Wednesday, April 23, 2014

FOUR WEDDINGS AND A KISS by Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher, Debra Clopton, Margaret Brownley

by Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher, Debra Clopton,
Margaret Brownley

Title: Four Weddings and a Kiss

Authors: Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher, Debra Clopton, Margaret Brownley

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 10, 2014
Pages: 400



Admittedly, this is the first story I’ve read by MARY CONNEALY, and I loved the storyline in SPITFIRE SWEETHART.

Rylan Carsterns has never noticed how pretty his annoying neighbor, Maizy Place is, until he was placed in an uncompromising position.

Maizy Place new she was in trouble when she is caught on Rylan Carstens property. If she thought that's the worse of her problems, she only needed to look around to discover how untrue it was.


Again, another first for me. LOVE LETTER TO THE EDITOR by ROBIN LEE HATCHER is a cute story, well written, with a good pace. I have a feeling I’ll be reading more by MS HATCHER in the future. She did a fine job of creating a well-rounded story in so few words. Not an easy feat, as any writer knows.

Molly Everton, the town newspapers daughter, is not happy when she discovers he father hired an editor. Why hadn’t she been given the job? After all, she knew the paper better than any other in the office, and certainly better than some stranger that wasn’t even a local.

Jack Ludgrove is optimistic about his new position at the newspaper, about moving to a new town, even if he only plans to stay for a shot while.  


If I was honest, and I do try to be in all I do, A COWBOY FOR KATIE by DEBRA CLOPTON is the reason I was most excited to receive FOUR WEDDINGS AND A KISS. I have been a HUGE fan of MS CLOPTON since day one. I can honestly say, I can’t get enough of her stories.

If I’m not mistaken, A COWBOY FOR KATIE, is MS CLOPTONS first historical, and I have to say she did an amazing job. I’m a huge fan on historicals, as well as anything with a cowboy in it. It wasn’t until I read this story, that I put the connection together. There’s something about cowboy ways, that holds similarities to characters of the past.

As typical of MS CLOPTON, she drew me in right away with characters and a storyline that pulls you in from the first word to the last. She did an amazing job with a historical story, as well as a novella. One of the hardest things to accomplish. It takes a skilled writer to be able to pull off a short story from start to finish, and not just accomplish it, but do it really well.

Katie Pearl has no interest in a husband, only in hiring someone to fix the damage done to her property. When she spots a wandering cowboy coming through town, she ropes him in just long enough to complete the job and move on.

Treb Rayburn only plans to stay in the town he wandered into long enough to earn enough to buy a horse. At the pretty ladies offer as a hire hand to earn a few bucks, and a horse to boot, Treb can’t resist. What he hadn’t planned on was getting to know Katie in a way that had him rethinking packing his bags and leaving.


COURTING TROUBLE is not the first book I’ve read by, MARGARET BROWNLEY, and another reason I wanted a copy of FOUR WEDDINGS AND A KISS. Love MS BROWNLEY’S writing, both fiction and non-fiction.

Grace Davenport’s reputation is not one to be desired. In fact, if you were a man, you’d do best to run in the opposite direction.

Attorney Brock Daniels is confronted by a potential client – a very young one at that – to take on a case he had no intentions of taking. That is until he meets the boys, mother. Brock changed his direction of law practice for a reason, but looking into Grace Davenport’s eyes through the cell bars, has him rethinking his decision.

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.

Friday, April 18, 2014


I started a tradition with my children years ago. Easter morning, after they’ve gone through their baskets to see what goodies Mr. Bunny brought, they look for eggs. The plastic kind you snap together. The kids love searching for them.

Early on, I got the idea to add money to the eggs. I had to remember how many eggs I’d hidden, so we knew if we found them all. This left a bit of wonder - how does mom know how many eggs the Easter Bunny left? Somehow, we managed to glide over the reality of that answer.

Each year I use the same coins I have in a jug in the corner of my room. Each year the kids count how much they have and trade them in for bills. Little did they know they were replenishing the supply for the next year.

 For years, the kids would open the eggs, dump out the coins, and leave me with two hundred egg halves. I’d stuff them in a bag, and back to storage they’d go. The following year, I’d spend more time then I cared, attempting to match the two egg halves. Not every egg is created equal, thus not fitting together. It wasn’t until recently I decided it was the kids job to put the eggs back together the same year, so the following year I wouldn’t have to search for the correct match to make a complete egg. Oh why, oh why, hadn’t I thought of this much sooner? It would have saved me so much time.

The Easter baskets my kids have are the same ones they’ve had for years. No matter the state they are in, they refuse to replace them.

After all, it THEIR basket … and tradition.

What Easter traditions do you have?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Title: Pine Country Cowboy
Author: Glynna Kaye
Publisher: Love Inspired (March 18, 2014)
Pages: 224

And the story goes like this …

First thing you should know, I have more books waiting on my bookshelf to be read then any person has a right to have. So, when I went to the store with my daughter, and I stopped in the book section to see if one of my favorite authors new books had arrived, I had no intentions of purchasing any others. Sadly, they didn’t have the book I was looking for.

My first mistake, spotting a LOVE INSPIRED book with a cowboy on the front cover. That gets me every time. Second mistake, I picked it up. Third mistake, read the back cover. Fourth mistake, opened it up and began to read.

Doomed. Done for.

Not done, as in no longer interested. Done, as in I couldn’t stop reading. Knowing full well I didn’t need to purchase another book, especially by an author I had yet to read, I slowly pushed my cart away from the book section – with the book in my hand, eyes focused on the words.

Yeah, I was done for.

Abby Diaz got in her car and drove to Canyon Springs, the small town her father and brother lives in. A town she has not been in for more years then she cares to admit.

Brett Marden has it all together. A ladies man, self-assured, carefree. Well, at least that’s what those around him believe. Not many know the deep dark secrets he carries, and he plans to keep it that way.

As cliché as it sounds, PINE COUNTRY COWBOY by GLYNNA KAYE, had me from the very first page, right to the last word. It now sits on my shelf of keepers. Those are the books I’ve read that are so good, there’s no way I’m giving them up.

MS KAYE is an amazing writer. PINE COUNTRY COWBOY is well thought-out, believable, engaging, the ideal pace, and superb writing. Her characters are well thought-out, likeable, with distinct personality. The storyline unique, diverse, with humor, and surprises that will have your jaw slack.

If after reading my review if it is in question if I will be reading more by MS KAYE, then I have not done my job in writing it.

Friday, April 11, 2014


A little about Paula Vince
Award-winning author, Paula Vince loves to evoke tears and laughter through her novels. A wife and homeschooling mother of three, she resides in the beautiful Adelaide Hills of South Australia. Her youth was brightened by great fiction and she’s on a mission to pay it forward.
Her novel, Picking up the Pieces, won the religious fiction section of the 2011 International Book Awards.
Her novel, Best Forgotten, was winner of the 2011 CALEB Award in the fiction category and also recognized as the best overall entry for the year, chosen over memoirs, devotionals and general non-fiction.
Paula’s books are a skillful blend of drama and romance tied together with elements of mystery and suspense.
Paula is the author of Picking up the Pieces, The Risky Way Home, A Design of Gold and Best Forgotten. Her new novel, Imogen’s Chance, will be published in April, 2014.
Paula is also one of the four authors of The Greenfield Legacy. Check out her Amazon page at
1)     What genre of books do you write, and why?
My books are contemporary dramas, with elements of romance, mystery and suspense.
They typically take place in my own environment. Many books have already been written to draw us in by their unusual settings and plots. Some character may have a unique occupation, such as being a missionary to a deep, dark native place. This, of course, is why we love them.
Rather than adding to these, I like to show the hidden drama and heroism of people simply living their lives in the twenty-first century in some suburban setting. There are all sorts of undercurrents calling for attitudes of valour. Sometimes the themes may resonate with us even stronger because the plights of the characters are so familiar.
2)     Is there a recognizable quality in your books, which makes them distinctly your own?

Although I never consciously set out to do this, I like to take serious, potentially heart-breaking situations and fill them with hope instead. ‘Happily Ever After’ endings resulting from depressing and even tragic circumstances aren’t all that rare in true life, although the media may tell us otherwise. It’s good to remind ourselves of this, and I aim to do so through my writing. Readers who enquire about the themes of my novels may be forgiven for saying, ‘That sounds like a pretty heavy topic. If it’s going to make me sad, I’d like to be warned outright.’

I always reply that I’m confident they’ll end up feeling happy and uplifted with the way things turn out. I like to think my novels reflect the nature of some personal stories God presents us with in the Bible. Historical heroes and heroines such as Joseph, Ruth, Paul, Hannah, Jacob, Hezekiah and Gideon find themselves in fixes they would never dream they’d see the end of. Yet they are blessed and surprised by the wonderful things that happen. I’m sure many of us have stories of times when the same thing has happened to us. Those are the experiences I plan for my characters.    

“Picking up the Pieces” contains a date rape situation which neither person involved believes they will recover from.

“A Design of Gold” begins with a tragic drowning accident which shatters a best friend’s confidence.

“Best Forgotten” features a dysfunctional family, as a young man who has amnesia delves into his past, afraid of what he may find.

“Imogen’s Chance” is about the possibility of divine healing in the face of a diagnosis that offers no hope. I’m hoping it will prove to bless invalids who may be going through far less than my character, Asher, has to face.

I think a good overall theme for my books would be Romans 8:28, ‘We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.’

3)     What is one of your favourite parts about being an author?

I love reading other peoples’ novels. There are many authors I consider friends, just because we have the same occupation and share similar values. This holds true whether we have known each other for twenty years or one day.

I love to read Christian novels of all genres, including contemporary, romance, historical, fantasy and supernatural. I love it that even though we all start with the same raw materials, such as pens and paper, computers and notebooks, what we produce are products of our own unique imaginations and experiences, and the way God has worked through them.

People who are into mathematics (which I’m not) may even be able to work this into a formula something like GS = AE + VI + DI. (Good Story = Author’s Experiences + Vividness of Imagination + Divine Input.)

I have to admit, I also love it when people discuss my own characters with me as if they’ve become their close friends too.

4)     What is one of the parts you like the least?

Much I love the support we receive from review sites such as Amazon and Goodreads, the star ranking system sometimes makes me a bit sad. After reading any story, knowing that the author has poured their heart, time and energy into it, I never like to choose a number out of 5. It’s not what stories are all about.

 I do understand why people find it handy. It’s a quick guide that busy people can simply cast their eyes down, but I still think we could function without it. Amazon’s system also asks us to write a quick sentence to summarise our reviews. In my opinion, this, along with the review, should be sufficient without forcing us to add a rating (because if we don’t, it chooses a 3 for us anyway, by default). My rant is over. I know the star ranking system is here to stay.

5)     What is ‘Imogen’s Chance’ about?

My heroine feels guilty and partly responsible for a couple of horrible events which happened when she was younger. One day, during a vulnerable moment, she vows to return and fix things up if only she gets the chance. For Imogen, back-tracking means returning all the way from America to South Australia. She finds that one of her old friends, Asher, has a problem which seems impossible for her to help with. As he’s one of the people she felt most wary about facing again, she’s unsure how she should behave around him.


Imogen’s Chance blurb

She has given herself a chance to fix her personal history. But will old mistakes bring up new emotions?

Imogen Browne longs to make up for past mistakes before she can move on. She quietly resolves to help the Dorazio family, whose lives she accidentally upset. Her biggest challenge is Asher, the one person who may never forgive her. And he is facing a crisis of his own. Imogen must tread very carefully, as trying to fix things may well make them shatter.

A sensitive story about misplaced loyalty, celebrating life and falling in love. Can family secrets concealed with the best intentions bear the light of day?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Title: Love Redeemed
Author: Kelly Irvin
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (March 1, 2014)
Pages: 352

I have to start with a couple of confessions. First, I’m not an Amish fan. Second, I have read few Amish authors or Amish books. Now that you know the facts, I can reveal LOVE REDEEMED by KELLY IRVIN is the best Amish fiction to date I’ve read!

No other Amish novels I’ve read have come close to LOVE REDEEMED. They didn’t keep my attention the way it did. In part, that had to do with the storyline. They were mystery centered, rather than romance, and the plot - for me - weak. I also had a hard time with the use of “Amish words”.

Phoebe Christner desires to have a family of her own, but the boy she has her eyes on doesn’t seem to be interested.

Shy, Michael Daugherty, is in love with Phoebe Christner. When he decides to make his feelings known, tragedy strikes, tearing Michael and Phoebe apart. 

LOVE REDEEMED is a light romance, with a heavy dose of forgiveness. The faith element is subtle, yet strong. The writing superb. Though there were words associated with the Amish, it didn’t overpower or pull you out of the story. The plot was unique. The pace, just the right speed to keep you turning the pages, wanting more. There was a sense of romance throughout, without taking over the story.

I loved what MS. IRVIN did with the characters. They’re three dimensional, and likeable. So many things happened, yet woven together in a believable and natural way. MS IRVIN takes the story to places you wouldn’t expect. As an aspiring fiction author, I tend to rewrite lines in my mind as I read. With LOVE REDEEDED, there was no cause to do so.

MS IRVIN might just make an Amish fan out of me after all.

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.


Friday, April 4, 2014


April 2014 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

A Plain Man by Mary Ellis -- When a man returns to Amish ways after years apart, rigid district rules, a judgmental father, and his own pride conspire to separate him from the woman he loves. Josie Yoder was just a girl when he left. All grown up now, she gives Caleb hope for the future and reminds him that while his faith may have wavered, God never left his side. But will past mistakes end up destroying their fledgling romance before it really has a chance to begin? (Contemporary Romance from Harvest House Publishers)

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert -- After ten years in the fashion industry, twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark has learned a sacred truth-appearance is everything. When it starts to unravel, she'll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother's bridal wear line-an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white. If only her tenuous future didn't rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Is it possible that God sees her-a woman stained and broken by the world-yet wants her still? (Contemporary Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

Rescued by the Firefighter by Gail Gaymer Martin -- A firefighter who has saved many lives except his own meets a woman with a surprising secret who could save him if she would allow him to save her first. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Unexpected Wedding by Carla Rossi -- In a wheelchair since a fall in college, Rocky Lionakis plays guitar and shares his testimony every week with the campers at Towering Pines summer church camp. At peace with his chair, he has settled into a boring but successful career in technology...but then stunning camp counselor, Gia Rinaldi, enters his life and turns it upside down. Giavanna Rinaldi, with a trail of bad choices in her wake, has finally grown up and found her niche as a student of Christian child psychology. She returns to Camp Towering Pines where she's worked since high school, but unsettling dreams and an unexplained illness lead her to a harrowing discovery. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

Rodeo Song by Shannon Taylor Vannatter -- Jenna Wentworth found the man of her dreams. But when silken-voiced Garrett Steele set out for stardom, he left Jenna-and his cowboy past-far behind. A chance encounter at one of his concerts propels him back into Jenna's life. Once upon a time, Garrett vowed he'd be a success, no matter what. But that path shattered his soul. His reunion with Jenna makes him long for things he once took for granted. Now he must show her that he's found what he was looking for all along...right here in his hometown. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Historical Romance:

For Such a Time by Kate Breslin -- A young, bitter, Jewess-in-hiding must send her own people to Auschwitz in order to survive, or put her trust in God by giving her heart to the man responsible for their doom. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Rainy Day Dreams by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith -- When the Burgert family moves to Seattle in 1852, Kathryn is convinced her father has destroyed her life. The backwoods settlement offers none of the comforts and culture she loves in San Francisco. She cares nothing for the new sawmill the townsfolk are so excited about. That is, until she meets Jason, a lumberjack with dreams for a bright future. As she comes to know Jason, Kathryn can't help catching his vision. But the future they hope for is anything but secure. There are some who see Seattle as a threat and will stop at nothing to make sure the sawmill fails. A gripping story of love, tenderness, and survival in the rugged Pacific Northwest. (Historical Romance from Harvest House Publishers)

The Preacher's Bride Claim by Laurie Kingery -- For the Thornton brothers, the Oklahoma Land Rush is the perfect opportunity to finally put down some roots. A new start, a new community-what more could preacher Elijah Thornton need. Not a wife-not after losing his fiancée. But something draws him to the pretty nurse whose eyes are clouded by trouble. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sincerely Yours by Ann Shorey, Laurie Alice Eakes, Amanda Cabot, and Jane Kirkpatrick -- Four young women find their lives altered after each receives a letter that sets her on a new path toward a changed life--and perhaps lifelong love. From a Hudson River steamboat to a lush drawing room, from a carousel carver's workshop to a remote and controversial hospital, readers will love being swept into the lives of four young women who are making their way in the world and finding love where they least expect it. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker Publishing Group])

The Pelican Bride by Beth White -- It is 1704 when Genevieve Gaillain and her sister board a French ship headed for the Louisiana colony as mail-order brides. Genevieve knows life won't be easy, but at least here she can establish a home and family without fear of beheading. But when she falls in love with Tristan Lanier, an expatriate cartographer whose courageous stand for fair treatment of native peoples has made him decidedly unpopular in the young colony, Genevieve realizes that even in this land of liberty one is not guaranteed peace. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker PublishingGroup])

Circle of Spies by Roseanna M. White-- Baltimore, 1865--Marietta Hughes never wanted to be a spy...but espionage is thrust upon her as the War Between the States rolls on. Unbeknownst to her, a Confederate secret society bent on destroying the Union she loves has been meeting in her basement. When she discovers the plots and papers covering her walls, she feels as though she is losing her world. Slade Osborne, an undercover Pinkerton agent, is determined to do whatever is necessary to help end the conflict between the North and the South. When he infiltrates this secret cell, it isn't just their inner workings that baffle him--it's the beautiful woman who seems to be a puppet for the new leader and yet...somehow not an enemy of the Union. Can he trust her? (Historical Romance from Harvest House Publishers)


Dynamo by Eleanor Gustafson -- Jeth Cavenaugh trains both show jumpers and the 5-gaited stallion Dynamo, but God, in extraordinary ways, is training Jeth-for what? (Contemporary from Whitaker House)

Just 18 Summers by Rene Gutteridge and Michelle Cox -- After the tragic death of Butch Browning's wife, Jenny, four families begin to realize how precious-and fleeting-their time together is. Each is at a different stage in life: Butch is facing single parenthood. The O'Reillys are expecting their first child. The Andersons are approaching an empty nest, and the Buckleys are so focused on providing their children with everything that they've forgotten what they truly need. With just eighteen summers before their children are grown, how do they make the most of that time when life so often gets in the way? (Contemporary from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

The Women of Valley View: Pam by Sharon Srock -- Pam's divorce broke her heart. The cruelty of her ex-husband broke her spirit. A bottle of sleeping pills almost took her life. Four years later the scars of Alan Archer's emotional abuse are beginning to fade under the love of her new husband. When Alan returns to Garfield, Pam must learn that buried secrets and carefully cultivated indifference do not equal forgiveness. (Contemporary from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Medical Thriller:

Critical Condition by Richard L. Mabry M.D. -- It was supposed to be a quiet dinner party with her colleagues. Not the scene of a murder. Dr. Frasier couldn't save the gunshot victim on her front lawn. Now she's fighting for her own life. With a sister suffering from addiction, and her own fear of commitment to her "almost-fiancé" causing guilt, she turns to her pastor-father for help, only to learn he's just been diagnosed with leukemia. Shannon thought it couldn't get any worse. Then the late-night, threatening phone calls begin, the rough voice asking, "What did he say before he died?" With everything around her in a critical state, simply staying alive will require all the resources and focus Shannon has. (Thriller/Suspense from HarperCollins [Thomas Nelson & Zondervan])

Romantic Suspense:

Perilous Waters by Sandra Orchard -- On an Alaskan cruise, an undercover FBI agent, seeking evidence of art crimes, befriends an heiress trying to convince her twin to sell their gallery, except an assassin has different plans. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])