Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Falling in Love

Author: Susette Williams
Publisher: Self
August 2012
Genre: Contemporary romance

Katie Morgan has her future planned. It doesn’t include becoming serious about anyone before she achieves her goals, not even her handsome boss. Just because she does not have time to date, doesn’t mean her boss shouldn’t. Her new mission…to make her boss happy, whether or not he wants to be.

Wade McAlester fell in love with Katie the first day she walked into his clinic looking for a job. He hired her, content to settle for friendship until she lives out her dream of becoming a vet. Against his better judgment, Wade allows her to fix him up with a couple of her friends. The dates are disastrous. He can’t believe the kind of women Katie seems to think he’d enjoy spending his life with. However, when Wade’s old colleague, Dr. Laura Redmond shows up, Katie is rethinking how happy she wants her boss to be, and with whom. Definitely not the gorgeous doctor.

Seasons of the Heart novella series:
Falling in Love - available
Winter Chill - available
Spring Break - Coming Soon!
Heated Summer - Coming Soon!

FALLING IN LOVE is a difficult book to write a review for. I know this author is talented. But this book was amateurish and not up to the standards I expect from her.

Katie is a pre-vet student, working at a clinic, but she acts like a fifteen year old girl. I’m not sure how old she is really. Wade is thirty, a doctor, her teacher, and he is falling all over himself when she’s near.

The characters are Christian and go to church and pray. But it seems Katie is all mixed up. The girls she fixed Wade up with do not meet the criteria she reamed him for when he went out with Laura. Yet she didn’t get mad at herself for fixing him up with them, instead she got mad at him picking a mature version of the ones she chose.

Wow. I don’t mean to be so harsh. Again, I know this author can do much better. But FALLING IN LOVE is not a book I’m FALLING IN LOVE with.

Available in Kindle format only. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Spring Broke

Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: David C. Cook
March 2009
ISBN: 978-1589191075
Genre: Chick lit

With creditors hounding her and all her available cash going to make payments on her debt, Kendall's spendthrift lifestyle has finally caught up with her. To complicate matters, she's pregnant and not sure who the father is.

Kendall needs help, but her roommates are caught up in problems of their own: Megan is trying to manage her crazy boss and remain true to her Christian principles. Lelani is still trying to work up the nerve to go home to Maui for a visit with her parents and her young daughter. And after a gaffe on her first job, Anna is trying to regain credibility in the workplace without relying too heavily on Edmund.

So when Lelani's parents offer to host the girls in Hawaii, it sounds like the vacation everyone needs—and no one can afford. A really big garage sale is scheduled, but fraying tempers threaten the teamwork needed to pull it off. Will they finally turn to the One who can really help?

When you've got your first apartment, a real job, and grown-up responsibilities, life can be tough—loaded with confusion, emotion, and secrets you can't tell to anyone but God. In the 86 Bloomberg Place series, Melody Carlson has captured all the uncertainty and joy of being twenty-something in pitch-perfect detail—and their stories just might sound like someone you know.

Oh the drama! I did read the other three books in this series, I Heart Bloomberg, Let Them Eat Fruitcake, and Three Weddings and a Barmitzah, but it was been awhile, so I forgot how dramatic these four girls are. They are each dealing with their own trials and issues, and try to get along with each other, but with four different personalities in the same house, tempers do flare.

Ms. Carlson is a very prolific author, and very talented, handling whatever genre she writes in well. If you like chick lit – then you won’t want to miss any of the books in the 86 Bloomberg Place series. Available in Kindle, paperback, or audio.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Woman Code

Author: Sophia A Nelson
Publisher: Revell
October 2014
ISBN: 978-0800723880
Genre: Nonfiction / Women’s issues / Self help

From the Inside Flap
Women are powerful yet peaceful. We are strong yet sensitive. We are listeners yet we lead. We are resilient yet we remember. We are sacred yet sensual. We are wives and we are mothers. We are single and we are caretakers. We are spiritual and we are sisters.

There is something about women that makes us uniquely connected and, beyond that, simply powerful! In The Woman Code, author, journalist, and TV personality Sophia Nelson shows women that everything we need to lead the lives we want is already inside us. Nelson helps women create a road map of timeless values coupled with modern-day approaches to help us face the challenges of our time.

It is time for women to return to a universal Code of personal and collective conduct, a Code that will allow us to fulfill all we are born to be.

From the Back Cover

Your Key to Unlocking a More Fulfilling Life

Every woman lives by a Code, whether she realizes it or not. The Code is as old as time. It has been practiced for thousands of years, quietly, among the sisterhood of women. This Code is her road map to living, a guidepost residing deep within her spirit. It governs her romantic relationships, friendships, family ties, career choices, and personal sense of well-being and value. And when her Code is out of balance, her life is out of balance.

Drawing from her personal faith and from her experience in the business world, Sophia Nelson explores 20 keys to unlocking the life you want, such as:

· Knowing your innate value and worth
· Teaching people how to treat you
· Making peace with your past
· Learning to lead from within
· Lifting other women as you climb

The Woman Code helps women to honor themselves while navigating the demands of work, home, family, and friendship. It not only calls on women to practice purpose in their lives, it shows them how to do it with grace.

THE WOMAN’S CODE is a book for all women—that will reach you at the core and help you how to get past the personal roads you’ve already traveled and to navigate the current and future ones. The author shares she was going through a hard time as she sat down to write this book, but never-the-less, she has some really thought-provoking ideas in it. Such as: “We all endure different trials, tribulations and triumphs. But in the end we all hope to geet through them intact. Whole. Better than before.” Or, “I accepted what was lost. I made peace with what is now past. And I have learned to be grateful for what and who I still have left.”
A powerful message for today’s woman, to find peace and happiness from the inside-out. Recommended. Available in Kindle, hardback, or MP3-CD.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

An October Bride

Author: Katie Ganshert
Publisher: Zondervan
October 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance

What if the only way you could make your father’s last wish come true . . . was to marry the man of your dreams?

Emma Tate has just moved on from one fiancé, so when she announces a sudden engagement to her lifelong buddy Jake Sawyer, every busybody in Mayfair goes into high alert. Of course, no one but Jake and Emma know the real reason they’re getting married—so Emma’s dying father will have a chance to walk her down the aisle.

But while Jake and Emma move forward with their plan—and frantically plan an October wedding—it becomes clear that their agreement has a few complications . . . the biggest being their true feelings for each other.

With dubious friends, deliriously thrilled parents, and a town that won’t keep its nose out of their business, Emma and Jake will have a lot to contend with if they’re going to pull this off. The real question is: Who wants this wedding more, Emma’s dad . . . or Emma?

AN OCTOBER BRIDE is the latest in Zondervan’s A Year of Weddings novellas. I loved some of them, didn’t like others, but I have to say I absolutely loved AN OCTOBER BRIDE. I’ve never read any of this author’s books before, but after this one I may have to look them up.

Emma and Jake are total dears and I couldn’t wait to see how this story played out. I fell in love with Jake! The black moment was so sad. But it all worked out, for a HEA and this romance lover is happy. Fans of contemporary romance will love AN OCTOBER BRIDE and most of the books in this collection. $3.79 Kindle. 84 pages.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Out of the Storm

Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Bethany House
October 2014
Genre: Historical Novella

Having grown up in a lighthouse, loneliness is all Isabelle Thornton has ever known--and all, she assumes, she ever will know. But when her lightkeeper father rescues a young man from the lake, her sheltered world is turned upside down.

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund's Out of the Storm is her first ever novella and introduces readers to Beacons of Hope, a new series set in the 1800s amid the romance, history, and danger surrounding the Great Lakes lighthouses of Michigan.

Author Jody Hedlund writes books set in my home state, based around its history – and I love them. Presque Isle light is one of my favorites and I love that its picture is on every chapter heading. Beautiful.

Henry is a playboy, buying up mines and timber for his father. Isabella is sheltered, naïve, and has a secret that will keep her from ever marrying – though she is attracted to the playful, rarely serious Henry, but also equally repulsed.

It was interesting seeing how this historical romance novella played out. Would Henry grow up, give up his playboy ways and settle down with a handicapped wife? Will Isabella give up the only life she’s ever known and settle down in a mansion with her life managed with servants while she tries to settle into a high society she’s never known? Or will this relationship be nothing more than a brief fling spawned by a shipwreck on Lake Huron? Nothing is really resolved, but a sweet romance. Like someone else said, I would've like a prologue on how it all turned out. Sample chapters of the next book is included at the end of the book. $0.00 Kindle. 141 pages.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Christmas Comes to Little Hickman Creek

Author: Sharlene MacLaren
Publisher: Whitaker House
September 2014
ISBN:   978-1629111803
Genre: Christmas / historical novella

Two years ago this Christmas, Sadie Bennett's beloved husband was killed in a tragic accident at the local sawmill. What was once her favorite time of year now haunts her, with its cheerful trappings a cruel reminder of the love she lost.

The young widow would like nothing more than to hibernate until the festivities are over. When she finds herself assigned to the committee tasked with picking a Christmas tree for the town square of Little Hickman Creek, she begrudgingly agrees but determines to fulfill her duties to the bare minimum. As the search for a suitable tree gets under way, Sadie is dismayed to learn that one of her fellow committee members is a man she's worked hard to avoid.

Reed Harris owns the local livery, and while he's friendly enough, good-looking, too, Sadie isn't ready to invest in another relationship. In fact, she may never be ready, unless a Christmas miracle manages to thaw her frozen heart.

CHRISTMAS COMES TO LITTLE HICKMAN CREEK is a novella to finish out Ms. MacLaren’s popular Little Hickman Creek series. I enjoyed getting to know Sadie and Reed. Reed is completely devoted to Sadie, pursing her despite her obvious disinterest.

I also liked how Sadie, despite being still in deep grief over losing her husband, still participates in the community celebrations. I did worry a bit over Reed pursing her while she was still grieving, but it is fiction and a novella… 

Fans of Ms. MacLaren’s Little Hickman Creek series will be thrilled to have this latest installment to the series and catch up with previous characters.  CHRISTMAS COMES TO LITTLE HICKMAN CREEK has a nice holiday feel, and one could almost feel the crisp air, and see the inch of snow covering the ground as the story begins. So grab a cup of hot cocoa and a few cookies and settle in for an enjoyable holiday read. 144 pages. $9.39 Kindle. $10.64 paperback.

***I loved the snowflakes on each page and the pine tree artwork separating each chapter in this book.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Heart Made New

Author: Kelly Irvin
Publisher: Harvest House
October 2012
ISBN:  978-0736943833
Genre: Amish

In the second novel of Kelly Irvin's Bliss Creek Amish series, readers will be delighted to return to a town and a family they've already come to love.

Annie Shirack is trying to fight her feelings for David Plank, a young Amish man who's struggling with an aggressive case of Hodgkin's lymphoma. David loves Annie too much to let her into his life, only, he fears, to leave her.

When a homeless young woman named Charisma and her two-year-old daughter, Gracie, show up in Bliss Creek, Annie welcomes them into the Shirack household and tries to help them establish a new life. But all the good deeds in the world can't change the ache in Annie's heart...or help her forget the man she loves.

A HEART MADE NEW is the second book in The Bliss Creek Amish series, but it easily stands alone. This book starts with a bang—literally, as the Amish bakery Annie works at is robbed! Scary! I also sympathized with David, as I am a cancer survivor (not the same type he has) and I know about treatments and not feeling well, worrying about leaving those you love.

Fans will want to read the other two books in this series, Love’s Journey Home and To Love and to Cherish. Both are all available for purchase. 336 pages. $8.76 Kindle. $9.22 paperback. Also available in hardcover with big print.