Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Trouble with Patience by Maggie Brendan

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What it’s about:
From the publisher:
“Patience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance. The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him. Now she is consumed with restoring a dilapidated boardinghouse in order to support herself.

Despite Patience’s desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local marshal with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life. It seems like such a simple arrangement: She needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse. He needs a dependable source of food for himself and his prisoners. But as she gets to know this “hanging lawman,” Patience finds there is far more to him than meets the eye–and it could destroy their tenuous relationship forever.

With a keen eye for historical detail and a deft hand at romantic tension, Maggie Brendan invites you to a Montana gold rush boomtown, where vices and virtues are on full display and love is lying in wait.”

My thoughts:
I love the name of this series, “Virtues and Vices of the Old West”…. it just sounds so fun! I love the idea behind this series, but there were a few things that kept me from thoroughly enjoying the book. Their words didn’t always seem to go with the time period. I was really surprised with an issue that Patience’s mom brought up and wasn’t sure how it really fit into the plot and story. I got pleasantly surprised with some drama (okay, it’s a bad/tragic event drama, but was pleased to have the storyline change a bit and pick up speed) when I was starting to think it a little bit tedious to read about halfway thought, but I did get a little frustrated with the drawn out ending also. The thoughts the characters had, which usually make me understand and love the character more, seemed a bit off for me. It was a clean romance, as I expect and love with Christian fiction. I really had a soft spot for Emily and all of the characters were a intriguing bunch

I give The Trouble with Patience 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion/review.

About the author: Maggie Brendan is the bestselling author of the Heart of the West and The Blue Willow Brides series. Winner of the 2014 Book Buyers Best Award (OCC/RWA) for inspirational fiction and the 2013 Laurel Wreath Award, she was a finalist for the 2013 Published Maggie Award of Excellence and the 2013 Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award. To learn more, visit http://www.MaggieBrendan.com.

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A Valentine for Kayla by Kimberly Rose Johnson with a BONUS inside “question and answer” session with the author!

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What it’s about:
From the publisher:
“KAYLA RUSSELL DOESN’T LIKE VALENTINE’S DAY

What should be Kayla’s favorite holiday is just another reminder that she hasn’t met someone special. The beautiful florist—and hopeless romantic—has nearly given up on love, when the man of her dreams walks into her shop…to buy flowers for another woman!

Former music superstar Derek Wood poses as a local deliveryman while he cares for his ailing mother. Derek is drawn to Kayla’s genuine spirit and natural beauty, but he can’t hide his identity forever. The man Kayla’s falling for doesn’t really exist, but the feelings they share are real. Will Derek finally give Kayla a reason to love Valentine’s Day?”
My thoughts:
I was excited to see what Ms. Johnson was going to come out with for this book, because I really loved her last book. I was also a little afraid I might not like it as much as A Match for Meghan because I adored Meghan and identified with her so much and really felt like she was a lot like me. A story is more fun when it feels like you are the main character! I knew right away when I started A Valentine for Kayla that I was going to like it even more! It had so many changes in it along the way that I never knew what was coming next and it was just plain fun! I felt like I knew each character well and understood their actions. I was truly surprised with a few story twists and turns, and loved that! A Valentine for Kayla is a very sweet, fun, entertaining book with heartfelt Godly messages throughout. The Heartsong books are little shorter than most novels, but longer than a novella where you can get into a story and have some meat in it, yet it’s still a quick read. I enjoyed the writing style and flow a lot also.

I give A Valentine for Kayla 5 out of 5 stars! It’s my favorite book by Kimberly Rose Johnson so far, and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next! I definitely recommend this book!

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

http://www.amazon.com/Valentine-Kayla-Heartsong-Presents-ebook/dp/B00OYCW62K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425102293&sr=8-1&keywords=A+valentine+for+Kayla

About the author: Kimberly Rose Johnson holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two teenage sons, and their yellow lab. She writes sweet Christian romance for Heartsong Presents and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She enjoys taking long walks with her husband and dog, reading, dark chocolate and time with friends. You may contact Kimberly via her website at http://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

*******BONUS********  Read this special question and answer session with Kimberly Rose Johnson!!

I have a special treat for this post…. a little more information about Kimberly Rose Johnson! I asked her some questions and she was so gracious to respond so that we all can get to know her better!
Me: What was your inspiration for writing A Valentine for Kayla and the events that happened in it?
KRJ: My inspiration for writing A Valentine for Kayla was my own dislike of the holiday. The events in the story were drawn from my over active imagination. However, one thing in the story was from personal experience. When I was a teenager I was nominated to participate in Miss Teen Oregon. Where I chose to pass on the invite my character did not.

Me: How does God show up to you during your process and what has He shown you?
KRJ: It always amazes me when I see the Lord’s hand in my writing. I make it a priority in my life to spend time reading the Bible and praying and I believe because of that God speaks into my writing without me even realizing he is doing it. For example last week I was editing a project, and going through track changes. In one spot my editor asked me to show more. This area dealt with my character’s need to forgive and the Lord was working on her heart. A particular reference came to mind and I took off. Then I went back and read the whole scene and realized that the first scripture reference I had used, unbeknownst to me at the time of editing was from the same book and directly correlated with the new scripture and message I added. It gave me chills!

Me: What are a few of your favorite books and why?
KRJ: I have a lot of favorites and each of them are favorites because they made me feel something. When I get tingles while reading, it becomes a book I never forget. A couple of these are The Princess by Lori Wick and One Choice by Ginger Solomon.
Me: I am a huge Lori Wick fan! I am adding One Choice to my TBR list now!

Me: Do you have any books in the works right now? If so, what and when can we expect to read it?
KRJ: I am currently working on a series called Wildflower B&B Romance. The first book, Island Refuge, is complete and in the editing stages. This book will release some time in April. The other project I am working on is the second book in the series, Island Dreams. Finally I have an indie novella project in the works. That book is complete except going through the edits from my critique partners. That box set will release in July.
Me: Ooh, I can’t wait! I love the idea of bed and breakfasts for the series with Island Refuge and Island Dreams! Also, my birthday is in July, so it looks like I will have to get that indie novella box set to celebrate!
KRJ: Thanks for having me on your blog, Katie!
Me: Thank you so much for taking your time to answer my questions! I love getting to know authors more. I think it helps me relate to their stories better and I enjoy their books more then, so hopefully some of my blog readers feel the same and will enjoy A Valentine for Kayla or any of your other books, even more than they might have before!

The Beauty of Grace Editor: Dawn Camp

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What it’s about:
(From the publisher/back cover)
“This is your invitation . . .
to slow down,
take a deep breath,
and know that you are loved.

In this hectic life, it’s easy to forget that God is always near at hand, even though He sends us frequent reminders. The beauty amid the mess, a well-timed word of encouragement from a friend, the memories that won’t let go of our hearts–they’re all ways God extends an open hand to us. But if we’re not paying attention, we can miss it.

Combining heartfelt stories from some of today’s foremost writers with Dawn’s stunning photography of God’s incredible creation, The Beauty of Grace is your haven of calm contemplation amid the chaos. This inspiring collection includes stories of cultivating friendship, waiting on God, choosing joy, staying connected, learning to trust, and much more.

If you’re in need of a little peace, a little quiet, a little beauty, find comfort in this: you’re invited to experience them all within the pages of this soul-stirring book.”

My thoughts:
This a pretty coffee table type devotional. Many authors contributed to this book. I knew Holley Gerth was one, so I had to read it. I loved her contributions as well as many others and found some new authors to try out! Every contribution felt heartfelt to me. I love when messages come across as something heartfelt and personal rather than just a message, so I really enjoyed this book. I can’t wait to read more from Tsh Oxenreider and Ariana Segerman. I found Rachel Anne Ridge offered me a laugh-out-loud moment, thought “that’s so me!” as I read her work.
Laura Parker’s post made my heart cry yes and Maggie Whitley’s post touched my heart in a special way as well. I think this book has a lot to offer with many different styles of writing. This would make a good gift to any Christian, but especially those that feel burnt out and need to slow down to hear what God is trying to tell them.

I give The Beauty of Grace 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it, mostly to women who feel they need to slow down and receive some of God’s grace.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the editor: Dawn Camp is a camera-toting, homeschooling mother of eight children. She writes for DaySpring’s (in)courage website, where her beautiful photography previously graced their monthly calendar and currently decorates the desktops of women around the world. Dawn blogs at MyHomeSweetHomeOnline.net and is a featured photographer on Adobe’s website for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software. She lives with her family in metro Atlanta.

Where Rivers Part by Kellie Coates Gilbert

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What it’s about:
(From the publisher) “Success too often comes with a price. Juliet never imagined it could be so high.

Dr. Juliet Ryan has devoted her considerable scientific acumen to corporate America, providing safe drinking water for millions–and affording her plenty of perks along the way. It’s not the path her estranged father would have her take, but then Juliet finds it difficult to maintain respect for a man she cannot trust. She’s on her way up in the world, and she’s not going to let anything drag her down.

But when a fast-moving disaster sweeps Juliet into a whirlpool of corporate scandal, lives are at risk–including those of some of the people closest to her. As she scrambles to find answers, Juliet must face her deepest wounds and join forces with the one who has hurt her most in order to expose a far-reaching conspiracy.

Like a mighty river with twists and turns and hidden rocks, this engrossing story will sweep you relentlessly along as it fearlessly explores the seduction of success, the fear of giving up control, and the redemptive power of learning to forgive.”

My thoughts:
I think Kellie Coates Gilbert offers a refreshing voice in women’s Christian fiction. There is a theme of romance in Where Rivers Part but it is very minor and I would not classify this book as romance, but more “contemporary Christian fiction”. I found the content fascinating in this book and easily kept wanting more and turning the pages. The main point and message of forgiveness came through and was good and I enjoyed how everyone was portrayed in a fairly realistic way without anyone being too perfect. I was a bit disappointed in the characters; I still feel like I don’t really know any of them, even the main characters. Their inner-personalities never really came out to me. The ending felt abrupt to me and wrapped up a little to fast and perfect. The last 30 pages or so didn’t quite mesh with the rest of the writing style, in my opinion. The character development and the ending did influence my opinion of this book and why I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars, but I really did enjoy Where Rivers Part and will recommend it.

I give Where Rivers Part 4 out of 5 stars and especially recommend it to women who don’t want as much romance in the books they read.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
About the author: you can find out more about Kellie Coates Gilbert here: http://kelliecoatesgilbert.com/about-kellie/

2 Freebies and One 99 Cent Deal!

I don’t think it can get much better than a FREE contemporary by Denise Hunter and a FREE historical by Sarah Sundin!  Plus, I’ve added a major deal on a pretty new book by Katherine Reay! Happy reading my friends!

http://www.amazon.com/Barefoot-Summer-Chapel-Springs-Romance-ebook/dp/B00B7QRAYU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1423243010&sr=8-3&keywords=Denise+Hunter

http://www.amazon.com/Every-Letter-Wings-Nightingale-Book-ebook/dp/B008B9HLEK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423243175&sr=8-1&keywords=Sarah+Sundin

http://www.amazon.com/Lizzy-Jane-Katherine-Reay-ebook/dp/B00KQ2G69G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423243244&sr=8-1&keywords=Katherine+Reay