Thursday, July 30, 2015

4-Star Review of "Amish Dynasty"

4-Star Review of Amish Dynasty

by Sophia Grace


“We’re rich!” 
Becca Yoder twirled in her plain blue dress, her arms above her head. Gold coins spilled from her fingers and dropped to her bare feet. 
Her smile lit him up, her auburn hair reflected the sunlight with a warmth that tempted him to unpin her prayer kapp and let it wave in the autumn breeze. 
“We’re rich!” Becca repeated, as if she just wanted to hear herself say it again. 
Jeremiah stood in the murky water of Pigeon Creek, leaning over the embankment as he dug his hands into the pile of gold coins. “I’m the one that lugged this heavy box up the crick bank!” 
“I did most of the digging to get that box out of the mud,” she argued. “While you just sat there fishing instead of helping me.” 
She held up her muddy hands as proof. 
“I had to reel in that big catfish. I couldn’t just let him go!” 
Becca rolled her eyes. “With this much money, you could pay someone to fish for you!” 

MY REVIEW:  What would you do if you found a fortune in gold?   How would you life be different?   Becca and Jeremiah had this very experience!   But life has cruel twists and turns for the young people who are madly in love and eager to marry. 
        This Amish romantic novella is very different from most Amish fiction.   It is a quick read with only 75 pages and definitely kept my interest.  I was anxious to continue reading as I wanted to know how the story would end for Becca and Jeremiah.   They fell in love as young Amish children and vowed to marry each other but Becca's parents force her to marry their English landlord in order to save their farm.   Jeremiah ran from town and left the Amish community and faith but he never forgot Becca or stopped loving her.   After his wife dies, he and his son travel back to Pigeon Creek to right a wrong he commited in order to punish Becca for marrying Angus.  Life has been anything but good for Becca and now she and Jeremiah have a second chance at love.   
       I don't want to spoil the story but will say that the relationship between Jeremiah's son, Jake, and Becca's daughter, Ellie, to be rather farfetched.   Readers will enjoy seeing how things are resolved for Becca and Jeremiah.  I rated this novella 4-stars and recommend it to other lovers of Amish fiction.
      I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, July 24, 2015

5-Star Review of "The Convenient Bride Collection"

Review of The Convenient Bride Collection:  9 Romances Grow from Marriage Partnerships Formed Out of Necessity

by Erica Vetsch, Amanda Barratt, Andrea Boeshaar, Mona Hodgson, Melissa Jagears, Maureen Lang,
 Gabrielle Meyer, Jennifer Uhlarik, & Renee Yancy

 Jennifer Uhlarik, & Renee Yancy


Join nine brides of convenience on their adventures in a variety of times and settings gone by—from a ranch in California…to the rugged mountains of Colorado…to a steamship on the Mississippi…to the dangerous excitement of the Oregon Trail…into high society of New York City. No matter the time or place, the convenient brides proceed with what must be done, taking nuptials out of necessity. . .and never dreaming that God might take their feeble attempts to secure their futures and turn them into true love stories for His glory.

 My Review of The Substitute Wife by Amanda Barratt:  Bristol, Connecticut, June, 1883; Dr. Raymond McNair is thrilled that the day has come for him to wed the incredibly beautiful young Audrey Whittaker, but she runs off with another man and her father offers to save him from disgrace by giving his other daughter, Grace, to him to marry.    Grace agrees and their marriage of convenience begins.  But somehow love takes root.  Will they make it through?  Will they allow love to grow in their hearts?   
       This is a 5-star romantic novella!  It is very sweet and a quick read.  This definitely left me feeling good about love, marriage, and life.  

MY REVIEW of One Way to the Altar by Andrea Boeshaar with Christian Linstrot Miller:  Montana, 1902; Leah Hermaning travels by train from Newport, Rhode Island to One Way, Montana to take over the position of school teacher but when she arrives her aunt and uncle tell her that the position has already been filled.   Her aunt and uncle are leaving town and have another plan for her life.   They want her to marry the sheriff, Jesse Waite.   What will Leah do?  Will she agree to marry the sheriff?  Why? oh, why is this her fate?  
       This is another 5-star novella that allows the reader to develop feelings of concern for the characters and great interest in their fate.   

MY REVIEW of Keeper of My Heart by Mona Hodgson:   May, 1866, Ian is traveling west with a wagon train and his wife dies.  He is left with his five children and his mother and no wife, no mother.    Neelie's abusive husband is killed and she works as a sharp-shooter and dresses in men's clothing as she puts on shows for groups as she travels west.   She finds her long lost brother and his new family as she heads west to her job.   Will she ever know what it means to be a mother?   Will she ever have the desires of her heart?  
       This is a 5-star novella that grabs the attention of the reader and pulls them into the story as they hope along with Ian and Neelie.   

MY REVIEW of Blinded by Love by Melissa Jagears:    Set in California, 1888, Helen is a spinster who has helped her sister and brother-in-law raise their children while living in a tiny attic room in their home. Neil Oliver is a wealthy business owner who has received news from his doctor that he is going blind.  He proposes a marriage of convenience with Helen so that she can help him as he loses his sight and fulfill needs of hers as well.   They marry but find they don't really know each other.  Can they find a way to connect?   Can love grow in their hearts?  
       This is a very short and quite interesting romantic novella.  I enjoy learning more about life and the ways that people acted and lived in the 1880's as I read this novella.  This is a 5-star romantic novella and one that will leave readers with a good feeling.  

MY REVIEW of Bonnets and Bees by Maureen Lang:  Set in Turnbridge Acres, Wisconsin, June 1871, Paul agrees to his brother's request to marry Virginia, a spinster who runs a hat shop when her father passes away and stipulates in his will that she must  marry in order to own the hat shop or her cousin will attain ownership of it.  Paul agrees to the marriage
 and when disaster strikes Virginia, Paul comes to her rescue.   Will his rescue be enough to give love a chance to grow between them?   Will this marriage become a real one in every sense?   
       This novella was very informative with a great deal of information concerning beekeeping included within the plot.  I rate this 5 stars and think readers will be all "abuzz" about it.  

  MY REVIEW of A Groom for Josette by Gabrielle Meyer:St. Louis, June 1856, Josette must marry within 3 weeks or all her father's estate and business will go to her half-brother.  She travels to a small town to respond to add seeking wives.   She finds a husband in Alejandre but he is the new preacher for the Comanche mission and she feels called to run her father's shipping business. How can they live so far apart?   Neither one can give up their calling.   What will God's plan for them reveal?  
       This may well be my favorite of the novellas featured here in this collection.   It is refreshing and new in its approach to the story.  Another 5 star novella!   

MY REVIEW of Wedded to Honor by Jennifer Uhlarik:  Petaluma, California, August 2, 1875, Honor Cahill advertises for a husband and Ash Rutherford answers her advertisement.   Honor's father stipulates in his will that she will inherit the ranch and land as long as she is married previous to the reading of the will.  What begins as a marriage of convenience may seem unlikely to last but as Ash and Honor work together on the ranch and battling her half-brother, Nate, who wants to take the ranch from her, things begin to change between them.   
        Readers will enjoy this 5-star romantic novella and watching the action and drama as Honor and Ash try to get along with each other and her half-brother.   

MY REVIEW of A Bride for Bear by Erica Vetsch:   Idaho Springs, Colorado, September, 1874, someone sends a package via the train to Bear McCall but he is shocked to find the "package" is three little girls. What will a bachelor who lives in a one-room cabin do with three little girls that he has inherited from his deceased cousin?  He finds a wife and quickly, that's what!   Emmylou has traveled by train in answer to an ad in the Matrimonial News to become a stranger's bride and he already married another woman!   Bear meets her and asks her to marry him and help care for Deborah, Miriam and Tabitha.  She agrees and a family is born.   Problems develop for them, but I won't spoil the book for other readers.  
        I really enjoyed this novella!   I love the historical features of this novella and all the others as well.   The characters are very believable and lovable.   I rate this novella 5 stars and hope other readers enjoy it as I did.  

MY REVIEW of Have Cash, Will Marry by Renee Yancy:  Set in New York City, April 28, 1899, the Honorable Robert Alexander Radclyfe has plans to refurbish his family's estate in England but he needs funds and his father intends for him to return with an American heiress as his bride.   Rob has a rule for his marriage partner though; they must be in love.  He meets Anna and falls for her but must convince her of his true love for her and not just her dowry.   
       Another top-notch 5 star novella!   Each of the novellas in this collection are fun, fast-paced and sure to delight many readers!    
I received a free ecopy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Authors:

Even though Erica Vetsch has set aside her career teaching history to high school students in order to homeschool her own children, but her love of history hasn't faded. Erica's favorite books are historical novels and history books, and one of her greatest thrills is stumbling across some obscure historical factoid that makes her imagination leap. She’s continually amazed at how God has allowed her to use her passion for history, romance, and daydreaming to craft historical romances that entertain readers and glorify Him. Whenever she’s not following flights of fancy in her fictional world, Erica is the company bookkeeper for her family’s lumber business, a mother of two terrific teens, wife to a man who is her total opposite and yet her soul mate, and an avid museum patron.

Amanda Barratt is a historical romance author with two novellas releasing in 2015 with Barbour Publishing. She fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story - a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Since then, she's penned novels set in Regency and Victorian England, and the Gilded Age. 
A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, who kindly put up with the invisible people she calls characters.

Andrea Boeshaar
Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar has been married for more than 30 years. She and her husband, Daniel, have three adult sons, daughters-in-law, and two precious grandchildren. Andrea's educational background includes the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, where she studied in English, and Alverno College where she studied in Professional Communications and Business Management.
Andrea has been writing stories and poems since she was a little girl; however, it wasn't until 1984 that she started submitting her work for publication. Eight years after that, she was convicted about writing for the Christian market. She read books in her genre (Inspirational Romance & Women's Fiction), studied the market, and worked hard to hone her craft.

Mona Hodgson

Mona Hodgson from Arizona writes historical romance set in American history. Mona is the author of Keeper of My Heart in The Convenient Bride Collection, The Family Quilt in A Cup of Christmas Cheer Volume 3, Two Brides Too Many, Too Rich for a Bride, The Bride Wore Blue, Twice a Bride, The Quilted Heart Omnibus, Prairie Song. Her writing credits also include nearly thirty children’s books, and hundreds of short stories, articles, and poems in newspapers and magazines. Follow Mona on her blog at and at ttp://

Melissa Jagears\\

from bio on her webpage:
Melissa Jagears is a stay at home mother on a tiny little farm with a fixer-upper house. As much as she loves writing and reading about homesteaders, she is so glad to be a homesteader during an era with modern grocery stores to take up for her slack. She is an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher by trade, and still works occasionally in that field along with being her church’s financial secretary and writing novels.
She and her husband have been married since 2001 and have a daughter and two little boys. Her husband shares her fascination with traditional living except for being more hands on. He loves blacksmithing, knife smithing, traditional archery, hunting, etc. Generally whatever a mountain man does, he does it or has or wants to attempt it. He comes in handy for research! And of course, the rest of the family gets involved. She has her own blackpowder rifle, named Calvin, that her  husband made for her.. And she is pretty sure her daughter is probably one of very few her age who can instruct adults how to shoot a longbow properly. The boy digs random holes in their yard to make “cement” with dirt and water making our yard a tripping hazard. The baby does what babies do.

Maureen Lang

Maureen Lang has always had a passion for writing. She wrote her first novel longhand around the age of 10, put the pages into a notebook she had covered with soft deerskin (nothing but the best!), then passed it around the neighborhood to rave reviews. It was so much fun she's been writing ever since.

Most of her books are historical, with an emphasis on faith and romance. 

Maureen lives in the Midwest with her husband, her two sons, and their much-loved dog, Susie. Visit her Web site at
Gabrielle Meyer

Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four young children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people and events. Gabrielle has two novellas releasing with Barbour Publishers in 2015. She can be found on her personal blog at, or her group blog,, where she writes about her passion for history, Minnesota, and her faith.

Jennifer Uhlarik

Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen, when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has won five writing competitions and finaled in two other competitions. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, teenaged son, and four fur children.

Renee Yancy
Renee Yancy has been living vicariously through historical fiction since she was a young girl. Her all time favorite book is Shogun by James Clavell. The characters are like old friends every time she re-reads it.

In my teens she discovered Anya Seton and Pearl Buck and read every novel they wrote.She is  an archaeology buff as well and that shows up in her writing. Her goal in writing her stories is to be as historically and archaeologically accurate as possible.

Every object she describes, from jewelry, dishes, furniture and glassware, are actually in museums all over the world. The food and dishes she describes are authentic recipes gleaned from intensive research. She  visited Ireland, Scotland, and England to stand in the places her characters stood. 

The Vanderbilt mansion in historic Hyde Park, NY, is the setting for the characters in Have Cash, Will Marry. It is now a National Historic Park, and you can visit the house and the gardens, just as she describes them in the story. 

If you ever visit Ireland, you can stand on the Mountain of the Witch and feel the wind on your face like her character Ciara in A Secret Hope.

Monday, July 20, 2015

5-Star Review of "A Texas Christmas"

Review of A Texas Christmas:  Six Romances from the Historic Lone Star State Herald the Season of Love

by Ramona K. Cecil, Lena Nelson Dooley, Darlene Franklin, Pamela Griffin, Cathy Marie Hake, Kathleen Y'Barbo


Spend Christmas in the Old West with six unconventional women who take on Texas-sized challenges—and unexpected romance. Bridget falls for a man opposed to her teaching Indian orphans. Polly is trying to hold her family together when her childhood love returns to town. Rugged rancher Charlsey is inexplicably attracted to a tenderfoot accountant. Vivian shuns marriage until meeting a nomadic photographer. Lacey’s cooking draws a quiet blacksmith out of his shell. Tracker Bessie Mae helps a ranger hunt down a villain.

MY REVIEW of Here Cooks the Bride by Cathy Marie Hake:   Set in Cut Corners,  Texas in 1870, Lacey leaves her finishing school in Boston to travel to Cut Corners, Texas to assist her only living older relative, Aunt Millie, run her cafe when she has an injury to her arm that prevents her from cooking and running the cafe.  The entire town is thrilled that Lacey has come to stay for a while as Aunt Millie is noted for her horrific cooking!!!   All the town bachelors propose marriage to her too, but she only has eyes for one bachelor and he hasn't proposed yet.  
      This is a really cute novella as Aunt Millie provides a great deal of comedic relief.   This is a quick and sweet story that will have readers salivating at Lacey's delightful recipes and cringing at Aunt Millie's.   Readers will enjoy seeing who wins the prize of lacey's hand in marriage.   5-Star rating

MY REVIEW of A Christmas Chronicle by Pamela Griffin, also set in Cut Corners, Texas, in 1881, the story picks up where Here Cooks the Bride left off and the older town's bachelors are still at their matchmaking.  This time, old Stone Creedon has his mind set on fixing clumsy storekeeper, Vivian, up with his nephew, Travis, who is a chronicler of the West for a fancy magazine in the East.  He will be stopping in Cut Corners, Texas, for a few weeks as he heads west with his cameras to chronicle the sights and scenes.  Travis agrees to take Vivian to the local dance if his Uncle Stone will take the widow Chamberlain, who runs the boardinghouse he lives in.  
      This is another wonderful Christmas novella as readers will enjoy the matchmaking mishaps.  The town is becoming known for its Christmas proposals and weddings and now everyone is wondering who will be saying "I do" this Christmas in Cut Corners.  It was very interesting to read about the method of taking pictures in 1881 as well. I really appreciated the continuity of this novella with the one preceding it.  I wish all the novellas in the collection would continue with the story of the characters introduced in the first one set in Cut Corners.  I rate this one 5-stars also.   

MY REVIEW of To Hear Angels Sing by Ramona Cecil, set in Pinewood, Texas, 1883, Seth Krueger is angry with God for allowing "savages" to kill his father and kidnap his mother and sister.   Bridget has come from Chicago to teach the Comanche children of the orphanage established by the local Woman's Missionary Union.   Bridget falls for Seth but does not wish to marry a man who would be "unequally yoked" with her Christian beliefs.   Seth is irked by Bridget and old wood-carver, Gabe's constant talk of God, but he is also quite taken with the beautiful Bridget.   
       This is another quick read and one that will cause hearts to sing.  This one breaks the continuity though of the story of the characters in Cut Corners and it causes me to mix up the characters and stories as I read.    I enjoyed the length of the novellas though as I like short ones. I rate this one 5 stars as well.  

MY REVIEW of The Face of Mary by Darlene Franklin, set in Breading, Texas, 1880, Polly (also known as Mary) cares for her father and siblings and her father seems to be suffering from memory problems which may well affect his ability to perform his job at the local bank.   Joey Carpenter, Polly's best friend, Jean's brother, has returned in time for the holidays from law school.  Years ago, before leaving town for law school, he said that he would someday marry Polly.  He was certainly joking though and would never look twice at a poor young girl who is saddled with the care of her family.  He is escorting Alice, the pretty daughter of the town's bank owner.  Polly and Joey both agree to help the children to prepare the Christmas church pageant.  Alice volunteers her services as well but does not contribute a great deal of help.  The local woodcarver asks Joey to paint the faces on the nativity set he has carved for the church but Joey needs inspiration for Mary's face. 
         When things escalate with Polly's fathers' memory issues and he finds himself in serious trouble with the law, Joey agrees to represent him as his lawyer.  What will happen to Polly and her siblings?  Will Joey be able to save her father?   Life seems impossible at the moment but God has a plan.    This story does have some connection to the previous story as Gabe, the woodcarver, is in both.   I think this novella is my very favorite of all the ones in this collection.  It has a beautiful lesson for all of us to learn.   Though the author never states it, the memory issues that Polly's father experiences seem to resemble today's alzheimer's or dementia but those were not diagnosed in the 1880's.   I rate this one 5 stars and would love to read more about the character's future lives.   

MY REVIEW of Charlsey's Accountant by Lena Nelson Dooley, set in Horsefly, Texas, in 1890, Harold Miller travels by train from Boston to Texas to purchase some cattle from his father's old friend, Frank Ames.    Frank has four beautiful young daughters and Charlsey is her father's best cattle brander.   Charlsey may be able to hang with the men on the ranch but she is every bit a lady as she dresses for the evening meals with Harold Miller, her father, and sisters.  Charlsey and Harold begin to discover they share a lot in common when they are left alone one evening to talk.  When Harold comes to live on their ranch to learn the business of ranching, he doesn't even recognize Charlsey when she is dressed like the men branding the cattle and that causes a great deal of confusion and leads to a huge problem.  Will Charlsey and Harold work out their differences or will this ruin the good relationship between the two old friends?   
        This novella has a lot of information about ranching and horses which did not appeal to me at first but I quickly became interested in the characters and wanted to see how issues would be resolved.   I only rode a horse one time in my life and it scared me a bit and I think that affects me as I read about riding horses as it triggers those memories for me.   I was able to overcome this as I read though.   I rate this novella 5 stars also.  

MY REVIEW of Plain Trouble by Kathleen Y'Barbo, set in Horsefly, Texas, in 1893, Texas Ranger, Joe Mueller returns to his hometown to catch a murderer.   He never wanted to return to Horsefly, Texas, and he recalls how he gave poor little Bess Ames a cruel nickname when he told everyone that she was as plain as day.   He doesn't think it warrants an apology though as he feels sure the girl has now married.  But he meets Bess again as he and Frank work to find Pale Indian, the murderer.   Bess steals remembers being called plain by him and she has not married but instead cares for her father.   Her father has started eating an awful lot of meals with the neighbor widow, Ida Vonheim, and helping her fix things on her home.   Frank and Joe devise a plan for explaining to folks why he is in town so long....he will pretend to be trying to convince Bess to become his wife.  
          This novella features the same Texas rancher, Frank Ames, and his youngest daughter, Bess, that were also featured in the previous novella.   Bess has definitely not forgotten when he labeled and branded her as plain.   Joe is going to have to really work to win her trust.    Will he be able to overcome the painful memories she holds of the past or will he leave town alone with no bride?    I rated this one 5 stars as well.   
OVERALL REVIEW of collection:  5 stars.....very quick and easy-to-read, this collection is sure to be a hit among lovers of historical romance.  I received a free ecopy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Authors:
Lena Nelson Dooley is an award-winning author who has had more than 800,000 copies of her books sold.  She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the local chapter, ACFW-DFW.   She's a member of Chrisitan Author's Network and Gateway Church in Southlake,  Texas.    She has been on both the CBA Bestseller list and several Amazon bestseller lists.  Her 2010 release Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, from Summerside press, won the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in publishing Western Fiction.    

Lena Nelson Dooley

Award-winning author and speaker Darlene Franklin lives in cowboy country—Oklahoma and loves writing about the American West. Oklahoma also has the benefit of being the home to her son, his wife, and their four beautiful children. Darlene loves music, needlework, reading and reality tv. Talia, a Lynx point Siamese cat, proudly claims Darlene as her person. Darlene is the author of seventeen contracted books and novellas, as well as several hundred short pieces. Two of her books have finaled in ACFW’s Book of the Year (now the Carol award) contest: her novella, Dressed in Scarlet, and her cozy mystery, A String of Murders.

Kathleen Y'Barbo:
Kathleen Y'Barbo

While wearing her publicist’s hat, Kathleen has secured interviews with radio, television, and print media for clients at NavPress, Hatchette, Integrity, Barbour Publishing, and Broadman & Holman, to name a few. She also brings her own unique blend of Southern charm and witty prose to the more than 350,000 award-winning novels and novellas currently in print. Her novels have been nominated for American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006; and 2007 will see the release of her 25th book.

Kathleen is a tenth-generation Texan and a mother of three grown sons and a teenage daughter. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University. Kathleen is a former treasurer for the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is a member of the Author’s Guild, Inspirational Writers Alive, Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild, and the Fellowship of Christian Authors. In addition, she is a sought-after speaker, and her kids think she’s a pretty cool mom, too…most of the time, anyway.

Cathy Marie Hake is a Southern California native.  She met her two loves at church:  Jesus and her husband, Christopher.  An RN, she loved working in oncology as well as teaching Lamaze.  Health issues forced her to retire, but God opened new possibilities with writing.  Since their children have moved out and are married, Cathy and Chris dote on dogs they rescue from a local shelter.   A sentimental pack rat, Cathy enjoys scrapbooking and collecting antiques.  "I'm easily distracted during prayer, so I devote certain tasks and chores to specific requests or persons so I can keep faithful in my prayer life.:  Since her first book in 2000, she's been on multiple best-seller and readers' favorite lists.  

Pamela Griffin lives in Texas with her family.  She fully gave her life to Christ in 1988 after a rebellious young adulthood and owes the fact that she's still alive today to an all-loving and forgiving God and to a mother who steadfastly prayed and had faith that God could bring her wayward daughter "home."   Pamela's main goal in writing Christian romance is to help and encourage those who do know the Lord and to plant a seed of hope in those who don't.

Ramona Cecil is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance poet, and award-winning inspirational romance writer.  Now empty nesters, she and her husband make their home in Indiana.  A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers Indiana Chapter, her work has won awards in a number of inspirational writing contests.   Over eighty of her inspirational verses have been published on a wide array of items for the Christian gift market.   She enjoys a speaking ministry, sharing her journey to publication while encouraging aspiring writerds.  When not writing, her hobbies include reading, gardening, and visiting places of historidcal interest.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

5-Star Review of "How God Grows a Woman of Wisdom"

Review of How God Grows a Woman of Wisdom:  A Devotional Journal 

by Anita Higman & Marian Leslie 


How God Grows a Woman of Wisdom is the first release in a brand-new devotional series designed to enhance your spiritual journey. Featuring two hundred–plus devotional readings complemented by scripture selections and prayers, this lovely collection offers a powerful blend of inspiration, encouragement, and motivation for every area of your life. Touching on topics like beauty, blessings, conversation, joy, patience, prayer, relationships, work, and more, you will find yourself drawn ever closer to your heavenly Father as you meditate on each reading and open your heart and mind to God’s Word.

MY REVIEW:  The price of wisdom is beyond rubies.  Job 28:18 
        Each devotion features a lovely piece of insight from Anita Higman and Marian Leslie along with scripture and a short prayer that the woman can use to enrich her own prayer life.  An example is "We Have the Keys to the Vault" which uses Matthew 5: 14-16 "You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.   Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."  Anita encourages women to shine their light for non-Christians into "every dark crevice of this fallen earth" just as God has done.   The prayer for this particular devotion says:  "Jesus, help me to represent You and light the way for others in this dark, fallen world.   Thank You for Your saving grace.  Amen."  
       This devotional would be one that women can carry along in their purse or briefcase or on their kindle or smartphone in ebook version to read during their lunch break.  Each devotional is short enough that this could be accomplished.   I enjoy reading the stories of faith from these two Christian authors.  I find that it helps me to focus my daily quiet time with God and to pray for specific needs.  I know that I certainly need and desire wisdom in my own life and appreciate the assistance in gaining it.   
     I rated this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to Christian women to use to enhance their faith.   
      I received an ebook version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Authors:
Anita Higman

CBA best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has twenty-nine books published (several co-authored) for adults and children, and she has seven books coming out in the next two years. She won a 2011 RWA Readers Choice Award (first place) and has been honored in the past as a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston. Her latest coauthored book, Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe, was on the Nielsen’s best-seller list for five weeks for religious adult fiction and #6 on the CBA best-seller list for fiction (January, 2011). Anita’s novella, Once Upon a Christmas Eve, was given a four-star review in Romantic Times Magazine.

Some of Ms. Higman’s publishers are Guideposts/Summerside Press, Barbour Publishing, McGraw-Hill, Roman & Littlefield, Lillenas Drama, Abingdon Press, Standard Publishing, Bethany House, and Simon & Schuster/Howard Publishing.

A few of Anita’s books are Love Finds You in Humble Texas, Another Stab at Life, The Celestial Helix, The Love Song (co-authored), Pokeweed and Mrs. Gasp, Who Will I be For the Rest of My Life? (co-authored), and Big Book of Holidays and Holy Days. She also has contributions in twelve nonfiction compilations.

One of Ms. Higman’s co-authored books entitled, A Tribute to Early Texas, has a foreword by Elmer Kelton and has won a San Antonio Conservation Society Citation as well as a Westerners International Book Award. She was named a Favorite New Author in the 15th Annual Heartsong Presents Awards, and in the 16th Annual Heartsong Presents Awards her co-authored novel, Castles in the Air, was one of the winners in the Favorite Contemporary Romance category. Also Anita contributed to an animation script that won a Gold Remi Award.

Her novel, Love Finds You in Humble Texas, was chosen by Crossings Book Club and is now available in hardback and large print editions. Anita and the novel, Love Finds You in Humble Texas were featured on The Harvest Show, a Christian program with eight million regular viewers.

Ms. Higman has won two awards for her contribution to literacy and has raised thousands of dollars for literacy with her book, I Can Be Anything, while serving on the board of directors of Literacy Advance of Houston.

Anita Higman has written for radio, ezine, and advertising. She also cohosts a monthly blogtalkradio show which is a part of Reader’s Entertainment Radio and reaches an audience of 80,000. She has a BA degree combining speech communication, psychology, and art from Southern Nazarene University, and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers as well as The Writer’s View.
No picture or bio available on Marian Leslie.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

5-Star Review of "The Truth According to Us"

Review of The Truth According to Us

by Annie Barrows

The Truth According to Us

Evoking the same small town charm with the same great eye for character, the co-author of Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society finds her own voice in this debut novel about a young debutante working for the Federal Writer's Project whose arrival in Macedonia, West Virginia changes the course of history for a prominent family who has been sitting on a secret for decades. The Romeyn family is a fixture in the town, their identity tied to its knotty history. Layla enters their lives and lights a match to the family veneer and a truth comes to light that will change each of their lives forever.

MY REVIEW:   What a fascinating story!    A family buried in secrets living in the 1930's amidst the small town life of Macedonia, West Virginia.   The Romeyn family is filled with "real characters" with character flaws, faults, loves, hopes and dreams and secrets.   Secrets that are buried this family alive until Layla arrives to live in their home while she works for the WPA.  Layla has a secret too.....she is not a poor young woman in desperate need of the relief work....she is a Senator's daughter who has been exiled by her father when she refuses to marry a rich young man whom she does not love.   
       This book focuses on a different space in the United States' history.   A time when towns were "dry" and were not to sell or drink liquor but people found a way around this as they obviously weren't willing to give up that freedom.   This causes many problems in itself for this family and town.    This book keeps the surprises flowing and flows with energy.
      I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers.   
      I receieved a free ebook of this title from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  

About the Author: 
Annie Barrows

Annie grew up in Northern California, and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, with a degree in Medieval History. Unable to find a job in the middle ages, she decided upon a career as an editor, eventually landing at Chronicle Books in San Francisco, where she was in charge of "all the books that nobody in their right mind would publish." After earning an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Mills College, Annie wrote (asAnn Fiery) a number of books for grown-ups about such diverse subjects as fortune-telling (she can read palms!), urban legends (there are no alligators in the sewer!), and opera (she knows what they're singing about!). In 2003, Annie grew weary of grown-ups, and began to write for kids, which she found to be way more fun.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

5-Star Review of "12 Brides of Summer Collection"

Review of 12 Brides of Summer Collection--Novella Collection #1

by Susan Page Davis, Amy Lillard, & Michelle Ule

Love Is Buzzing in the Good Old Summertime!  Spend the sunny days of summer relaxing with an ice cold glass of lemonade and revel in the dreams of twelve brides who are a bit surprised by how the men of their dreams come into their lives. Journey to the Old West, stay on the prairie, and visit quaint small town. . .without leaving the comfort of your own front porch!

Summer has started and so has new chances for love in Novella Collection #1:

The Blue Moon Bride by Susan Page Davis
Ava Neal hopes moving west will be a new start, then she meets handsome Joe Logan who helps her hide her valuables when the train is robbed. Might their paths cross again?

MY REVIEW:   This is a sweet novella set in the 1800's in Wyoming.   A train robbery leads to a job on the railroad for Joe Logan and this gives he and Ava Neal time to pursue the spark of interest that developed when they met and traveled together on the train.  This is a 5 star romantic novella.  It makes a quick read for summer or any time of the year.   

The Sun Bonnet Bride by Michele Ule
After a grasshopper plague descends, Sally Martin is faced with a choice to marry a banker who wants to buy out ruined farmers or a teamster willing to give all his money to God’s work.
MY REVIEW:  What a precious novella !   Sally Martin creates lovely sunbonnets that have an ingenious design that are fast becoming popular in the local shops.   She has two ardent suitors:  the rich young banker, Josiah, and Malcolm, the hardworking teamster.   She has a choice to make and the town as well as her own family are trying to recover from the loss of homes and crops during the recent tornado.   I rated this novella 5 stars and think readers of historical fiction will enjoy this romance set in the 1870's.   

The Wildflower Bride by Amy Lillard
Grace Sinclair would never dream of leaving her Ozarks, so when Ian MacGregor visits for a wedding, she ignores her sudden romantic thoughts. Can Ian make her see the way of love?

MY REVIEW of The Wildflower Bride:  Do you believe in love at first sight?   Grace and Ian are certainly experiencing it after meeting at her sister, Maddie's wedding.  Grace had resigned herself to being an old maid and helping her father with his church in Arkansas, but now????  she really wants to be wherever Ian will be.  He will be returning in New York in a few short days to accept his first church pastor position and she will be staying behind in Arkansas.  What will they do?  How will they resolve the issue?  Readers are sure to love this 5-star romantic novella by Amy Lillard.   

MY OVERALL Review of Collection #1:   5 star romantic novella set in the 1800's which is certain to be a lovely way to spend a summer day reading !  

Don’t miss the four collections that inspirational romance readers will be swooning over:
The 12 Brides of Summer Novella Collection #1 – Releases June 1
The 12 Brides of Summer Novella Collection #2 – Releases July 1
The 12 Brides of Summer Novella Collection #3 – Releases August 1
The 12 Brides of Summer Novella Collection #4 – Releases September 1

About the Authors:
Susan Page Davis
Susan Page Davis

FROM AUTHOR'S WEBSITE: I'm a native of central Maine, and grew up on a small farm with a wonderful mom and dad, three sisters and a brother. Most of my books take place in small towns, many of them in Maine. 

My husband, Jim, and I moved to his birth state, Oregon, for a while after we were married, but decided to move back to Maine and be near my family. We're so glad we did. It allowed our six children to grow up feeling close to their cousins and grandparents, and some of Jim's family have even moved to Maine!

Our children are all home-schooled. The two youngest are still learning at home. Jim recently retired from his vocation as an editor at a daily newspaper, and we’ve moved from Maine to Kentucky.

I've always loved reading, history, and horses. These things come together in several of my historical books. My young adult novel, Sarah's Long Ride, also spotlights horses and the rugged sport of endurance riding, as does the contemporary romance Trail to Justice. I took a vocational course in horseshoeing after earning a bachelor's degree in history. I don't shoe horses anymore, but the experience has come in handy in writing my books.

Another longtime hobby of mine is genealogy, which has led me down many fascinating paths. I'm proud to be a DAR member! Some of Jim's and my quirkier ancestors have inspired fictional characters. 

Jim does freelance editing as well. In addition to his 20 years experience at the newspaper, he's edited all my novels before they go out, and he helped edit Primitive Archer Magazine for several years. He has recently edited several novels for Summerside Press. 

For many years I worked for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel as a freelancer. This experience was a great help in developing fictional characters and writing realistic scenes. I also published nonfiction articles in several magazines and had several short stories appear in Woman's World, Grit, and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.
Michelle Ule

Inspirational writer Michelle Ule is a native of San Pedro, California. She graduated from UCLA where she marched in the clarinet section of the band and wrote for the UCLA Daily Bruin.

Michelle is the author of three novellas and one novel. Her debut novella, “The Dogtrot Christmas,” was published in Barbour Publishing’s A Log Cabin Christmas Collection, September 2011 and appeared on The New York Times best seller list on October 2, 2011.

Using elements from her family history and her experience with military life, Michelle has written the Navy SEAL domestic romance Bridging Two Hearts, a post-Civil War novella called “An Inconvenient Gamble,” and another Christmas novella “The Gold Rush Christmas,” set during the 1897 Alaskan gold rush.

A retired Navy wife, Michelle has a terrific husband, four brilliant children, two perfect daughter-in-laws and four adorable grandchildren. She and her family have lived in all four corners of the United States and Hawai’i. They currently reside in northern California.

Michelle teaches Bible study to a group of precocious women, counsels women in crisis at a local pregnancy counseling center, and works at a landmark literary agency. She’s led retreats, served on a short-term eyeglass mission project in Nicaragua, and plays clarinet in a small musical ensemble. In her free time, she travels, writes and reads–all extensively.

Amy Lillard
Amy Lillard

from Goodreads' bio:
I'm a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I've retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I'm from Texas. (?) Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son--a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!

I love homemade tacos, nail polish, and romance novels--not necessarily in that order. I'm a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I'm shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.

I believe that God is love. I guess that's why I adore romances. 

I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I'm a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture. I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that's me June Cleaver with a laptop.

I dislike people trying to convince me to read the Twlight series (I'll get to it or I won't, either way I'm good with it), gratuitous violence, and strawberry ice cream. (I know I'm alone on this last one, and again, I'm good with it.)

Favorite movies--(besides HP) French Kiss, Maid of Honor, A Lot Like Love, Just Married, and Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and Miss Congeniality, Sabrina (both versions) and a 1940's movie called Dear Ruth. If you haven't seen it, you should! A-dorable. Anything with Doris Day and most all of Marilyn's and Audrey's.