Cover Image: My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

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I did it again...I've had this book waiting to be read for a little bit and I finally read it. My fast and skim some so I can read through it really fast and move on to other things in life and other books waiting for me to catch up on because life went crazy the last several months and my PERFECTLY planned schedule went kaboom. 

And when I mention that I was planning to skim it over, it isn't because of the book, it's life. Well, I started with good intentions and again life happened and my day went anything but my perfect plan. Hahahahahaha! I think it's time I give up on that "perfect plan" thinking! What do you think? But I picked up the book and was pulled in right away. And I thought I'd skim here and there...nope. I read it with very little skimming happening at all. I've just really enjoyed this series and I think I'm going to skim them and I can't do it. I get hooked!

This is my first book ever by this author. And I really enjoyed his writing style and characters. Plus, it's a historical fiction novel. I should know just from that, that I'll be hooked. 

I really enjoyed reading about the underground railroad and this part of history and aspects leading up to the Civil War as well as the battles in Gettysburg. I loved the letter writing and the way the author was able to showcase the patriotism as well as conflict of families and the emotions of sending loved ones away to war. It was well done.

Clarissa was a spitfire character. And she's finding her heart is torn between two men. How can she choose between the two. There are both good men. When a moment comes she is forced to decide. Oh I loved the sweet love story written in this book. It was very tender and full of heart and emotion.

The author spanned a lot of time in this story. I liked how he conveyed several months passing. Sometimes the chapter would end in the middle of a scene and I wanted more of that scene. And the next chapter would start several weeks to months later and I would think, "No! I wanted to know what happened!" But then, the character would think about it and recap what we missed. I really enjoyed seeing their thoughts and we didn't miss out as readers on what happened in that scene. 

Definitely one I will highly recommend reading. If you haven't read any of these books, they're stand alone. So you can pick and choose, especially depending on what historical moment you want to focus on reading and learning more about.

Content: Clean. Some kissing nothing further. This is a Christian fiction novel so the characters do speak of God and attend church and pray. But I feel like it is done very well in the sense that the characters acted and thought just as people in that time would have acted and thought. So it doesn't feel preachy or over the top. It all flows smoothly together and makes for a lovely read. There are several moments of peril due to the subject matter (slavery, underground railroad and the Civil War). So there are battles, guns, fighting, bloodshed, death and such but not overly graphic. I think older YA readers would enjoy this one, especially those who have studied the Civil War in school recently or will be soon.

I received a copy from the publisher, Barbour Publishing, via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions in the review are my own.

Happy Reading!!!
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Murray Pura books are amazing. The characters are lively and deal with having to keep faith even when things are not going as they should..
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My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg Pennsylvania by Murray Pura was an excellent historical read that put me in the place of the Underground Railroad with Harriet Tubman and all.  Liberty was an amazing character, as was the main character, Clarissa.  I enjoyed the seminary man, Kyle as well.  It was an interesting twist of story lines to see where the author was going to take me.  I just wanted to keep reading.  It’s mysterious; there are feelings of betrayal and intense word pictures of the dangers conductors faced and choices they made while working toward freeing the slaves and the importance of it.  A great read!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

****Also posted on Amazon, CBD, B&N
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It was alright. I usually love Historical books but this just didn’t hold my attention. I had a hard remaining in the story even thou it was historical romance. It was an okay read but just didnt leave me wanting to read it again
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I did not finish the this book. I got about 60 pages in before I decided to DNF it. DNF is something I rarely do. But this book just wasn’t something I liked enough to finish. Admittedly the Civil War Era is not my favorite when it comes to books but I have read and enjoyed Civil Was stories previously, however I could not connect with this one and after skimming the rest of the book to see if I’d like it better the farther I got in it, I decided just to quit while I was ahead. I have far too many in my review pile to keep going with this one right now. On to the next book!
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I had never read an previous works by Murray Pura, however, I am glad I had the opportunity to read this title. It was an interesting read that kept me turning pages long into the night. There was a good bit of intrigue and romance, just the right combination.
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I sat down this morning with a cup of coffee and intended to start my day with reading a few chapters of  My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Clarrisa’s  Conflict by Murray Pura.  I was pleasantly surprised to find this story was much more than I had first thought. I found so much great history about the Underground Railroad, the Civil War and Gettysburg woven into a well written romance. I  ended up just sitting back and reading the. whole. book!    

The story is engaging, evocative and well written with characters that are  realistic and believable. The plot had a few unexpected twists that delightfully caught me by surprise.  The main thing I enjoyed? Ms. Pura’s story brought a piece of history to life for me;  all the good and the bad. I felt I had  a brief glimpse  into the lives of those who lived in that era and to a small degree, what they may have felt and experienced. I really enjoyed this story and can’t wait to read more of the My Heart Belongs series. If you enjoy reading well written historical fiction romance ~ this book is for you!  

4.5 Stars

I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own. Thank you to Mr.. Pura, Barbour Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Journey into Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, of 1863 where Clarissa Avery Ross lives a full life. By day she is the daughter of a respectable shoemaker being courted by seminary student Kyle Forrester. But by night she is a conductor on the Underground Railroad, working with a mysterious man called Liberty. She would like to share her work with Kyle, but he refuses to enlist when the war breaks out. How can she remain true to a man being labeled a coward? When the war comes to her back door in an epic battle, the greatest challenges to her faith and love are yet to come.
This was a really good story with good characters. It’s set in a time period I don’t get to read very often, which made it even more enjoyable. I highly recommend. 
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
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Beautiful and tender, Gettysburg is a story that I highly recommend with 5 stars. Pura's characters steal your breath and the plot line pulls you in instantly. Wonderful job!
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I was excited to receive an Advanced Reader Copy of this book because I historical fiction and have long been interested in the Civil War in general and Gettysburg in particular.

Clarissa, a young conductor on the Underground Railroad finds she is having difficulty reconciling her beau, Kyle and the mysterious man named Library who also works on the Railroad. As war looms, Clarissa must choose what her heart longs for.

I think I’m a terrible person because the books I enjoy reviewing are the ones I liked the least. Here’s what I didn’t like about this book in no particular order.

1. I was bored. It was the middle of the battle, and I went for a walk.
2. Clarissa is dumb. How could Liberty know such details of her relationship with Kyle? I spotted that a mile a way, but she didn’t.
3. Before discovering Liberty’s identity, Clarissa is wishy-washy and can’t decide what she wants.
4. The whole story felt forced. Like the Genny Wade thing. It just didn’t fit. Nothing was smooth or natural. 
5. The romance was rather stilted. It just felt forced as well.

The best part? The description of Lincoln at the very end.
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My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Clarissa's Conflict
by Murray Pura
Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Barbour Books
Christian ,  Romance
Pub Date 01 Nov 2018

I am reviewing a copy of My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania through Barbour Publishing and Netgalley:

This book will take us back to Gettysburg Pennsylvania in 1863 where we meet Clarissa Avery Ross.  Clarissa is leading a full life, she’s the daughter of a respectable shoemaker who is being courted by a seminary student by the name of Kyle Foster.

By night Clarissa is a conductor of the Underground Railroad, working with a mysterious man named Liberty.  Clarissa wants to share her work with Kyle, but he refuses to enlist when war breaks out.

How can Clarissa remain true to the man that is being labeled as a coward?

I give My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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If there was an award for the most strong willed red head in literature, I'd have to give it to Clarissa Avery Ross.  She is quite the character and it took me awhile to get used to her spirited ways.  She can be quite dramatic at times.   For example, after one of her outspoken redheaded moments gets her in trouble with the church, her mother says she and her husband will have to pray for her even more.  Clarissa's quick response is: "Then that is a good thing for you both.  I have offered the two of you an opportunity to enjoy a closer walk with God."  Besides not being afraid to express her feelings of the injustices of the world in public, Clarissa is also involved with a more secretive endeavor - serving as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.  It is here that she meets another Railroad Conductor with the code name "Liberty."  Her hot headiness immediately puts Clarissa at odds with him especially when he won't reveal who he really is and why he always hides under a hood.  Clarissa also struggles with her feelings for her beau - Kyle Forrester- a local Gettysburg seminary student.  Clarissa loves him but is worried about marrying a man who isn't actively showing support for the Union cause by enlisting in the Army and who does not seem to support her involvement in the Underground Railroad.  I liked how the author wove in historical details from the Battle of Gettysburg and Underground Railroad into the story.  (There's even cameo appearances by Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Tubman.)  I could really picture the small town and countryside of Gettysburg in my head.  However, the romance part of the novel fell flat for me because it was highly predictable.  The dialogue between two of the characters was also annoying and unnatural.  In real life, people just don't say the other person's name multiple times in one conversation and then also call them by their first, middle, and last names over and over again.  It just got to be too much for me.  Despite not being infatuated with the main character or her love life, I still enjoyed reading this book.  I finished the whole book in just a few sittings and found it to be fast paced and a fun historical fiction book to read since I like to read books written during this time period.  Thanks to Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.  All thoughts expressed are my honest opinions of the book.
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What do I love about Murray Pura's books? He's thorough in his research, and he keeps things moving, moving, moving. I haven't read all of his books, but this one is definitely worth five stars. He's a guy who can write romance without getting repetitious.

The novel is set in the pre- and during-Civil War period. I like how his heroine goes from spoiled and feisty to being more mature but still courageous. The hero is pretty much "hero-ing" all the way through. Not quite perfect, but close. The way we like heroes to be. You know.

This is one the guys will like too, I'm thinking. Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I received this book free from NetGalley, but my opinions are still my own.
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I was really looking forward to this story, because reading about the Civil War is one of my favorite time periods to read in, but I wound up utterly disappointed by this story!

The timeline seemed to jump around a lot, within the first half of the 1860s time period, though I am grateful that it did so in a linear fashion.  The jumping around wound up being more of a confusing factor to the story rather than an enhancement.

The characterization seemed exaggerated, and there were a few places where I found my head spinning with how Clarissa kept changing her mood and feelings!  I really began to hate her for it, and I couldn't connect to Kyle or Liberty too much either.  I also really hated the love triangle that seemed to be set up between the two men, especially with the later revelations in the book.

I was not impressed with this story or author, and while it is worth reading as part of the larger My Heart Belongs in.. series, I feel it is not worth owning or re-reading.
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She's a woman who's been working with the Underground Railroad. He's a well known mysterious figure with high authority working on the Underground Railroad too. On a dark night delivering passengers they meet up. She's not happy with his treatment he finds her amusing. Working together becomes more frequent, so they find themselves respecting each other. Will that respect and mutual danger bring them closer together? What happens when she's torn between two men? Which on will she choose? 

Clarissa is on a mission for the Underground Railroad when she's attacked by a man wearing a mask. She fights him. When he easily controls her and tells who what's going on she isn't sure if she believes him until slave catchers so up. He's the well known Underground Railroad conductor Liberty. They get the passengers to safety and head home. All the while Clarissa is fuming because of the way she was treated and wonders how he knows her real name. A young seminary student she would like to get know starts to pay her attention. They become friends and a little more, but she keeps her secret. Kyle has had been wanting to get to know Clarissa Meanwhile, she continues her missions and is paired with Liberty quite often. She doesn't want him using her real name. They begin to respect each other. And she starts thinking about Liberty more and more. She makes Kyle make her a promise. A Christmas Eve mission has dire consequences and Clarissa has a bad reaction to some firecrackers.  Liberty lets her know that he's kept an eye on her. She tries to find out more about Liberty with little result. She realizes she loves Liberty but she also loves Kyle. War breaks out and they continue. A misunderstanding with Kyle leads Clarissa to make an apology. Clarissa keeps comparing Liberty and Kyle. She starts writing to friends of Kyle's who are going off to fight. When a disturbing letter from one of her new friends has her confronting Kyle and his boss about him joining the military. She thinks he'll make more of a difference by enlisting. Both are against the idea. It leads to a breakup between Clarissa and Kyle. The break up brings her and Liberty closer together. He reveals his real name to her. A mission goes wrong causing Liberty to be severely wounded. Liberty's identity is revealed. Clarissa is confused about all his identities and needs time to bring them together in her mind. After he recovers from his injury he enlists in the Army and proposes before leaving. When war comes to Gettysburg it brings them together again and Clarissa takes on a new identity. A wedding is held. A visit from the President is witnessed.

A glimpse into the life of a Underground Railroad conductor and the pit falls of the Civil War are the back drop for this love story of a woman and a man who must face danger and death and their own feelings to find the love they have for each other. There are surprises along the way and lives must be saved to have the life they want. These characters give you a look into what life might have been like in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania just before, during and after the Civil War.
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Let me first say that I am in love with the My Heart Belongs series. I’ve read three so far and I recommend them all! I finished this book at midnight, because I didn’t want to stop until I reached the end. 
One of the newest additions, MHB in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, tells us the story of Clarissa Avery Ross, an only child, who spends her days as a civilized lady and her nights conducting a train for the Underground Railroad. She’s a wild and carefree redhead who is stubborn and just a little bit confrontational. The actual battle of Gettysburg doesn’t take place until near the end of the book, most of the book centers around the Underground Railroad and Clarissa’s growing romance with Kyle… and Liberty. Suddenly, she finds herself with feelings for both men for different reasons. This book covers about a two-and-a-half-year period, from the beginning of the Civil War to the mid-point at Gettysburg. Having visited Gettysburg on several occasions, I loved “visiting” the city and the battlefield again through the story. I could easily picture the locations mentioned and felt an instant connection having seen these places for real.
I loved the Clark Kent-Superman thing going on. This book has adventure, danger, disguises, romance, history, and a rich element of faith and the freedom found in Jesus alone. The romantic elements were beautifully written, and the love story developed naturally. 
I learned many new things about the Underground Railroad and the Civil War. It was interesting to see the war through the eyes of a Canadian author. I felt that this gave the author a more neutral look at the truth, reasons, and politics behind the war that many may have never known or even considered. 
It’s a war book. There’s a bit of blood and death. This is just a note of warning before you start, in case you didn’t think of that. 😊 
I give this book a hearty 5 stars. I can’t wait to read more in this series, and more books by this author.
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Wow. A beautiful love story during a time of underground railroad and the civil war. Intricate and detailed life of a young woman who was a conductor helping slaves and passionate about life and the war. She reminded me at first a bit like Anne of Green Gables, with her red hair and high spirit. She is a deeply feeling girl. Finding the love of her life was not a simple thing, but deeply romantic. Much of the dialogue was deeply romantic, read like the thoughts of a poet. All that you could want in a historical romance that also gives life to the small town of Gettysburg and also the highly important battle that took place there.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Barbour Publishing, Inc and the Netgalley book review bloggers program. 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 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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Murray Pura continues the My Heart Belongs series, all stand-alone novels, with the story of Clarissa in the mid-180s, during the time period surrounding the Civil War. With tales of the Underground Railroad and the battle of Gettysburg, this novel is full of edge-of-the-seat scenes, courageous and heroic characters, and of course, romance. The author has done a great job of drawing the reader into the characters' lives and emotions, expressing the heartfelt fears and anguish of family and friends at home praying for and awaiting news about their loved ones. And illustrating the battles of a war that ended up on their streets, on their doorsteps and eventually changed everything, churches and schools turned into hospitals, the town reduced to burial plots and memorials and even changing the names of favorite landmarks. The book is rich in great historical detail, danger, battles, love, family, and friends and threaded throughout faith in God who can bring strength and comfort through the difficult times of war. It is another engaging addition to the My Heart Belongs series. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
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Every time I read a book that tries to share with readers the absolutely heartbreaking horrors of Gettysburg I am overwhelmed. Murray Pura takes me on a new road by creating a fictionalized main female character who is a resident of the famous Pennsylvania town itself. He really brought forth just how the civil war changed some towns in the United States forever. 
Clarissa is a headstrong, self motivated nineteen year old at the start of the story. She is a secret and very brave conductor in the Underground Railroad group. I'm going to go a bit against popular review opinion here and write that at times the character irritated me. I thought she would draw attention and get someone captured or killed with her argumentative attitude at the worst possible times when journeying with escaped slaves. She was a pain in the neck who was truly being watched over by God. I suppose during the time period a woman would be considered an irritant to accomplish what this character pulled off. I did notice as the plot continued that she matured as she grew older and more experienced in life. She is a strong character as is the men in her life. Kyle Forrester is a seminary student who holds fast to his belief that he can best serve the country by being a strong voice for God and against slavery. Clarissa sets her heart on him while also being drawn to the secretive Underground conductor, Liberty who is a larger than life figure that is brave and strong. The Amish also have a place in this story.
This is such an intense story. Readers experience the horrible days of risking lives to help newly escaped (brave) peoples to reach "heaven" on to the battlefield descriptions which had to be a major research and writing project for the author. The subjects were tastefully handled and the characters are intense as they told the story. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy of this book. These are my own opinions about the story. I certainly want to read more from the author.
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Many aspects of “My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg” reminded me of “Gone With the Wind,” one of my favorite classics. The Civil War setting drew me in, especially since it was set in such a renowned location. In fact, that was one of the striking parts of the reading experience because most of the action took place prior to the famous Battle of Gettysburg, when the town was just a quaint place that outsiders would never have heard of. The heroine, Clarissa Ross, points this out herself, commenting that she does not want her idyllic town and its environs to be remembered for death and destruction. Given all of the tragic events that have occurred even recently in the U.S., this was a reminder that disasters can happen anywhere, and this is where faith comes in as we trust God that He is ultimately working all things for the good of His children. 

Clarissa was a distinctive character, to be sure. In some ways she reminded me of Scarlett O’Hara, with her stubbornness and her temper. An inimitable redhead, Clarissa was very strongminded and outspoken, which I think was due in part to her being an only child and also to her living in the North. Had she been raised in the South, I think that the patriarchal society there would have had a deeper influence on her and she may have been somewhat more submissive. At first I found her character to be off-putting, but I soon grew to admire her and her antics. The romance, which is usually my least favorite part of a story, was very engaging because it was fraught with both danger and surprises. From a historical viewpoint, I was pleased that this novel pointed out that the Civil War was about much more than just the issue of slavery; states’ rights and the economy were at the forefront of the fighting, especially in the beginning. The many different levels of conflict in the book were well balanced by the Christian and romantic aspects, and I only wish that the story had been a bit longer in order to fill out some of the details more fully and allow for the plot to play out more slowly.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
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