Monday, March 26, 2012

The Christmas Singing - a WaterbrookMultnomah Review

I loved this book. The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall is an Amish novel set in Amish towns in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The main character Mattie Eash moved to Ohio after her childhood love broke off their relationship. Determined to make a new start, she opens her own cake shop and her creativity flourishes. With a successful business, Mattie has it all--even a promising beau, safe and loyal.

But when her shop goes up in flames and she's forced to return to Pennsylvania at her elderly parents' request, she dreads what she knows will happen--seeing her ex-boyfriend Gideon.

Gideon Beiler has his reasons for breaking up with Mattie. In spite of her suggestion that he cheated on her, Gideon did not do that. But for him, it was easier to allow her to think that way instead of telling her the truth. Gideon's Mattie Lane, as he always called her, lived in Ohio but it didn't keep him from making visits every now and then to check up on her, in secret. When Gideon hears that Mattie Lane has returned to Ohio for a few weeks, he can't help but feel those old feelings stir up so strongly. But he must hold them to himself, because he knows she can't find out the truth.

This book was incredible. Cindy did a great job writing the story, and Gideon's secret kept me on the edge of my seat! This is a great story for the Amish enthusiast. I highly recommend this one! It's a keeper!

If you're interested in reading an excerpt, go to Cindy's website.

I received The Christmas Singing as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. My comments and opinions are my own.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Need You Now Part 1 - a BookSneeze review

Beth Wiseman is an author I've been reading for a while. I've really enjoyed her Amish books, and so when I was given an opportunity to review Part One of Need You Now, a non-Amish novel of hers, I was a willing participant! However, there's just something missing. The characters seem a little forced, and with every press of the button on my e-reader, I kept thinking that I'd find climax of the story or some kind of development in the characters' lives. Halfway through the book's finish (i.e. Finished reading Part 1), I'm curious to find out what happens to the characters. So far it seems that there are too many puzzle pieces that are left cluttering the table.

Darlene is a mother of three, has been a stay-at-home mom for many years. Now that her children are adolescents and are able to be fairly self-sufficient, she feels the desire to branch out. Her husband, a staunch provider, doesn't like the idea of Darlene getting a job outside the home, but supports her anyway. After Darlene gets a job as a teacher's aid at a school for special students, things start to fall apart in her family.

There are several other characters thrown into the story--the mysterious lady neighbor next door who has her own ranch but looks like a supermodel, the father of her student who develops feelings for Darlene, and friends of her children.

The story feels like it's coming together, but like I've said, it's just missing some "oomph." I'm excited to read the second half of the story to see what happens!

I am a member of BookSneeze, a fabulous program through Thomas Nelson. BookSneeze sends members free books to read and keep in exchange for written reviews on a blog and on a major retailer's website (such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Accidental Bride

The Accidental Bride, written by Denise Hunter, is a contemporary Christian romance novel. Set in a Montana town called Moose Creek, divorcee and single mom Shay Brandenberger finds herself face to face--at a wedding altar!--with the man who left her 14 years ago on the courthouse steps in her wedding dress. They had been high school sweethearts, but when Travis McCoy got cold feet and headed South to Texas to be a national rodeo champion, he left Shay's heart broken.

What they both didn't realize was that an elderly lady in town would try her hand at match making during the town's Founder's Day Wedding re-enactment. When Shay saw that her acting groom was none other than Travis, she knew she was stuck and had to go on with the act in front of the whole town. But when she and Travis found out that their old wedding license had accidentally gotten thrown into the minister's paperwork, got signed, and became a validated marriage, their world turned upside down.

If it wasn't for the fact that Shay's ranch was about to be lost, she'd never have agreed to stay married so that Travis could help. But what she didn't know was that Travis had more than saving her ranch on his mind!

This was a refreshing novel with some good, light-hearted romance thrown in. The book includes characters from another book called A Cowboy's Touch.

I'm grateful to have been given the opportunity to read and review The Accidental Bride through NetGalley. My opinions are my own.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sixty Acres and a Bride - a Litfuse Review

Sixty Acres and a Bride is a first novel by Regina Jennings, and boy did she write a winner! This is a historical Christian fiction novel (Antebellum) which has a pleasant Naomi/Ruth feel to it that the reader will notice right away. Any who are familiar with the story of Naomi and Ruth from the book of Ruth in the Old Testament will be able to relate to the story. The story will keep you reading, grip you, and make your heart skip a beat! Regina writes as if she's a seasoned writer, and she will not disappoint. The only disappointment that I can share is that the story ended. :)

Rosa Garner and Louise Garner are both widows traveling from Mexico where Louise's husband Eli and Rosa's husband (Louise's son) Mack perished in a mining accident. When they arrive at the old Texas homeplace, they find that there's more than a hundred dollars in back taxes that they must pay within a three months' time.

When Rosa meets the extended family, she falls in love with them and in spite of the hardships of trying to raise the money, she finds the Garner family accepting and kind and her heart melts for them.

Her deceased husband's cousin Weston finds Rosa intriguing, but his past holds him back. Weston, too, had lost a spouse after her emotional breakdown, and his concern is that he won't be able to provide for another wife's emotional needs.

Rosa and Weston both have their reasons for avoiding each other, but they cannot completely avoid each other because they're kin and Louise and Rosa need Weston's help.

I highly recommend this book for all historical fiction lovers. You won't be disappointed. ;)

To read other reviews like mine, click {this} link!

About the book:
She's Finally Found a Place to Call Home... How Far Will She Go to Save It?

With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to their Texas family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have just three months to pay.

Though facing eviction, Rosa falls in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. They welcome her vivacious spirit and try to help her navigate puzzling American customs. She can't help but stand out, though, and her beauty captures attention. 

Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, Rosa must decide to what lengths she will go to save her future. Read an excerpt here.

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children. Meet Regina here.

Learn more about Regina by visiting her website,  

Celebrate with Regina by entering to win a Kindle Fire and coming to her Author Chat Party on 3/27!

One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/26/12. Winner will be announced at Regina's Author Chat Facebook Party on 3/27. Regina will be hosting an evening of chat, fun trivia and more! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and some beautiful silver jewerly!
So grab your copy of Sixty Acres and a Bride and join Regina and friends on the evening of March 27th for an evening of fun.

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

I received Sixty Acres and a Bride as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to give a favorable review; my opinions are my own.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Song of My Heart - a Litfuse review

If you're an avid reader of historical Christian fiction with a romantic twist, this book will not disappoint! Kim Vogel Sawyer, the author of Song of My Heart, is a bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. I had never read any of her books, and I've thoroughly been deprived! Her writing ranks up there with many of my other favorites like Liz Curtis Higgs, Robin Lee Hatcher, Tamera Alexander, Maureen Lang.... I could go on and on. Kim Vogel Sawyer is a new name that I will be looking for. I've already added several of her books to my "wishlist." But I digress....

Sadie Wagner, oldest daughter to her mother and bed-ridden step-father, has been alerted by her cousin Sid that there is a job available for her in Goldtree, Kansas, where she can be a clerk in a mercantile. And not only that--she can fulfill her life's dream of singing in an opera house. Knowing that her family could use the extra money that her income could provide, Sadie leaves her parents and siblings behind and arrives in Goldtree. What she doesn't realize is that her cousin Sid has had feelings for her for years. Even though they're not related by blood, Sadie feels nothing but platonic feelings for Sid, much to his chagrin. Sadie enjoys her work, and soon discovers that her singing will allow her to send a lot of money back to her family. When the new sheriff, Thad, makes regular visits to the mercantile where she works, she finds herself developing feelings for him, and he for her. Unfortunately, her boss doesn't have pure intentions for Sadie's singing and plans for her to sing an additional day during the week to a secret gathering of men who visit the underground opera house for the purpose of imbibing and gambling, which is against the law in Kansas. Knowing that this is immoral, Sadie struggles with the desire to help provide for her family and do what is right. Realizing what is at stake (including the possibility of losing Thad), she chooses to agree to her boss's wishes.

Thad McKane has arrived in Goldtree to investigate the suspicious activities in town. The mayor is convinced that bootlegging is going on, by evidence of suspicious-acting men in town. Acting as town sheriff, Thad is not entirely confident in his abilities. He is convinced that God wants him to become a minister, so he plans to earn enough money as a lawman to later go to school to become a minister. When Thad meets Sadie and hears her beautiful voice lifting up praises to God Almighty, he's entranced by her. He later discovers her in the opera house practicing a song that is not so innocent, and when he finds out that she seems to be involved in the bootlegging business, Thad's heart is broken.

To read more reviews like mind, go to the blog tour at Litfuse!

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of nineteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren.

She invites you to visit her Web site at for more information.

Celebrate with Kim by entering to win a Nook Tablet and connecting with her at the Book Chat Party on 3/29!

One "songbird" winner will receive:

  • A Nook Tablet
  • Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/28/12. Winner will be announced at Kim's Book Chat Facebook Party on 3/29. Kim will be hosting an evening of chat, fun trivia and more! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and much more!
So grab your copy of Song of My Heart and join Kim and friends on the evening of March 29th for an evening of fun.

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

I received Song of My Heart as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to give a favorable review; my opinions are my own.