Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall

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Every once in a while, a new author comes out and their first book makes me thrilled to see what else will follow! Dawn Crandall and her book, The Hesitant Heiress is exactly that for me.

What it’s about:

Amaryllis Brigham’s dreams come crashing down when she is expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music because of a cruel, false accusation. Amaryllis prefers to keep to herself and her music rather than play the games that high society does, but after her expulsion, she moves in with her aunt in Boston. There, Amaryllis finds herself in the middle of all the high-class drama and the center of attention from one of the most eligible bachelors, Nathan Everstone. Amaryllis finds herself enchanted with Nathan, yet unable to trust him because Nathan’s father has haunted her nightmares since her mother’s death. Will Amaryllis ever be able to trust a rich, high-society member, especially an Everstone?

My thoughts:

The Hesitant Heiress was one of those books that had me thinking about it every time I had to set it down and wishing I could just keep reading it. It got the point where I could NOT put The Hesitant Heiress down while reading the last hour and a half or so and stayed up late into the night (okay wee morning hours actually) 🙂 !

I identified so much with Amaryllis that I felt like I was reading my own feelings several times throughout The Hesitant Heiress. I’m still waiting for my “Nathan” in real life, but I hope he makes me feel like he makes Amaryllis feel…. and me as I read this. A wide variety of characters and personalities showcases Ms. Crandall’s talent for character development. There were those I loved to love and those I loved to hate! 😉

I liked the true-to-history type of writing this was and think those who love the Austen and Bronte type classics will love Dawn Crandall.

This is written in first person point of view, and done wonderfully!

Dawn Crandall is a new author that I cannot wait to anxiously await each new book she writes! I love finding new favorite authors!

I rate a The Hesitant Heiress 5 out of 5 stars.

I received an advance digital copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

I’m not the only one who loves The Hesitant Heiress! One of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Camden had this to say:

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You can pre-order The Hesitant Heiress now at: http://www.amazon.com/Hesitant-Heiress-Everstone-Chronicles-Crandall-ebook/dp/B00M4LQ81I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406398038&sr=8-1&keywords=Dawn+Crandall

About the Author:

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Dawn Crandall is a writer, a wife, lover of three cats, and a new mommy. Her first novel, The Hesitant Heiress, will debut on August 1, 2014 from Whitaker House Books, which is what this post is all about! She is the author of historical romantic suspense in first person point of view… which comes out as a little mix of Jane Eyre (by Charlotte Bronte), Christy (by Catherine Marshall) and Rebecca (by Daphne du Maurier). She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency. You can also find her at http://www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com. I am a 2000 graduate from Taylor University with a BA in Christian Education and a passion for writing complex and in-depth love stories. You can also find Dawn at http://www.facebook.com/dawncrandallwritesfirst.

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Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall

Seasons of Tomorrow (Amish Vines and Orchards, book 4) by Cindy Woodsmall

http://www.amazon.com/Seasons-Tomorrow-Amish-Vines-Orchards-ebook/dp/B00G1IV9T6/ref=la_B001JP7NRS_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405966538&sr=1-1

What it’s about: Rhoda Byler is now comfortable in her Amish faith and has a wonderful supportive boyfriend. But things for Leah King are anything but comfortable as she searches to find her way in an Amish family and community while being in love with an Englischer. A horrible situation turns the lives of all involved in the Orchard Bend Amish community upside down and questioning their faith, but it does bring the estranged King brother home. Time, faith, grace and love starts to heal many hearts and hurts…. But is it all enough with all that they have gone through?

My thoughts: Cindy Woodsmall never fails to grab my heart and touch my soul and Seasons of Tomorrow is no exception. It made me stop in a few places and lay my heart out at God’s feet, so I have to love a book that brings me closer to God. I did think it was both rushed and drug out though, so that is why I liked it, but didn’t love it completely. It is definitely worth the read and I’m so glad I read it, but this story seemed rushed in that it wrapped up so many issues from the previous three books that it just wrapped up too quickly after so many issues being drug out through three novels. A few of issues that kept re-happening in each novel of the series were a but drug out for my taste, but I do understand that those are probably very real issues in the Amish community. I love imperfect characters that Cindy uses so they are relatable and fun. So all in all…. I really did enjoy this book and series and the message of God’s unfailing love and grace.

I rate Seasons of Tomorrow 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review, which I have provided above.

About the author:

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times, CBA, ECPA, and USA Today best-selling author who has written a dozen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal,and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as the one of the top three most popular authors of Amish fiction.

She’s a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them–afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the US.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities–from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.

Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

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What it’s about:

Nicole Renard must find a husband…. and fast! Her father needs an heir for his shipping company and as the only child, Nicole must marry so a man can claim that title. On her way to find a husband, she suddenly finds herself trying to save the family’s greatest treasure and ends up working for an obsessed, quirky man (Darius) who performs dangerous and crazy experiments! Nicole and Darius quickly find their feelings have grown where neither of them want Nicole to go find an heir for her father…. and she has to choose between pleasing her father or herself. Or does she?

My thoughts:

Full Steam Ahead started off with full steam! Wow! What a prologue! I don’t think I have read one that good… make that GREAT in years! There was no time to settle in and get comfy with this book, it just took off in “full steam”! Full Steam Ahead is an example of WHY I love to read Christian fiction. I don’t think it ever failed to make me laugh or giggle out loud each time I picked it up. I liked that the traditional “book formula” was deviated from but I won’t say anymore with that so I don’t spoil any of it. I loved the strong, intelligent lead female (Nicole) and absolutely adored the quirky male (Darius) lead. I found the actual history behind this book really interesting and fascinating too.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars! I highly recommend this book!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I am not obligated to give a good review, all thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the author:

 

Two-time RITA® Finalist and winner of the coveted HOLT Medallion and ACFW Carol Award, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at: http://www.karenwitemeyer.com.