Monday, October 13, 2014

Snowflake Tiara

Join us in celebrating Montana's 125th birthday, as well as the 150th birthday of its lovely capitol city, Helena!

Authors: Angie Breidenbach and Valerie Comer
Publisher: Gems of Wisdom
August 2014
Genre: Half historical/half contemporary Christmas novella collection

Two Christmas Romance Novellas Set 125 Years Apart

What if you were caught doing something good, but the man you loved didn't see it that way? 

The Debutante Queen by Angela Breidenbach ~ 1889 (Helena, MT): Calista Blythe enters the first Miss Snowflake Pageant celebrating Montana statehood to expose the plight of street urchins. But if her hidden indentured orphan is discovered, Calista’s reputation and her budding romance with pageant organizer, Albert Shanahan, could both unravel. Will love or law prevail? 

My thoughts:  The Debutante Queen is a charming story set at the end of mining days in Helena as they struggle to keep the town from becoming a ghost town. The end of the Orphan Train also caused Helena to become overrun with orphans. It was great getting acquainted with Montana history and getting to know Calista and Albert. A very sweet historical romance.

More Than a Tiara by Valerie Comer ~ 2014 (Helena, MT): Marisa Hiller’s interest in competing in Miss Snowflake Pageant for the city of Helena’s 150th anniversary is at zip zero zilch when she discovers the official photographer is Jase Mackie. Can Jase make amends for past mistakes and offer her, not only a tiara, but a partner in her crusade to help needy children and families? 

My thoughts: I love Jase and Marisa. Such a sweet contemporary romance. I love Ms. Comer's other books. Marisa is a professional model who cares about the environment, natural foods and healthy eating. She's on a mission to teach people how to garden (I wish she'd teach me. I try, but don't have a green thumb). Jase is a previous boyfriend, a professional photographer, who believed Marisa only gardens to make herself look better as a model. But when he discovers the truth is it too late to get her back?  I thoroughly enjoyed this story. 

Final thoughts: I know the story behind the stories, and am so glad these authors decided to self-publish this collection. Both Ms. Breidenbach and Ms. Comer are professional authors, traditionally published and as a result the final product is more professional than most self-published books I've read so far. This collection is very well written, excellently edited, and engaging. I loved this collection and highly recommended. 

(from the inside flap)

Albert flipped open his pocket watch. She'd be expected any second as one of the last competitors. He looked up the stairs -- and there she stood. The light from the chandeliers shimmered off her gown creating an ethereal glow that sparkled around her entire being. His heartbeat picked up speed as if a trolley ran out of control on a hill without brakes.

Calista saw Albert and rewarded him with a smile that slammed into his heart with an electric zap as if that trolley had just jumped the tracks. His feet carried him to her with a mind of their own. "You cannot imagine how beautiful you are to me." Albert whispered.

"I --" Calista's hand fluttered to her heart.

From the authors:

Celebrating romance is fun, but when we found out it was the state of Montana's 125th anniversary and the capital city, Helena, is also celebrating the 150th anniversary of incorporating, well, what better setting to tell a romantic story at Christmastime? The research, history, and fun! Wow, this was quite the experience for us, as authors, and we hope it is for you as the reader too! Helena's birthday is Oct. 30, 1864 so she will be 150 this fall! Montana's birthday is Nov. 8, 1889 so she will be 125 this fall!


Angela Breidenbach said...

Thank you so, so much!

Valerie Comer said...

Thank you for your review, Laura! And I'm glad you enjoyed Angie's story and mine.