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Secrets on the Wind: Secrets on the Wind/Watchers on the Hill/Footprints on the Horizon (Pine Ridge Portraits Series 1-3) Hardcover – October 1, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

With Secrets on the Wind, Whitson begins Pine Ridge Portraits, another of her romantic series set among the Lakota Sioux. Her arresting opening scenes bring to mind many a traditional western: two soldiers come upon a burned-out farmstead and discover a female lunatic locked in the cellar. After she tries to kill herself, they drag her back to Fort Robinson. She's nursed to health by a kind old woman and at last gives her name as Laina Gray. She has suffered a great deal and distrusts all men. She is also pregnant. Luckily, the soldier who rescued her, widower Nathan Boone, is a patient man. John Mort
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Stephanie Grace Whitson, bestselling author and two-time Christy Award finalist, pursues a full-time writing and speaking career from her home studio in Lincoln, Nebraska.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764206524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764206528
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,609,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephanie Grace Whitson has made a career out of playing with imaginary friends, and it all started in an abandoned pioneer cemetery. This one's graves are scattered on a tiny corner of land near where the Whitson family lived in the 1990s. That cemetery provided not only a hands-on history lesson for Stephanie's four home schooled children but also a topic of personal study as she began to read about and be encouraged by the pioneer women who settled the American West. Since writing had always been a favorite hobby, it was only natural for her to begin jotting down scenes in the life of a nameless woman crossing Nebraska on the Oregon Trail. Eventually that story took on a life of its own and Stephanie sent off a query letter--expecting instant rejection.

God had a different plan. He blessed Stephanie's beginnings, putting two of her three first books on the ECPA best-seller list and making two of her first nine books finalists for the Christy Award. More recently (in 2012) she received Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best Inspirational Romance. In addition to writing (she has authored more than two dozen books), Stephanie loves antique quilts and pioneer women's history and riding her Honda Magna motorcycle named Kitty. A lifelong student, she earned her Master of Arts degree in history in 2012.

"The flip side of writing," Stephanie says, "is being asked to teach writing and/or speak at various church and community events." She has developed a menu of lectures and workshops that "provide opportunities for me to travel and get to know not only other writers and history lovers, but also students and quilters. I love sequestering myself in a library to do research, but the speaking part of my career has provided some unique and wonderful memories."

And then there's Kitty, the Honda Magna. "In some ways I'm 60," she says, "in others I'm probably about 26. It all depends on the day." On days when her virtual age leans toward the younger side of that equation, she's been known to wake up in the morning and decide to ride Kitty to Canada. And then she comes home and descends to "the catacombs" (the basement office in her Victorian-era house) and heads back into the past to play with more imaginary friends.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Like her other books, this is another wonderful story from Stephanie Grace Whitson! She isn't afraid to break out of the Christian historical fiction format, and do something different. This story makes you really get into the characters, and you are sorry when it is over, despite the fact that the ending is great! It also has a great theme about getting over grief and fear. I'm already looking forward to the next book in this wonderful series!
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Format: Paperback
Capturing a slice of history set in an outback U.S military post, the first book in the Pine Ridge Portraits series tells the story of three very different people who all want to make a new start in their lives. Saved from certain death, Laina struggles to overcome her hideous past and all the nightmares that resulted, with the gentle wisdom and support of Granny Max. Still reeling from the death of his wife two years earlier, Sergeant Nathan Boone endeavours to help Laina regain her footing, all the while unsure of how to move forward with his own life. And then someone who figured in both Laina and Nathan's past re-emerges with a new identity...
Stephanie Grace Whitson tells a story of hope and redemptive grace in the midst of 1870's Nebraska, bringing to life characters with heartache and determination. SECRETS ON THE WIND sets the pace for a gripping new series by this award-winning author. Recommended for fans of Janette Oke, Stephen Bly, Al and Joanna Lacy, Alan Morris and Gilbert Morris. ~~Ellie Schroder, owner of The Christian Fiction Site
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Format: Paperback
Stephanie Grace Whitson has done it again with this one! Indians play a part, the Army an even larger part-- as well as various and sundry "orphans and abused victims" all of which sway the reader one way or the other.

She portrays Laina in a positive light in spite of her infamous and horrible past. Boone is a leader in the Army who just cannot move on past the death of his wife 2 years earlier. The reader gets geared for a relationship that keeps you guessing, wondering and finally letting out a big sigh of surprise. Everyone's hero is Granny Max, her faith,healing touch and counsel and patience never waver. Tears will spill over Granny in this book, trust me.

Another "little lamb" who is running is Jackson, a young soldier with a past. He has a temper and some habits that make you want to alternately shake him and hug him. Good job, Stephanie!

When Laina feels she has done it all, borne it all and is finally is on her way to recovery from her dugout ordeal and her earlier past, she finds out she is NOT disconnected yet, and will be asked to bear the ultimate humiliation. Can she-- in this small, close-knit community? She has a plan. Is it God's plan, though?

Whitson definitely has another winning series and I am out the door to purchase book number 2, thanks again Steph, for your courage and determination to keep love, history, Indians and Christ all woven throughout this book and most likely the rest of the series if I know you!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This story follows a few different people. First off, we're watching Nathan, a sergeant posted at Camp Robinson. He's out on patrol when he finds a wild woman trapped in a small room under the floor of a home that had been attacked by Indians. She seems to be out of her mind and tries to take her own life. Nathan stops her and brings her back to camp. She survives, but her future is uncertain.

Laina's past is something that she's not proud of. Ending up in that small room was the culmination of a bad past and bad choices. Now that she's free, she isn't sure what she's fit for, but she's under the care of Granny Max, a godly woman who shows her the love of God. Laina starts to believe that she can escape her past and look forward to the future.

Caleb is also trying to escape his past. He's an angry man who places the blame for things on anyone else but him. He knows Nathan from years ago, and explains that he's changed his name to try and get away from his past. He hasn't done anything wrong, but he's not making friends in the camp and ends up in trouble more times than not. He recognizes Laina from their shared past, and while he doesn't want to cause any trouble for her, he feels like he has a friend.

To me, this book was on the dark side. There's a lot of deaths in there, and so many things happen to Laina, you're tempted to think she's cursed. She starts to get over one thing, but then something else happens to her. I did have an issue with the way the story line goes. The author leads you to feel the story is going one way, then the ending is different. I was confused with the way the relationships turned out and the ending felt really rushed to me.

I'm a "happily ever after" reader.
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Format: Paperback
Laina Gray is an ex-showboat singer sold into slavery by her unscrupulous father. Rescued by army officer Nathan Boone, she discovers a new life at the fort under the watchful eye of faithful Christian Granny Max. Will Laina escape her past or is it doomed to haunt her?

I enjoyed the first half of secrets of the wind. Laina is a truly likeable character and so is Granny max. Granny Max is the soul of the book, and so is Laina, and any scene with those two in it was heartwarming...

However, the preaching became quite heavy in the second half of the book, almost to the point where it was unenjoyable for this reader. I can handle it when it seems natural, but in many cases it seemed forced. Long discussions of characters faith or (lack therof) do not particularly excite me.

I also felt the author's depiction of male characters was pretty bland. Neither of the male characters (Beau or Nate) were particularly thrilling. Nate was a bit of a mary sue and Beau seemed like a loser to me. I found the romance between Laina and her chosen beau to be quite tepid. It seemed almost as though the last few chapters the author remembered it was a romance and tacked it on. The issue of rape recovery, childbirth, loss, and death are not particularly romantic subjects and these issues are being dealt with during the heroine's very brief 'courtship,' was a bit of a downer. I'd like to see Laina get a romance, but so soon after her ordeal didn't work out for me somehow.

3 stars. A little too much preaching and unappealing male characters, sloppy romance.
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