Summer on Sunset Ridge

Summer on Sunset Ridge
  • Author: Sharlene MacLaren
  • Publisher: Whitaker House
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Series: Forever Freedom Series (Book 1)
  • Release Date: January 10, 2017
  • I Rate it:    
  • GenreChristian
  • Purchase on Amazon

Book Summary

Brought up on a Quaker farm near Philadelphia at the brink of the Civil War, plainspoken Rebecca Albright is expected to be charitable, peace-loving, and submissive. However, those traits don’t always come naturally to the feisty abolitionist. Spirited and spunky, Rebecca’s chief ambition is to aid the Underground Railroad no matter the cost – until her path collides with slave-catcher Sheriff Clay Dalton who’s grimly fighting battles of his own. When tensions between the North and South escalate, the two find themselves propelled on a journey to discover just who God has called them to be and to determine whether their newfound friendship can stand up to a myriad of conflicts.

Summer On Sunset Ridge- Celebrate Lit Tour
<h2><span class="wrap"><span class="inner">About The Author</span></span></h2>

Born and raised in west Michigan, Sharlene attended Spring Arbor University. Upon graduating with an education degree in 1971, she taught second grade for two years then accepted an invitation to travel internationally for a year with a singing ensemble. In 1975, she married her childhood sweetheart. Together they raised two lovely, wonderful daughters, both of whom are now happily married and enjoying their own families. Retired in 2003 from 31-years of teaching, "Shar" loves to read, sing, travel, and spend time with her family, in particular, her wonderful, adorable grandchildren!

A Christian for 45+ years, and a lover of the English language, Shar has always enjoyed dabbling in writing--poetry, fiction, various essays, and freelancing for periodicals and newspapers. Her favored genre, however, has always been romance. She remembers well the short stories she wrote in high school and watching them circulate from girl to girl during government and civics classes. "Psst," someone would whisper from two rows over, and always with the teacher's back to the class, "Pass me the next page."

In recent years, Shar felt God's call upon her heart to take her writing pleasures a step further and in 2006 signed a contract for her first faith-based novel; thereby, launching her writing career with Through Every Storm. With a dozen books now gracing store shelves nationwide, she daily gives God all the praise and glory for her accomplishments.

Shar has done numerous countrywide book-signings, television and radio appearances, and countless interviews. She loves to speak for women's organizations, libraries, church groups, women's retreats, and banquets. She is involved in Apples of Gold, a mentoring program for young wives and/or mothers, and is active in her church as well as two weekly Bible studies. She and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan with their beautiful white collie, Peyton and their rag doll cat named Blue.

Sharlene MacLaren

Book Review by Bree Herron

Imagine being on opposite sides of the Civil War, from a friend or even someone you love, would this rip your heart apart? Now imagine your faith being tested and your heart leading you in a bolder way and helping someone that will test your values. Now that you have thought about this it is time to for you to read Summer on Sunset Ridge.  Quaker life, and family faith are shown through out this wonderful novel.

Where would you stand in the war between the states? #giveaway #christfic Share on X

I really enjoyed the knowledge of the Quakers, having lived back in Pennsylvania for a few years, I loved seeing historical spots and information about the kind Quakers. I loved the Friends Church and schools. I enjoyed gaining the knowledge of their faith. Sharlene certainly gave me the chance to revisit these lovely people, even with a going back to the 1860’s. The fundamentals are the same.  I love the strength she gave Rebecca, unlike other books written about this time period, Rebecca was allowed a strong mind and opinion. That made her stand out and become a quick favorite of mine. Clay was a unique character, I loved his inner conflicts and his passion for his job, yet he had a softness that made him seem more than just a bounty hunter or sheriff.  He was given such possibilities, and I really enjoyed that it felt as the each character had received special attention in the writing process, and were able to become their own.  I feel as though Sharlene really loves to write!

This was the first time reading a Sharlene MacLaren book. I am so mentally shocked with this. I loved her writing style through this book, and felt instantly drawn into the Albright’s family life, the underground railroad and the sides of the Civil War.  The love and family dynamics of this book were heart warming, and the relationships that unfold are special and create a bond with the reader. I truly hope any fan of historical fiction, Quaker history, Christian fiction or just someone looking for a great read checks this book out.

I Rate it

Have you read any of Sharlene’s books? Which is your favorite?

**DISCLAIMER: I was provided an opportunity to read this book as an Advanced Reader Copy in return for a fair and honest review.

Blog Stops

January 19: Reading Is My SuperPower

January 19: Giveaway Lady

January 19: A Reader’s Brain

January 20: Books. Books. And More Books.

January 20: The Power of Words

January 21: Bigreadersite

January 21: just the write escape

January 22: Moments Dipped in Ink

January 22: For The Love of Books

January 23: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

January 23: Genesis 5020

January 24: Pause for Tales

January 24: His Grace is Sufficient

January 25:  Book by Book

January 25: A Simple Life, really?!

January 26: A Greater Yes

January 26: Connie’s History Classroom

January 26: A Baker’s Perspective

January 27: Christian Author: A.M. Heath

January 27: Splashes of Joy

January 28: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

January 28: Christian Bookaholic

January 28: History, Mystery & Faith

January 29: Stuff & Nonsense

January 29: Bibliophile Reviews

January 30: cherylbbookblog

January 30: Daysong Reflections

January 31: Blossoms and Blessings

January 31: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

February 1: Reader’s cozy corner

February 1: Rhonda’s Doings

<h2><span class="inner">Giveaway</span></h2>

To celebrate Sharlene’s tour, Whitaker House is giving away:

Grand Prize

Brown and tan fashion purse with cross, multiple interior and exterior pockets and Five Sharlene MacLaren titles: Summer on Sunset Ridge (Forever Freedom #1); Heart of Mercy (Tennessee Dreams #1); Livvie’s Song (River of Hope #1); Hannah Grace (Daughters of Jacob Kane #1); Loving Liza Jane (Little Hickman Creek #1)

Second Prize

“Keepers of the Light” Orange/Cinnamon/Clove candle from and  Summer on Sunset Ridge

Third Prize

Summer on Sunset Ridge

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway! ! Find out all the details and enter to WIN at Summer on Sunset Ridge Giveaway.

Professional Reader Affiliates

NetGalley Professional Reader Frequently Auto-Approved 200 Book Reviews 2016 NetGalley Challenge Reviews Published Great Escape Tour Host BethanyHouse Blogger Reviewer

Peruse My Other Reviews

  • Claws for Concern
  • Cake & Punishment
  • Murder She Wrote: A Date with Murder
  • She Who Knows No Fear
  • My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho
  • Taffy
  • A Brush with Shadows
  • Someplace Familiar
  • Author Spotlight—Laura DiSilverio
  • This Couragous Journey
  • Passport to Murder
  • Top 12 Christian Authors to Watch in 2017
  • Sweetbriar Cottage
  • The Writing Desk
  • The Book Club Murders
  • Hope In My Heart Review
  • The Girl on the Tombstone
  • Death Over Easy
  • Giver of Wonders
  • Engaged in Trouble
  • Full Moons, Dunes & Macaroons
  • In The Market For Murder
  • Author Spotlight—Linda Crowder
  • Top 5 Christian Authors of 2016
  • 12 Days at Bleakly Manor
  • One Taste Too Many
  • Red Sky Over America
  • Sweetbriar Cottage
  • Character Spotlight - Carrie Pagels' Heroines
  • Bearly Departed
  • A Murderous Marriage
  • Stirring the Plot
  • An Amish Home: Four Novellas
  • Author Spotlight—Kristen Ethridge
  • Author Spotlight: Kimberly Rose Johnson
  • If He Only Knew

Affiliate Disclosure

I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links supplements the costs of keeping my website up and running, and is very much appreciated!


  1. Sarah

    I love that Shar grew up in West Michigan, which is where I am from and went to Spring Arbor! What a small world. Sounds like a great book!

    • Bree Herron

      How neat! I love it!

      • Sharlene MacLaren

        Hi, Sarah! Yay, another Michigander!!! Did you also go to Spring Arbor U?

        Thanks for stopping by Bree’s blog. Blessings to you.

      • Sharlene MacLaren

        Bree, you have an awesome blog. Thanks so much for your wonderful review. I really appreciate all the kind words, and, yes, I LOVE to write. It’s my passion.


    • Sharlene MacLaren

      Hi, Sarah! Thanks so much for stopping by Bree’s blog and also leaving a comment. I see you too are from Michigan. You mentioned the fact I went to Spring Arbor. Did you also attend there? I bet I graduated a few years before you did. Haha. (I am a 1971 alumni–which makes me…O-L-D!)


  2. Trixi O.

    I haven’t read too many books on the Quakers or set in the Civil War era, so this would be fasinating to read! Thank you for the lovely review Bree, it certainly makes me want to read this one for myself!

    • Bree Herron

      Trixi, I know we have enjoyed many of the same books before. I really think this one will be a favorite of yours. Best Reading!

    • Sharlene MacLaren

      Hi, Trixi. (Love your name.) I had a grand time researching the Quakers. My dad was raised Quaker, and that is how he found the Lord at a young age. Because of his upbringing I have long wanted to write a novel about the Society of Friends. So glad the opportunity finally presented itself for me. I hope you get a chance to read it.

  3. Debbie Clatterbuck

    I love reading about history, especially during the Civil War era. This books sounds so great I can’t wait to read it. I hope I win, but I will get it from the library if I don’t. Great review, too. Good luck everyone.

    • Bree Herron

      Yes, good luck to you! And request it in your library, that way you know they will order it in!

    • Sharlene MacLaren

      Hi, Debbie. Thanks so much for your comments on Bree’s blog. If you love the Civil War era, I think you will enjoy this book. I’m glad you stopped by.

  4. Karen R

    Sounds like an interesting story. Nice review. My grandma was from Kalamazoo and her grandfather was in the Civil War. Would have to say I’d side with the North. Such a terrible conflict to think people killed their own countrymen and sometimes family. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. Haven’t read anything by this author.

    • Bree Herron

      What neat family history, thank you for sharing with us!

    • Sharlene MacLaren

      Hi, Karen. Thanks so much for stopping by Bree’s blog and leaving your comment. I agree the Civil War was a terrible time – and yet, I am so grateful for those who fought. Without them, we would be a divided country today. Still, can you imagine – brother fighting against brother?

      Blessings on you…

  5. Carla Moore

    It would be hard to pick a side but I definitely would stand on faith. Growing up Quaker seemed to be a hard life. Would love to win book, and it has a lovely cover.

    • Bree Herron

      I have been researching the Quakers after reading this book, it is fascinating and beautiful all in one.

      • Sharlene MacLaren

        Bree, I’m happy to hear you’ve been researching the Quakers after reading “Summer”. You’re quite right that it’s fascinating. (Did you read the comment above where I said my dad was raised in the Friends Society? That is where my love of Quakers originated.) So glad I was able to write a series around them.

        By the way, you may be interested to know, if you haven’t already figured it out, that the next book in my series will feature Rebecca’s brother Levi.

        • Bree Herron

          I am so excited to read his story!

    • Sharlene MacLaren

      Hi, Carla. Thanks for your comment. I do hope you will have the chance to read my book.

      Thanks for stopping by Bree’s blog.

      Blessings on your week.

  6. Joy Hannabass

    Thank you for your review! Loved this book too! Can’t wait for her next one!

    • Bree Herron

      I agree, I am excited for the next one in this series!

      • Sharlene MacLaren

        Bree, thanks again for the lovely review. It takes a lot of time and energy to read all the books you read, maintain this beautiful blog, and then keep up with the rest of life’s responsibilities. Just want to speak on behalf of authors everywhere. We APPRECIATE the hard work our readers and reviewers do to help promote our books. It truly doesn’t go unnoticed.

        Love and Hugs to you and all your blog fans.

        • Bree Herron

          Thanks for stopping by, Sharlene! It was an honor to read for you.

    • Sharlene MacLaren

      Joy, you’ve already read “Summer”? I’m excited to hear that. I’m TRIPLE excited to hear that you loved it. You made my night.

      Thanks so much for stopping by Bree’s blog.

  7. Martha

    I have read several of Sharlene’s other books and enjoyed many of them. I am excited to see she has written another.

    • Sharlene MacLaren

      Martha, you’ve read several of my books? Well, I’m honored. Thanks for stopping by Bree’s blog and leaving a comment. Blessings on your week. Hope it’s a great one.

    • Bree Herron

      Yes, and I am sure you will love this one as well.

  8. Karen G.

    I’m really looking forward to reading this book! Sounds so interesting.

    • Sharlene MacLaren

      Hi, Karen G. Thanks for the comment. I do hope you are able to read my book soon. I love writing, but I think I love my readers more. (grins)

    • Bree Herron

      It was such a great read, and I really enjoyed the characters.

  9. Winnie Thomas

    This book sounds so intriguing. I’ve heard of Sharlene, but I don’t think I’ve read any of her books. I need to fix that! I enjoyed your review, Bree!

    • Sharlene MacLaren

      Yes, Winnie, you certainly need to fix that. (smiles) Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on Bree’s blog. I appreciate it. Blessings…

    • Bree Herron

      Winnie, I really think you would enjoy this book!

  10. Penni LaBeau/ Shaw

    it’s such a, love, hate, relationship with this book. I loved the plot, the people, the setting, the story line. I hated to have to put it down. Which why I was so tired the next day. I read most of it in one setting; and I hated to see it come to the end. When I read Sharlene’s book I am part of the book. not an outsider looking in….hurry on with the next one Shar…Love you.

    • Sharlene MacLaren

      Penni, thanks so much. It’s funny how you refer to my books as love/hate — love the stories, hate that they end.

      You’re the best.

      Love you back…

    • Bree Herron

      I so agree, this book was so hard to put down.

  11. Linda Moffitt

    Great Blog Post Looks like a Great Book Thanks for sharing it with us


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Get My Latest Book Reviews

Join my mailing list to receive the latest and greatest delivered right to your inbox.

You have successfully subscribed! Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Share This