse me! It was clearly defined in terms of which time frame was being discussed so I was able to keep up fairly easily. This book was so Set at the Alamo, this dual timeline book features Josie, John, Kayleigh, and Brandon. Josie and John live during the 1800's and the time of the battle of the Alamo, while Kayleigh and Brandon live in the present age. I'll be the first to admit, I get confused when reading a book or watching a tv show/movie that switches back and forth, but this one did not confuse me! It was clearly defined in terms of which time frame was being discussed so I was able to keep up fairly easily. This book was so hard to put down the couple of times I needed to!! It seems like each transition from Josie and John's story to Kayleigh and Brandon's left a bit of a cliffhanger that made you want to keep reading! I was very intrigued by the information that I learned about the battle of the Alamo that I wasn't aware of (or didn't remember from history class) as well as the cat eye ring that is a focal point of this story. I love how the author intertwined the stories and revealed the connection in the end. A few times this book had me on the edge of my seat and it was as if I couldn't read it fast enough! A very enjoyable read by a new-to-me author! I'm looking forward to reading more of her titles!

  25. 4 out of 5

    J.E. Grace

    The dual timeline of 1855 and present time was laid out well and I feel enhanced the story. It was an easy transition between the two. The story set around the battle at the Alamo was well-researched and the embellished fictional aspects were well done. The character of Josephine is amazing- a strong woman, wild at heart and courageous, who risked her life to do her part in the battle as a spy. The Christian overtones are well introduced into the story and the romance was sweet. This story will fi The dual timeline of 1855 and present time was laid out well and I feel enhanced the story. It was an easy transition between the two. The story set around the battle at the Alamo was well-researched and the embellished fictional aspects were well done. The character of Josephine is amazing- a strong woman, wild at heart and courageous, who risked her life to do her part in the battle as a spy. The Christian overtones are well introduced into the story and the romance was sweet. This story will fill you with inspiration, compassion, and renewed faith. The time period of 1855 was depicted well and the description of the town and battle is well-written. I received a complimentary copy from the author and willingly choose to review it. All opinons are my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    A Promise Engraved by Liz Tolsma is the eighth book in the multi-author Doors to the Past series. This is a dual-timeline story. Josie Wilkins lives in Texas around the time of the Battle of the Alamo. Kayleigh Hewland lives in present-day San Antonio. When Kayleigh finds a small gold ring it opens the door to the past. What mysteries will she uncover as she researches the inscription on the inside of the ring? The story started off kind of slow; but it picked up and kept you riveted until the f A Promise Engraved by Liz Tolsma is the eighth book in the multi-author Doors to the Past series. This is a dual-timeline story. Josie Wilkins lives in Texas around the time of the Battle of the Alamo. Kayleigh Hewland lives in present-day San Antonio. When Kayleigh finds a small gold ring it opens the door to the past. What mysteries will she uncover as she researches the inscription on the inside of the ring? The story started off kind of slow; but it picked up and kept you riveted until the final chapter. There was a lot of sadness in the story but happiness as well; and it was filled with well-researched historical tidbits. I really enjoyed learning a little more of the history of Texas. I received this book from Celebrate-Lit for my honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    What an intriguing story. Liz does a wonderful job creating these two stories and bringing them together. From the beginning we are drawn into a mystery. First we are left to wonder what happened to Josie, why does a certain man have so much power over her? And then a bombshell drops that adds even more questions. Kayleigh has her own things to deal with and her own mystery to solve. No matter what part of the story you are reading you will want to keep reading. A copy of this book was given to me t What an intriguing story. Liz does a wonderful job creating these two stories and bringing them together. From the beginning we are drawn into a mystery. First we are left to wonder what happened to Josie, why does a certain man have so much power over her? And then a bombshell drops that adds even more questions. Kayleigh has her own things to deal with and her own mystery to solve. No matter what part of the story you are reading you will want to keep reading. A copy of this book was given to me through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    "A Promise Engraved" is set during two time periods: the fight for Texan independence in 1835 to 1836 and the present day. In 1835, Josie faced danger as an enemy Mexican soldier kept trying to rape her. (There were no rape scenes because either she's resourceful enough to get away, her love interest saved her, or rape was referred to in the past without details.) She was also in danger because the Texans were fighting for their independence and she worked as a scout and messenger for them. She "A Promise Engraved" is set during two time periods: the fight for Texan independence in 1835 to 1836 and the present day. In 1835, Josie faced danger as an enemy Mexican soldier kept trying to rape her. (There were no rape scenes because either she's resourceful enough to get away, her love interest saved her, or rape was referred to in the past without details.) She was also in danger because the Texans were fighting for their independence and she worked as a scout and messenger for them. She underwent a lot of pain and loss, but she found healing as she trusted God to carry more of her hurts and fears. Her romance with John started as mutual admiration and grew as they spent time together. They supported each other. In the present day, Kayleigh bought a used ring which she later learned was used by Josie to carry military messages. Kayleigh worked with jewelry store owner Brandon to research the ring's past. Then someone started stalking her. Since Brandon was always nearby to come to her aid, a cop questioned if Brandon was the stalker and not a man from Kayleigh's past. Or maybe the attacks had something to do with her job. As much as she liked spending time with Brandon, he also had a claim on the ring and she didn't want to give it up. This prevented her from really trusting him until the attacker could be identified and stopped. There were no sex scenes or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable romance and interesting historical. I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    This dual time novel got off to a bit of a rough start. In the 1836 narrative, there are allusions to something terrible having happened to Josie previously. It seems very important but the information so vague, I wondered if I had missed a previous novel. We eventually find out what happened but earlier information would have helped me be more engaged in Josie as a character. This part of the novel starts with the people having settled in Mexican held territory north of San Antonio feeling in g This dual time novel got off to a bit of a rough start. In the 1836 narrative, there are allusions to something terrible having happened to Josie previously. It seems very important but the information so vague, I wondered if I had missed a previous novel. We eventually find out what happened but earlier information would have helped me be more engaged in Josie as a character. This part of the novel starts with the people having settled in Mexican held territory north of San Antonio feeling in grave danger. I was lost much of the time as I felt there was not sufficient background material included to set an understanding of the situation. A paragraph describing the historical, political and military conditions would have helped a great deal. While Josie is the heroine in this time period, I had difficulty liking her. She acted impulsively. Was she brave or foolish? She thinks, “If only she had thought this through better.” (1791/3434) She had to repeatedly apologize for her actions and at one point said she would never admit to John that he was right. (2058/3434) I felt there were unreasonable scenes of her being attacked by Manuel. One time she is riding on the lonely prairie but does not notice him coming because she is thinking about a poem. (1448/3434) On a prairie, where one can see for miles? There was repetition in the narrative. The Mexican camp tents lined up in perfect rows were mentioned twice in close proximity with nearly exact descriptions. (1760/3434 and 1781/3434) I am not sure all the shenanigans with the ring work out well. In the contemporary story, the person desiring the ring just comes out of nowhere. And the final information reveal that puts it all together came out of the blue too. I did appreciate the information in the novel about the Alamo and the battle there. I liked the informative historical note at the end, distinguishing fact and fiction. While I think this is not Tolsma's best novel, I have generally liked her work and will be watching for her next book. I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christi

    The Doors to the Past series has been quite enjoyable for me, and I was ecstatic when I heard that one of the stories would come from a moment in history that is very near and dear to my heart: the Alamo. I’m not sure if it’s because I am a Texan in every sense of the word, or my fascination with Texas history in general, but A Promise Engraved imprinted on my heart, it’s words haunting me long after I closed the book. A powerful story, indeed! Liz Tolsma has a wonderful knack of putting the reade The Doors to the Past series has been quite enjoyable for me, and I was ecstatic when I heard that one of the stories would come from a moment in history that is very near and dear to my heart: the Alamo. I’m not sure if it’s because I am a Texan in every sense of the word, or my fascination with Texas history in general, but A Promise Engraved imprinted on my heart, it’s words haunting me long after I closed the book. A powerful story, indeed! Liz Tolsma has a wonderful knack of putting the reader into a world so different from their own, and in this dual timeline we get swept away in two worlds that are interconnected more than would be originally believed. Josie seized my heart instantly, her plight unimaginable, yet something that was commonplace during that time. Her tenacity is commendable, and her willingness to never give up is admirable. I would hope if I had been in the same situation that I would have the kind of guts she personified. I appreciated the apparent historical accuracy, and I love that this story finally received a voice. Many do not realize the strife that surrounded the Texas Revolution, other than the bloody battle at the Alamo, and I respected that this tale was humanized, and in the best possible way. Reading about land that is now home to my family intertwined my mind and heart as I read the fictitious story of Josie and the Wilkins family. Kayleigh’s story occupies the current timeline and while her story did not grab me as much as Josie’s did I felt it served its purpose. Reading about my beloved San Antonio and the colorful sights and sounds was charming, showing me the author did her homework. I loved the mystery surrounding the cats eye ring, as well as the unknown terrorism that seemed to follow Kayleigh everywhere she went. There are so many facets that are in this multidirectional story and I immensely enjoyed every moment. Liz Tolsma’s talent only seems to get better with age, and A Promise Engraved makes the Doors to the Past series all the more richer. *I have voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher through JustRead Tours. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest, and my own.

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