Tuesday, June 30, 2015

5-Star Review of "Silver Spurs"

Review of Silver Spurs

(Horses & Friends #2)

by Miralee Ferrell

23590916

Kate’s dream of owning a horse has finally happened. But now her best friend Tori has no money to buy a horse. So Kate comes up with a plan—she’ll raise money by boarding horses and hosting a show in her family’s barn.

It seems the perfect solution until Melissa, the girl who disses Kate and Tori at school, shows up to board her horse, determined to compete in their show and win the silver spurs. Will their plan be ruined—or does God have something better in store for them all?

Silver Spurs is a tale of overcoming fears and trusting God with your dreams.

MY REVIEW:   What a great book for young readers this one is!   Kate is thrilled to have her own horse and now she plans to teach her best friend, Tori, to ride as well.   She has a plan to fund this dream as well.  She just needs to convince her parents to board horses at their barn.   But is it worth having to put up with a snotty girl like Melissa, one who ignores them at school and makes them feel like they're worthless?   Kate, Tori, and Colt will even clean the stalls and care for the horses to have their dreams come true.   This is a delightful read and as a former middle school language arts teacher, I know that many young people love horses and would be motivated to read with this wonderful series.  
       This book also addresses some of the issues with other young people that tweens and teens experience.   I appreciate the way that Kate is willing to be respectful of her parents and to listen with her heart.  We can all take a lesson from her.   Though this book is written for young readers, it is very enjoyable for adults as well, and would make a great read-aloud book for younger readers. 
       My own granddaughter loves horses and I'm planning to get this series of books for her.  She does have her own horse at her other grandmother's home so she is already living her dream.   We give her a subscription to Young Rider magazine and she wallpapers her room with the foldout posters that come in each issue.    I am really excited to hear what she thinks of Kate's adventures with her horse.    
        I rate this book 5 stars and recommend it to young readers and adults.
        I was given a free kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.   All opinions expressed are my own.
  
About the Author:
Miralee Ferrell


Miralee Ferrell and her husband, Allen, live on eleven acres in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge in southern Washington State, where they love to garden, play with their dogs, take walks, and go sailing. She is also able to combine two other passions—horseback riding and spending time with her grown children—since her married daughter lives nearby, and they often ride together on the wooded trails near their home.

Ironically, Miralee, now the author of eight books, with many more on the way, never had a burning desire to write—at least more than her own memoirs for her children. So she was shocked when God called her to start writing after she turned fifty. To Miralee, writing is a ministry that she hopes will impact hearts, and she anticipates how God will use each of her books to bless and change lives.

Monday, June 29, 2015

5-Star Review of "Justified"

Review of Justified (Mended Hearts #2)


by Varina Denman


23168525

In a small Texas town ruled by gossip, Fawn Blaylock believes others are justified in condemning her untimely pregnancy. Stifled by guilt, she yearns for grace while the local football coach treats her with gentle respect.

Justified perfectly captures the rhythm and romance of life in a small town, telling the unforgettable story of a woman searching for renewal, a man looking beyond what others see, and a community torn between judgment and love. It is the unforgettable story of broken dreams, second chances, and relentless hope.

MY REVIEW:    Gossip, judgment, and everyone knows your business!   That's small town life at its worst and Fawn, the little rich girl, finds herself pregnant, unmarried, and thrown out of her parents' mansion.   The whole town is talking and pointing fingers and the high school coach who taught her in the recent past is one of the few people treating her with kindness.   Fawn finds herself befriended by an unlikely checkout girl at the local grocery store.....Ruthie, someone she would normally have spent her days talking about and certainly not hanging out with!   Fawn and Ruthie both struggle with wondering where God fits in the scheme of their lives and trying to discern God's plan for their lives while still wondering if God can forgive them and love them just as they are.  
           Fawn is determined to make it on her own and show her parents that she does not need them and that she does not need the baby's father, Tyler, another little rich boy gone bad.  Tyler tries to drown his sorrows in liquor while Fawn drowns hers in homemade iced coffees.  
           I found myself reading and thinking that maybe things would settle down for the characters when along came a new storm for them to weather!   Having grown up in a very small town in Virginia myself, I could certainly relate to that aspect of life for Fawn and her family and friends.   I empathized with them as my heart broke for them at the same time.   I found myself caught up in their stories and eager for things to work out with a happy ending for them!   
        I rated this book 5 stars and can hardly wait to read the third book in the series.   
        I received a free kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.   All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:


Varina Denman is a native Texan who spent her high school years in a small Texas town. Now she lives near Fort Worth with her husband and her five mostly-grown children. Jaded is her debut novel. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

5-Star Review of "The Heart of the Amish"

Review of The Heart of the Amish:  Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of Forgiveness

by Suzanne Woods Fisher

23317465

Everyone has been hurt. Everyone experiences conflict, great and small. Everyone has someone to forgive. But sometimes we just can't bring ourselves to forgive someone who has wronged us or we don't take the need to forgive seriously--not like the Amish do. Forgiving others in order to live at peace is woven into the very fabric of their faith. To the Amish way of thinking, "You can't love the stream without knowing the source. " We must forgive others, they believe, because God forgave us. 
"The Heart of the Amish" invites readers into the world of a people renowned for their ability to forgive. Through true stories gathered from a variety of Amish communities, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher illustrates how they are able to release their pain and desire for revenge, and live at peace with others. Her in-depth, personal research uncovers the astounding yet fundamental way the Amish can forgive anyone from the angry customer at the grocery store to the shooter at Nickel Mines. Readers will learn how to invite God into "their" stories, apply lessons from the Amish to their own circumstances, and find the freedom that comes with true forgiveness.

MY REVIEW:   I was deeply moved by this book and I really did not expect that from a book based on forgiveness.  I was filled with hope and peace after reading the stories of various Amish people who have been able to forgive little things to murder of their own children. The stories of the families involved in the Nickel Mines' shooting were particularly touching.   Forgive someone who murdered your sweet innocent child while they attended their quiet Amish school?  Forgive someone who texted while driving and hit your Amish buggy, killing several of your children and seriously injuring your wife?   Forgive someone who emailed hateful accusations?   How do we forgive others?  How do we forgive ourselves?  No one is able to forgive without God's intervention and Holy Spirit.  We rely on God and lean on His strength.  
          I can certainly testify to having struggled with forgiveness in my own life.  Most difficult of all for me has been forgiving myself for things I have done in my past.   I have been able to achieve that milestone through counseling and prayer.  This book includes scripture with each lesson on forgiveness.   This is a quick read as I simply could not stop reading once I began.   It could also be incorporated into a daily prayer and devotional time.   It has reflections with each lesson which include questions and thoughts for the reader to ponder. 
         I rate this book 5 stars and believe that it teaches a meaningful series of lessons on forgiveness.    
         I received a free kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.   All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:
Suzanne Woods Fisher

from goodreads.com's bio:
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling, award winning author of fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books, host of the radio-show-turned-blog Amish Wisdom, a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. 

Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain. A theme in her books (her life!) is that you don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate the principles of simple living. 

Suzanne lives in California with her family and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To her way of thinking, you just can't take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth. 

Suzanne can be found on-line at: www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

Friday, June 26, 2015

5-Star Review of "Huckleberry Harvest"

Review of Huckleberry Harvest

by Jennifer Beckstrand

22891438

The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill book #5
Anna and Felty Helmuth’s zest for matchmaking is unstoppable—and with grown-up grandchild number three on her way to their home in lovely Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, what better reason to put their talents to work once more?...

When Mandy Helmuth hears that her best friend Kristina’s heart has been broken, she decides to visit her grandparents and cheer her up. Mandy never liked Noah Mischler anyway, with his rough exterior and outspoken ways. Unfortunately, she can’t avoid him—especially after he saves her life…

If he weren’t helping Felty with home repairs, Noah would be more than happy to stay away from uppity Mandy Helmuth. Of course, then he wouldn’t have been able to rescue her—and she wouldn’t have had the chance to discover the real Noah beneath the tough persona—the one she falls in love with…

MY REVIEW:  It is almost impossible for readers not to fall in love with dear grandparents, Anna and Felty Helmuth!    She is the world's most horrible cook and avid knitter!  He must have lost all ability to taste as he is the only person alive to enjoy her cooking and he has the sweetest disposition.   Anna is once again up to her matchmaking with the grandchildren and this time, Mandy, is the target for Cupid's (or Anna's) arrow.   The poor unsuspecting fellows are lured to their home with promises of cookies and a knitted potholder and the chance to win their granddaughter's  (Mandy's) hand in marriage.   Mandy is not thrilled with the efforts but she loves and respects her dear Mammi so she grudgingly goes along with the many trials, meals, tests, and setups.   
Felty has hired Noah to do so home repairs while Mandy is there visiting in their home and Mandy is there to cheer her best friend, Kristina, up after having her heart broken by none other than, NOAH!  What Mandy never planned on doing happens in the midst of all this turmoil......she falls in love with Noah.   Noah, of all people, the one she never cared for......grumpy, downcast NOAH!   
I have read the entire series in order and I just adore Anna and Felty and the dear unsuspecting victims of their matchmaking efforts!   Anna is so cute that everyone loves her, even though her cooking is simply atrocious!   She loves knitting potholders, scarves, and sweaters with very bright and vivid colors!    Mandy is forced to help her knit the many potholders to give to the parade of young men coming to pursue her own hand in marriage.  This book could be read as a stand alone, but I personally love the feel of growing along with the characters, especially in this series.   The characters are interesting, fun, lively, and just feel like some of the readers' very own relatives or friends.   
I rated this book 5 stars and am simply thrilled to recommend it to readers.  There is lots of humor and romance as well as the tackling of a very big issue. (No spoilers)
I received a free kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:
Jennifer Beckstrand

From goodreads.com's bio:
I grew up with a steady diet of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. After all that literary immersion, I naturally decided to get a degree in mathematics, which came in handy when one of my six children needed help with homework. After my fourth daughter was born, I started writing. By juggling diaper changes, soccer games, music lessons, laundry, and two more children, I finished my first manuscript—a Western—in just under fourteen years.

I have always been fascinated by the Amish way of life and now write Inspirational Amish Romance. I am drawn to the strong faith of the Plain people and admire the importance they put on enduring family ties. I have visited and studied Amish communities in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where I met with a bishop and a minister as well as several Amish mamms, dats, and children. It has always impressed me at what salt-of-the-earth people they are. My interactions with these kind people have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have a dear Amish friend with whom I correspond in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She helps me keep my facts straight and gives me inspiration for my stories.

My goal is to write uplifting, inspiring stories with happy endings and hopeful messages. If my books make readers want to give themselves a big hug or jump up and down for joy, I’ve done my job. I am a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers and am represented by Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency.

There are three Amish romances in the Forever After in Apple Lake Series (Summerside/Guideposts). Kate’s Song, Rebecca’s Rose, and Miriam’s Quilt are all now available.

I have six Amish Romances in the works with Kensington Books. The first and second books, Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Summer, are now available in stores and online. The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill is set in northern Wisconsin Amish country.

The series, The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill, is about an elderly Amish couple who try to find suitable mates for their grandchildren. What could be more fun than throwing two young people together to see if sparks ignite? No one would ever suspect two octogenarian Amish folks of mischief.

Romantic Times gave Huckleberry Hill 4 1/2 stars and chose Huckleberry Summer as a TOP PICK.

I have four daughters, two sons, three sons-in-law, and two adorable grandsons. I live in the foothills of the Wasatch Front with my husband and one son still left at home.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

5-Star Review of "Murder Freshly Baked"

Review of Murder Freshly Baked

by Vannetta Chapman

23403777

When delicious baked goods become lethal, it's time to find a killer. 

Kindness is a virtue 
Meanness is a sin 
Better watch your bakery pies 
For poison I've slipped in

The Amish Artisan Village in Middlebury, Indiana, has been decorated with every color of balloon and flower for the Race for a Cure. As manager of the Village, Amber Bowman is thrilled to see the turnout--and relieved to have something to distract her from the "Poison Poet"--an individual who has been sending notes containing bad poetry to warn of poisoned baked goods.

Then Ryan Duvall crosses the finish line of the race--and falls down dead, murdered in broad daylight. But who did it? And why? The police suspect Preston Johnston, but Amber refuses to believe her employee could do such a thing.

Amber once again looks to her young Amish friend Hannah Troyer to help her find the killer--and to determine if it's the same person leaving the cryptic poems and pies. Can they help the police before the Poison Poet strikes again? Both Amber and Hannah will need to draw on their faith as they fight to preserve the peaceful community they've built at the Amish Artisan Village.

MY REVIEW:  I love Amish pie.  Who doesn't love delicious Amish pie?  Not when there is poison in the pie or when there is a threat of poison in the pie.  This third book in the Amish Village Mystery series is serving up pies that no one is eager to eat!   Amber is once again thrown into the midst of a huge and dangerous mystery and she is determined to solve it!   

I love a good mystery.  I love a good Amish mystery.    Vannetta Chapman is a true expert at creating Amish mysteries.   This time she is serving up a mystery in an Amish pie....or two!   I get so caught up in the mystery and the lives of the main characters.  It has been great fun to get to return to the Amish village and to see the happenings in the lives of those who work there.   It also made me hungry for an Amish pie.  I might just have to head out to our local Amish store and find a strawberry-rhubarb pie!   

This is a delightful and dangerous novel.   I rated it 5 stars and am thrilled to recommend it to readers who enjoy a good mystery.

I received a free kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:
Vannetta Chapman

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania.

Her novel, Falling to Pieces, was a 2012 ACFW Carol Award winner for best mystery. All of her books have been Christian Book Distributor bestsellers. She currently writes Amish fiction for Abingdon Press, Zondervan, and Harvest House. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.

For more information, visit her at www.VannettaChapman.com or blog with her at http://vannettachapman.wordpress.com/. She can also be found at  http://www.facebook.com/VannettaChapmanBooks.com

Saturday, June 20, 2015

5-Star Review of "Change of Heart"

Review of Change of Heart

by Molly Jebber

22891478

A modern new century brings a young Amish woman an unexpected new life—and a chance to discover love's true way home…
Ohio, 1899. Soft-spoken midwife Becca Yost lived by her Amish faith's strict rules—until her fiancĂ© jilted her before their entire community. She's never been away from home, but the bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio, is a welcome unexpected refuge. Especially when she goes to work for Dr. Matt Carrington, who shares her passion for healing those in need. His outgoing spirit and gentle strength show Becca a surprising new world of choices—and irresistible love. But there is one formidable obstacle: Matt's wealthy mother is determined her son will marry a society woman.

With her newfound resolve challenged, Becca decides that she and Matt must not be destined for each other after all. She accepts that she will have to forge a life alone—until a wrenching crisis and life-changing revelations teach her that true faith lies in all things, especially impossible second chances. . .

MY REVIEW:   Most Amish books involve the Amish remaining Amish, but we find this novel opening up with Becca visiting her sister, Ruth, who has fled her Amish faith and lifestyle to live in the city.   It is 1899 and the place is Ohio.  The town of Massillon is an Englisch town though.  What will happen to the Yosts' other daughter, Becca, as she spends time with her now-Englisch sister, Ruth?  The Amish have orders to shun those who leave their faith.  The Yost family is to shun Ruth.  Why are the parents allowing Becca to visit her shunned sister?   Are they crazy?   Or do they trust Becca completely in her intention to remain Amish?   
       I really enjoy reading anything set in this time period as my own granny was born in 1900.   She was not Amish but she was only able to attend school through eighth grade just as the Amish do.    In the time period, in rural areas, it was very expensive to attend high school and often required the students to live in a boarding house.    My granny's family could not afford that so she had to quit school at that time.   Do you ever wonder if Amish feel cheated when they are also forced to quit attending school at this age?   
      Matt's family wants him to marry a rich society girl and his mother especially makes no bones about her desires.   Wonder how that felt to young people who fell in love and wanted to marry aside their class in society?   Was it ever allowed?   I truly felt the wrenching emotional turmoil that Matt and Becca experienced as Mrs. Carrington expressed her unwavering opinion about poor, ignorant Amish people.   The story is exciting and leaves readers wanting more! with every page!  
        I rated this book 5 stars and feel that it would appeal to those who love historical fiction as well as Amish fiction and Christian fiction.   
        I received a kindle version of this book from netgalley and a print copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.   All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:  

from author's page on amazon.com:  
I was raised in a small town in Ohio. If you had blinked twice, you would've missed it. It's grown by leaps and bounds. I've always found the Amish life interesting. I've enjoyed the many times I've visited their communities and learned about their lifestyle. Creating historical Amish characters and throwing them into difficult situations and joyous times has been challenging and fun. The greatest reward I've experienced in becoming an author is meeting wonderful people from all over the world who've been encouraging and supportive.

Visit my website and blog! Let's talk Amish, shopping, shoes, purses, likes and dislikes. I want to hear from you. I need your help when I hit a roadblock in my book or in life in general. What do you say? Life is empty without good friends to share it with.

I hope you enjoy my books, and I'd love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment below or visit me at http://www.mollyjebber.com.

5-Star Review of "Until the Harvest"

Review of Until the Harvest

by Sarah Loudin Thomas

23411531


"Once in a while a new author...makes you sit up and take notice."--"Library Journal"
 When a family tragedy derails Henry Phillips's college studies, he's left unmoored and feeling abandoned. Although Henry tries to find escape in bad company, the only things that can tamp down his anger and grief are the family farm, his fiddle, and sweet but unusual pre-teen Mayfair Hoffman. 
Unfortunately, Mayfair's older sister, Margaret, with the freckles and cute, turned-up nose, has the opposite effect. Worse, she's his grandmother's housekeeper and helper, so she's always around and ready to push his buttons. At first he thinks she doesn't care about his loss, before beginning to understand she's facing her own struggles. Mayfair's health and unique gift sit at the heart of those worries, and Henry and Margaret soon find themselves relying on each other as both Henry's future and Mayfair's life are put at risk.

MY REVIEW:   "Closing the bedroom door, Margaret walked into the family room and found Henry standing with his head down and shoulders slumped.   She'd heard he was in from college but hadn't seen him.  Normally, she wouldn't be seeing him now.   Emily always insisted on doing for herself over holidays so Margaret could be with her family.   Not that she much enjoyed being with her family, except, of course, with Mayfair.  Her sweet little sister was always a bright spot."  
        I was born in 1961 and so I was a young teenager when this story was set in Wise, West Virginia in 1975.   I am a native Virginian and so West Virginia is of course our neighbor to the west.   Those two things....the place and the year stirred enough memory within me that it made me want to read this novel.   My husband got married for the first time in 1975 and was a young man in the Air Force.   Many issues the main male character, Henry, encountered made me think of Harry and wonder if he experienced any similar feelings or occurences.  I love historical romance novels also and that created another reason for me to desire to read and review this book.   
      I was not disappointed.   The book had a slow pace to it but it was fitting with the times and the things that were going on in the characters' lives so I made me want to keep on reading....not what you generally think of when you hear a book has a "slow pace".   Margaret does not seem to recognize her own beauty and sees only flaws and I felt this way a great deal of the time myself....especially during the late 70's.   I grew up in a small rural town that was also known for its slow pace as well.   It all just kind of "took me back in time" to recall some similar situations for myself, family members and friends as I read.   
      During this time period, many fathers also held the view that a career in one of the arts would not create enough income to support a family as Henry's father expressed to him.   Can Henry follow his heart and his dreams or will he need to rethink his plans?   Is Henry's father correct in his assumptions?   Can a small town be the place to follow one's dreams or must one live in a large city for that?  Read Until the Harvest and find the answers to these and other questions that are sure to crop up.   
      I rate this book 5 stars and would love to recommend it to fellow readers.
      I received a kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  


About the Author:
Sarah Loudin Thomas
from goodreads.com bio:

I’m a Christian, wife, fundraiser and writer living near Asheville, NC. I grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV. I used to say “rural WV,” but realized that’s largely redundant. I LOVE my home state and the fact that I’m the seventh generation to grow up on the family farm. My love of the Appalachian Mountains informs my writing. I want you to be as wild about these hazy, blue mountains and the wonderful people who live in them as I am.

I’ve been married for eighteen years and I not only love my husband, I really, really like him. We started our journey together with three big dogs–Crockett, Precious and Sammy. We now have one small dog that requires more energy than the first three did together.

Monday, June 15, 2015

5-Star Review of "Taken"

Review of Taken

by Dee Henderson

23411544

Abducted at the age of sixteen and coerced into assisting the Jacoby crime family, Shannon Bliss has finally found a way out. She desperately wants to resume some semblance of normal life, but she also knows she has some unfinished business to attend to. She has enough evidence to put her captors behind bars for a very long time.

When Shannon contacts private investigator and former cop Matthew Dane to help her navigate her reentry into society, she quickly discovers that gaining her freedom doesn’t mean her troubles are over. For one thing, her brother is the leading candidate in the race for Illinois governor, and news of her escape will create a media frenzy. For another, the ransom her family reportedly paid years earlier appears to have been a scam; no one knows what happened to the money. And then there’s the fact that Shannon’s escape involved faking her own death. If the Jacoby family learns she is still alive, they’ll stop at nothing to silence her.

If justice is to be done, and if Shannon’s life is ever to get on track again, Matthew will need to discover exactly what happened to her–even if it means stirring up a hornet’s nest of secrets.

MY REVIEW:  Love love love loved this book!  It reminded me of the famous Patty Hearst case from 1974 and 1975.   This was the first book that I have read by Dee Henderson but now I am hooked.  Mysteries and suspense novels are some of my favorites to read and this one also had a nice element of a "hint of romance".   I hated having to put my kindle aside and stop reading to walk the dogs, wash clothes, etc today.   I was very anxious to know what was going to happen next for Shannon.   Shannon and Matthew are characters who could easily be friends of mine and I found them very likable.    I was quickly invested in their story and eager to read what the next page would hold for them.   
         I have always wanted to be involved in a CSI unit and this book let me feel like I was doing just that.  Readers who also enjoy criminal and crime shows are likely to find this book just as exciting as I did.   
        I rate this book 5 stars and give it high recommendations.   
        I received a free ebook copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:

Dee Henderson is the author of 14 best-selling novels, including the acclaimed O'Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. As a leader in the inspirational romantic suspense category, her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RWA's RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, the Holt Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award, and the Golden Quill. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois and is active online.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

5 Star Review of "Summer's List"

Review of Summer's List

by Anita Higman

23493662

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman's life.

Life hadn't been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother's bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love... didn't turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.

Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer's past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

With lovable characters and surprising twists, Summer's List is a simple delight.
 
MY REVIEW:   "You can say it, " Granny said.  "I'm going to die.  And so must we all, eventually.  I've had some time to think about it.   I'm at peace with it."  
      "Well, I'm not at peace with it.  Not at all." Summer rose off the chaise lounge.  "Granny, you can't go.  I love you.  You're my life.  I rely on you for so much.  You can't go.   The doctors will have to come up with something.  I won't let  you die."  Her voice rose nearly an octave. 
       Anita Higman has created another incredibly touching and moving novel.  Summer's List will stir the reader's heartstrings.   I immediately felt a kinship with both Martin and Summer.   Add in the delightful Granny and this book is irresistible.  Summer sacrificed her own dreams to care for her own parents when they were dying and now as Granny is dying, she wants to help Summer find those dreams again.    And the problem is that Summer is on a deadline as Granny does not have long to live.   Will Summer find her longlost love from childhood and recreate the dreams she deferred before it's too late?   or will Granny leave this world never knowing if Summer will know true love and fulfill her own dreams?  
       I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers.
       I received a free print copy of this book from the publisher and a pdf version from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.   All opinions expressed are my own.    

About the Author:  

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 atwww.InFaithNetwork.com 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.

Friday, June 5, 2015

3.5 star review of "The Creole Princess"

Review of  The Creole Princess

by Beth White
22504614

All along the eastern seaboard, the American struggle for independence rages. In the British-held southern port of Mobile, Alabama, the conflict brewing is quieter--though no less deadly. The lovely Frenchwoman Lyse Lanier is best friends with the daughter of the British commander. Rafael Gonzalez is a charming young Spanish merchant with a secret mission and a shipment of gold to support General Washington. As their paths cross and their destinies become increasingly tangled, Lyse and Rafael must decide where their true loyalties lie--and somehow keep Lyse's family from being executed as traitors to the British Crown.

With spectacular detail that brings the Colonial South alive, Beth White invites readers into a world of intrigue and espionage from a little-known side of the American Revolutionary War. Her richly textured settings and characters delight while fast pacing and closely held secrets will keep readers turning the pages.

MY REVIEW:   I think this is a very well-written and well-researched book but it just did not hold my interest or captivate me as I like a book to do.  I do not think there was anything wrong with the book or the mechanics of writing.  It just wasn't exactly my "cup of tea".   The cover is absolutely lovely.   I did feel great compassion and sympathy for Lyse and the slaves or former slaves in the book.   The despicable treatment the dear folks received and put up with on a daily basis is just unthinkable.   To think of dear Sara being sold away from her "husband"....even though the slaves were not allowed actual legal marriages was particularly painful.  I simply cannot imagine other humans doing something so horrible to people just for spite as in Sara's case.   
I rate this book 3.5 stars and do recommend it as I'm sure many readers will thoroughly enjoy it.
I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:
Beth  White

Beth White teaches music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. Her hobbies include playing flute and pennywhistle and painting, but her real passion is writing historical romance with a Southern drawl.

A native Mississippian, she is a pastor's wife, mother of two, and grandmother of two--so far. 

Also published as Elizabeth White, her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award. 

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

also publishes under the name Elizabeth White