Monthly Archives: April 2014

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert

What it’s about:
Ivy Clark is beautiful on the outside, but broken on the inside. Ivy is fast approaching twenty-five years old…. so her career is coming to a fast standstill and almost over! Modeling is a tough business and it has filled Ivy for a decade, a really great run for any model, but it’s now leaving Ivy searching for something, anything, to fill her up and make her feel useful and meaningful and loved.

Davis Knight is a small-town guy with a big-city talent in photography. He has vowed to never pick up a camera again, but he is convinced to for a good charity event. Ivy is Davis’s model and she sure knows how to work her looks and manipulate, but Davis sees through her wall and to the hurting woman/child who just wants to be loved. He knows his love is not what Ivy is searching for, but is she open to seeing the God of the Universe loves her, sins and all?

My thoughts:
I loved how the author was able to make Ivy so broken and jaded, yet still relatable and lovable. Ivy was not over the top in either direction. She felt like a real person with many scars, working out her innermost fears and desires. The character development for even the ones with a tiny part in this book was phenomenal! I laughed out loud many times with different descriptions and nick-names that were given to characters. I also adored Sara, Davis’s sister! I has a soft-spot for her since she was visually impaired and I have worked with visually impaired children. I loved the fun scenes that gave this book much needed uplifting moments for such a serious topic. This book made me think and really chew on God’s promises, especially redemption and love. I highly recommend this book!

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!

I received this book from bloggingforbooks in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Katie Ganshert graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her husband, their young son, and their goofy black lab, Bubba. When she’s not busy writing or playing or reading or snuggling, she is obsessing over the paperwork and the waiting that comes with adoption. She is the author of Wildflowers from Winter and Wishing on Willows. Visit her website at katieganshert.com

Advertisements

A Sensible Arrangement (Lone Star Brides book #1) by Tracie Peterson

 

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

 

I was so thrilled when I got the chance to read and review Tracie Peterson’s 100th book! I met her on a book tour last year when she was releasing her Minnesota series since that is my born and raised and settled in (so far) state! I went with my mom and my daughter who had just turned 3 at the time. One memory I hope to never forget is when Tracie was telling us how she does not get a say in her book covers and even has gone so far as to change her description of a dress so the color matched the cover. My daughter LOVES dresses so this was fascinating to her and in typical 3 year old style, my daughter piped up to Tracie and the entire place, “I have a pink dress, but I peed in it! So my mom washed it!” I don’t remember Tracie’s exact response because I was laughing so hard I was crying, but I do know it was so gracious and she just went with it!

So now on to the actual plot;
From the Back Cover from the publisher;

“Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.
Answering an advertisement for a “Lone Star bride,” she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn’t know.

Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.
Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.

When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake’s yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty’s dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.

What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways…
and dreams and secrets collide?”

My thoughts;
First and foremost, I must admit that I am a total sucker for forced marriages or marriages of convenience, so of course I loved that aspect! I would say though,that this one seems to focus more on the other issues and sub-plots than just the romance factor, so many will enjoy that.

I loved Marty! Her character is someone that I could see myself being good friends with if she was real. 😉 Of course I was frustrated with her lying, but we have our faults and this was used to teach a thought-provoking lesson. I loved Marty’s sense of humor and laughed out loud a few times! I really enjoyed both Marty’s and Jake’s personalities a many of their household staff’s as well.

The mysteries around the bank and the owner and employees are interesting, but I can’t help but hope that in a future book of this series that Marty and Jake will leave Colorado and head to The Lone Star State.

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars! I left off the .5 because there was a part that personally wished would of been resolved in this book rather than in a future book in the series. I understand why it was left for suspense to continue on in the series, but I personally would of loved for it to conclude in this one and think there is still plenty too keep me interested to read the rest of the series once they come out!

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Belgrade, Montana. Learn more at http://www.traciepeterson.com.

Sincerely Yours – a novella collection

Sincerely Yours  - a novella collection

This is the first novella put out by Revell and they have set the standard HIGH! Wow! I enjoyed and loved every one of the four novellas in this book!

Moonlight Promise by Laurie Alice Eakes


Award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes wanted to be a writer since knowing what one was. Her first book won the National Readers Choice Award in 2007, and her third book was a Carol Award finalist in 2010. Between December of 2008 and January of 2010, she sold thirteen books to Barbour Publishing, Avalon Books, and Baker/Revell, making her total sales fifteen. Recently, she added two novella sales to that collection, as well as having her first book with Baker/Revell, Lady in the Mist, picked up by Crossings Book Club, and six of her books chosen for large print editions by Thorndike Press. She has been a public speaker for as long as she can remember; thus, only suffers enough stage fright to keep her sharp. In 2002, while in graduate school for writing fiction, she began to teach fiction in person and online. She lives in Texas with her husband, two dogs, and probably too many cats.  http://www.lauriealiceeakes.com

 

 

What it’s about:
While fleeing false accusations, Camilla Renfrew, an English lady of high class, jumps onto a steamboat to make her destination! But complications arise, and she might not make it to her destination in time! Is fresh, new love enough when pasts are exposed?

My thoughts:
Camilla, the main character is spunky and courageous! The first few pages had me laughing out loud and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire steamboat ride and novella! The themes or lessons of trusting God, making our hearts and actions right with God and others and clinging to our faith, even if it’s only a shred or mustard seed, are wonderful and inspiring.

 

 

Lessons in Love by Ann Shorey

ANN SHOREY has been a story collector for most of her life. Her writing has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Grandma’s Soul, and in the Adams Media Cup of Comfort anthologies. She made her fiction debut with the At Home in Beldon Grove series for Revell. The Edge of Light, released in January 2009, is the first in the series, followed by The Promise of Morning and The Dawn of a Dream. Her new Sisters at Heart series for Revell debuted on January 1, 2012, with Where Wildflowers Bloom. Book Two, When the Heart Heals, will release Feburary 1, 2013.  When Ann’s not writing, she teaches classes on historical research, story arc, and other fiction fundamentals at regional conferences. She lives with her husband in Oregon.

 

What it’s about:
M. M. Bentley writes a marriage advice column for Kipler’s Home Weekly…. what no one knows is that M. M. is single and not a Mr. as the editor and everyone assumes! When the editor asks to meet with M. M. (Marigold Montgomery), she must come up with a plan so she can keep her job!

My thoughts:
One thing that really stuck out to me in this novella that I thought was great; was the kindness of Marigold and her aunt. They treated their maid more like family and I think their treatment really showed Christ-like love. This was a fun story about a non-traditional female who refused to conform to society’s expectations and I love that!

 

One Little Word by Amanda Cabot


With both parents avid readers, it’s no surprise that Amanda Cabot learned to read at an early age. From there it was only a small step to deciding to become a writer. Of course, deciding and becoming are two different things, as she soon discovered. Fortunately for the world, her first attempts at fiction, which included a play for her fifth grade class entitled “All About Thermometers,” were not published, but she did meet her goal of selling a novel by her thirtieth birthday. Since then she’s sold more than twenty five novels under a variety of pseudonyms. When she’s not writing, Amanda enjoys sewing, cooking and – of course – reading.

 

 

What it’s about:
Lorraine Caldwell travels to find her brother who disappeared a while ago as her last hope in saving her inheritance/family fortune. Lorraine finds not only her brother, but a man who is carving a beautiful carousel who turns her life around (carousel pun intended) 🙂 !

My thoughts:
Lorraine comes off wealthy and well put in her “station” in life at first, but very quickly I discovered she has a heart of gold. The carousel history is so interesting and the mishaps are so comical; this novella is just a delight!

A Saving Grace by Jane Kirkpatrick


If you’d like more information about me, please come visit my website at http://www.jkbooks.com and click on my blog. My dog also has a blog and you can find out what it’s like to be Bodacious Bo, too. A monthly newsletter called Story Sparks is my way of sharing books about authors I enjoy as well as commenting on life and love. You’ll find out more about me than you probably ever wanted to know!

One item not listed on my lists of books is my selection included in an anthology called “Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West” published by Houghton Mifflin I also have a piece in Storytellers II, a book published a few years ago by Multnomah Press and a few short selections in Daily Guideposts of a few years back. My first novella, “The Courting Quilt” is part of a collection that made the New York Times bestsellers September 2011 in a collection called Log Cabin Christmas. The rest of my writing, as they say, is history. Or it was until my first contemporary came out. Called Barcelona Calling, it’s the story of a writer who loses her way as she seeks fulfillment thinking she’ll find it with fame. It’s a laugh out loud book according to reviewers. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

What it’s about:
Grace Hathaway must go get a friend from a clinic where patients are not known to leave… ever! This clinic is remote and hard to get to, let alone get inside to visit loved ones, so Grace devises a plan! But who can she trust to help her and the patients before it’s too late?

My thoughts:
I read the letter from the author at the end of the story first after loving the letter in the previous novella…. and I am so glad I did! It was a bit confusing with some names and information, so some may wish to wait and read it after the novella. I think I would have thought this story was a bit far-fetched if I had not read the letter first to see how much of it was based off of real history! So With that history behind this story and this intriguing story; I devoured it and could not put it down!

I highly recommend Sincerely Yours! Every novella was rated with 5 stars from me!

I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Go to one of the author’s (Jane Kirkpatrick) blogs for a chance to learn more about another one of these authors (an interview with Ann Shorey) and a chance to win this book and a neat gift! http://janeswordsofencouragement.blogspot.com

Good luck if you enter and I hope you pick up a copy of Sincerely Yours and enjoy it as much as I did!