Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

A lot happened this year for me. My business seemed to really take off. My grandfather passed away. My best friends each had a baby girl, so I have two more "nieces." My extended family welcomed 3 children into it via adoption. And I've stayed on track with my reading the Bible in a year.

I've read A LOT of books this year too. I read at least 120 books. I say at least, because I know that there are several I forgot to log. I discovered a bunch of new or new to me authors.

I saw a few movies at the theaters this year. My favorites being Avengers, Hunger Games, and Les Miserables. In fact I've love Les Mis so much that I've seen it twice since it came out and will be seeing it a third time!

My favorite books for 2012. (in no particular order, and they are not all 5 star ratings)
I'm including the Amazon links to each as well. Unless noted otherwise, all links are for the Kindle books. The author's name will take you to my review and the title is linked to the Amazon Kindle page.

Short Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer - I read this one. Then once I finished it, I started it again.

Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan - I think this is my favorite one so far.

Alchemyst by Michael Scott - this was a reread but I still loved it.

I read quite a few more thought provoking books this year too. Or at least ones that I found fascinating, but didn't necessarily make my favorites list for year.

There are a lot of books coming out in 2013 that I am looking forward to. Julie Lessman, Mary Connealy, Dani Pettrey, Jody Hedlund, Regina Jennings, and Sarah Sundin all have books coming out that I am excited about. I can't remember titles or release dates at the moment. Oh yes. I forgot Karen Witemeyer. I think I'm the most excited about Stealing the Preacher by Karen than I am about pretty much any other book.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Groom By Arrangement - A Review

Eliza Kelly didn't answer an ad to be a mail-order bride. Yet there is a groom on the way to meet her at the station. She mistakes blacksmith Jackson Hart for her prospective groom. When she suddenly finds herself guardian to a small boy and her reputation in tatters, Jackson offers a chance for her to save face by offering a marriage of convience. Will these two souls find true love?

It was delightful to return to Cottonwood Springs and to catch up with Seth and Rebecca from Marshal's Promise. I enjoyed reading Eliza and Jackson's story as well. The twists that occured weren't what I excpected especially when Eliza's sister suddenly shows up in town. This was a fun book to read one evening after work as it only took me a couple of hours to read it all.

This is due out in February 2013. I received my copy as part of Reader Service Book club.

Recommended to fans of Janet Tronstead, Janet Dean, Love Inspired Historicals, Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense.

Rating - 4 stars

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A bit of fun

Every year, or at least for the past few years, I take part in the Chamber of Secrets Holiday Calendar. Last year I shared the little story I did with Rose. This year I came up with something entirely different. I was having a hard time getting the characters to behave and let me write a simple Christmas story. So I wrote a poem instead. I don't rhyme, and I typically don't write poetry. But it's in fun. So here is my entry to this year's Holiday Calendar. So for all Harry Potter fans....

It’s that time of the year
When the Hogwarts Holiday Calendar brings much cheer.
I sharpened up my quill
And wondered what I’d do to fit the bill.

I tried to write
Even stayed up late at night!
But, alas to my dismay
There was nothing for me to say.

James and Lily didn’t make a peep.
The Trio and Ginny stayed asleep
Not a word from Scoripus or Rose.
Upon the twins I could not impose.

Busy with work and books,
I couldn’t even spare time to cook!
The deadline approached way too fast
An idea came to mind – at last!

Instead of a story I hold so dear,
I’ll write a poem full of holiday cheer.
Only as the words began to flow,
Did I discover it was full of woe.

I typically can’t rhyme
But I will just this time.
So that I can write my holiday wish
And pray that it sounds sweet-ish.

So with that thought,
I’ll give it a shot -
Merry Christmas to all
And may your holidays be a ball!

Deposit Slip Winner

And the winner of Deposit Slip is


Congratulations. I've just emailed you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Happy December!

Today I'm going to give away Todd Johnson's Deposit Slip.

To enter, leave a comment of a Christmas tradition your family does. Extra entry for leaving a comment telling me you follow my blog and how. Extra entries for any comments on my book reviews (see the label on the top left). Ends Christmas Day in the evening, probably 9pm.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Secrets - A Review

Jessica Morgan hopes to escape her past by moving to the small town of Glenbrooke, Oregon. All she wants is to be able to live peacefully and make her own decisions. Yet life has a way throwing a curve at her. A car accident, a principal who is set on finding out anything that can be used to blackmail Jessica, a troubled teen, a trip to Mexico, and a handsome firefighter all shatter Jessica's peace. But as she falls further in love with the small town and its people, including the handsome firefighter, she finds herself drawn to the relationship with God that most of them seem to share. Will Jessica find a relationship with the God who loves her to distraction? Will she let go of her secrets enough to open her heart to love?

"Welcome to Glenbroooke - a quiet place where souls are refreshed," is the greeting of this small town. I've read this book several times over the years and I always find that it's so refreshing. For me, any of Robin's books - and I've read them all several times - is like a visit with a best friend. While it's been about four years since I've read this particular book, I was easily drawn into Jessica's story once again. The way that she searches for answers about faith is something I love. Each Glenbrooke book just infuses my desire to move to Glenbrooke.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook/Multnomah's Blogging for Books program for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Christy Miller, light romances, Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter

Rating - 4 stars

Monday, December 10, 2012

Light in the Window - A Review

Marcy Murphy is thrilled to return to the Boston she loves. She's also thrilled to be able to direct the church Christmas play fundraiser with her best friend. What she's not thrilled about is the attention of two rogues, Patrick O'Connor and Sam Rourke, who compete for her heart. Marcy doesn't want anything to do with men with reputations like they have. She wants a man who will love God as much as he loves her. Which of these two men will win her heart?

This sweet prequel to Julie Lessman's Daughters of Boston and Wings of Change Series tells the story of Marcy and the man she ends up marrying. I'm not telling who the man is, for those of you haven't read anything Julie's written. I loved the way that when there is a moment that Marcy's faith is hanging on by a thread, one of two rogues is there to encourage her and help her out. This man also discovers his own faith and the true meaning of redemption.

I read this book for pure pleasure.

Recommended to fans of family drama, Julie Lessman's other books, Laura Frantz

Rating - 4 stars

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Haven't been this excited in a long time

I am so excited! I've not been this excited about the release of a movie in a VERY long time. I think that the last time I was this excited was either Star Wars Episode 3 or one of the Harry Potter movies.

What movie am I talking about that has me over the moon? Well it is the musical phenomen of Les Miserables. If you've not seen the trailer, watch it! In my personal opinion, this movie has Oscars written all over it.

Here is one of the trailers.

I love musicals. I've grown up watching Oklahoma and Sound of Music and others of that era. I own quite a few of these classic musicals on dvd.

I've seen several Broadway musicals. I've seen Grease, Wicked, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Phantom of the Opera to name a few. I've also seen several movie adaptations of the Broadway shows, though in the case of Grease and Seven Brides I'd seen the movies long before seeing the plays. These movies include Chicago, Rent, Phantom, Mamma Mia, and Hairspray. While I've enjoyed each one, there's something to be said for seeing the show live and onstage.

My obsession with Les Mis came about in college. I'd taken a theatre appreciation class and we watched a video recording of one of the London productions. I fell in love with the music, the story, everything about it at that time. I'm pretty sure that that summer the Liam Neeson version of the film came out and I loved it - even without the music. I didn't get a chance to actually see the musical live for several years. While I kept waiting patiently for it to arrive in Houston, I read an English translation of the book and still loved it. I finally got to see the show live about 8 or 9 years ago and it was all I'd anticipated. I even bought the soundtrack and would find myself jamming to the music while at work (still do). One of the most moving, for me at least, songs/scenes from the show was the song "Empty Chairs." Maybe it was the choreography of how this scene was done onstage. But I remember sitting in the theatre with my friend and when Marius is singing of how his friends and he used to come there, the friends come out and stand behind the chairs. It's just so beautiful. Yet this musical isn't a happy musical like Oklahoma or Show Boat.

The story of Les Mis is really the story of Jean Valjean. Valjean has spent the past 20 years in jail and when he's finally set free he doesn't know any other life. Until a kind bishop sets him on a new path. Over the course of the next several years and decades, Valjean tries to show that he's been redeemed. The one officer, Javert, who has hunted him for years firmly believes that redemption isn't possible for a man like Valjean. Add some students who believe in fighting for the poor and unfortunate, a blossoming love between the girl Valjean's raised as his own daughter and one of the young students, and Valjean finds himself in the midst of a fight for freedom. There will be causalities, but the biggest question is whom.

 Let me recommend the link for the film. I've had fun watching the videos over and over.

Les Miserables film

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Coming in December

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man's hat.

Ok, so that rhyme has been running through my head as I was driving into work the other day. And it's fitting for my "Coming in December" Post.

I did quite a bit of reading in November, at least when I look at all of the reviews I had posted. I FINALLY finished Todd Johnson's Deposit Slip in November. Of course I'd had that one since probably August and it kept being shuffled to the bottom of the pile.

I can guarantee that December will be slow on reviews being posted. At least until after Christmas. That's due to the Christmas projects I have going on. One baby blanket - about 15% done. I'm working on that at work during lunch. 2 scrapbooks - 2% done. They are planned out and I have all of the pictures and paper and fun embellishments, but haven't actually started on them. I'm seeing that my "geekiness" personality is coming out right now. I've blocked out my calendar with what days I will work on the scrapbooks and how many pages I plan to have completed. This is getting worked on during the evenings and weekends. Mom's present. I can't say specifically what it is since she reads my blog and I still want it to be a surprise. But I've gotten over halfway finished with it and hope to spend one evening working on it. I may have to have my best friend help with it when I'm over there. :) Coasters - I made a set of these for my cousin for her birthday and her sister informed me that I was bringing a set up to Waco as my gift for the gift exchange and she was planning on stealing them. I seriously hadn't planned on doing that. But I went ahead and decided to do two sets for the Waco trip and then a set for each of the other Christmas parties I'm going to. These are being worked on at my mom's over the weekend.

Here is what I plan on reading in December.

A Light in the Window - Julie Lessman
One Woman. Two Men.
One stirs her pulse and the other her faith.
But who will win her heart?

Marceline Murphy is a gentle beauty with a well-founded aversion to rogues. But when two of Boston's most notorious pursue her, she encounters a tug-of-war of the heart she isn’t expecting. Sam O’Rourke is the childhood hero she’s pined for, the brother of her best friend and a member of the large, boisterous family to which she longs to be a part. So when his best friend Patrick O’Connor joins in pursuit of her affections, the choice seems all too clear. Sam is from a family of faith and Patrick is not, two rogues whose wild ways clash head-on with Marcy’s—both in her faith and in her heart.

While overseeing the Christmas play fundraiser for the St. Mary’s parish soup kitchen—A Light in the Window—Marcy not only wrestles with her attraction to both men, but with her concern for their spiritual welfare. The play is based on the Irish custom of placing a candle in the window on Christmas Eve to welcome the Holy Family, and for Marcy, its message becomes deeply personal. Her grandmother Mima cautions her to guard her heart for the type of man who will respond to the "light in the window," meaning the message of Christ in her heart. But when disaster strikes during the play, Marcy is destined to discover the truth of the play’s message first-hand when it becomes clear that although two men have professed their undying love, only one has truly responded to “the light in the window.”

Whispers in the Wind - Lauraine Snelling
Book Two in Lauraine Snelling's Exciting Wild West Wind Series

After fleeing North Dakota and the now defunct Wild West Show, Cassie Lockwood and her companions have finally found the hidden valley in South Dakota where her father had dreamed of putting down roots. But to her dismay, she discovers a ranch already built on her land.

Cassie's arrival surprises Mavis Engstrom and forces her to reveal secrets she's kept hidden for years. Her son Ransom is suspicious of Cassie and questions the validity of her claim to the valley. But Lucas Engstrom decides from the start that he is in love with her and wants to marry her.

Will Cassie be able to build a home on the Bar E Ranch and fulfill her father's dream of raising horses, or will she be forced to return to the itinerant life of her past?

Secrets - Robin Jones Gunn (I've read this one several times but get to review it with the new cover)
The Glenbrooke Series

Jessica ran from her past...but can she hide from love?

Jessica Morgan wants desperately to forget the past and begin a new life. She chooses a small, peaceful town tucked away in Oregon’s Willamette Valley as the place to start over—Glenbrooke. Once there, Jessica conceals her identity from the intriguing personalities she meets—including the compassionate paramedic who desires to protect her and the jealous woman who wants nothing more than to destroy her.

Will Jessica’s deceit ruin all hope for the future? Or will she find a deeper peace that allows her to stop hiding the truth from those who love her most of all?

This heartwarming bestseller, book one in the Glenbrooke series, introduces the fascinating people of Glenbrooke in a compelling tale of romance and spiritual truth.

No Safe Harbor - Elizabeth Ludwig
The Thrill of Romantic Suspense Meets the Romance of 1800s America

Lured by a handful of scribbled words across a faded letter, Cara Hamilton sets off from 1896 Ireland on a quest to find the brother she'd thought dead. Her search lands her in America, amidst a houseful of strangers and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh.

Despite her brother's warning, Cara decides to trust Rourke and reveals the truth about her purpose in America. But he is not who he claims to be, and as rumors begin to circulate about an underground group of dangerous revolutionaries, Cara's desperation grows. Her questions lead her ever closer to her brother, but they also bring her closer to destruction as Rourke's true intentions come to light.

I am also eagerly anticipating the movie Les Miserables opening on Christmas. More on that in a separate post.

Other things going on in December for me include another wonderful giveaway. If I can locate the books, I'll be giving away two of Cindy Woodsmall's books. Of course I'll be working. Just because it's Christmas doesn't mean I get much time off. Only two days - Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And my Mary Kay business is always open. I've already got a couple of appointments scheduled with friends who want the new lipsticks that are coming out in December.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Right Where I Belong - A Review

Natalia Lopez is tired of her father's love them and leave them attitude. When he divorces his third wife, Natalia leaves Spain with her stepmother to move to Florida. She's got a lot to adjust to - a grieving stepmother, a Christian school, and boys who are interested in her. She has sworn off love and boys because of how her father treated the women he married, yet she's drawn to Brian, the pastor's son. As the two get to know each other, they find that they are both drawn to the other's love of God and sincere desire to be a witness for Him. Will Natalia allow God to work in her life?

This is the third book I've read by Krista MCGee and I really enjoyed it. It's a fast read. The characters are fun and well developed. This is a retelling of Ruth. What I loved the most about it was when both Brian and Natalia realized their calling, and it wasn't necessarily to do what their parents wished. I look forward to reading more by this author.

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommend for fans of Christy Miller, Jenny B. Jones, and Ally Carter.

Rating - 4 stars

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Unending Devotion - A Review

Photographer assistant Lily Young has one goal - find her sister and rescue her from the life of prostitution that she's been leading. As Lily travels the lumber camps during Michigan's winter months, she saves several girls, but hasn't had luck in locating her sister. The photography work brings her to the small lumber community of Harrison where she meets Connell McCormick, the boss of three different camps. Sparks fly between the two of them as they clash heads over Lily's determination to find her sister and Connell's refusal to acknowledge that things need to change in the town.When Lily's life is put into danger, will Connell be able to rescue the woman he's fallen in love with and stand up to the evil in the town, or will he allow things to stay the way they are and lose any chance he has with Lily?

While this isn't my favorite book by Jody Hedlund, I did enjoy it. Lily is a very strong character. She is very determined and at times, that determination is a major fault for her as well. Connell is determined to live his life in such a way that he glorifies God. The only thing he struggles with is that he needs to take action against the evil in the town. Both Connell and Lily stumble and fall and grow in their relationships with each other and with others. Unlike Hedlund's other books, this one isn't based specifically on the life of someone in history, rather the villain in the book is based on someone from history.

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Elizabeth Camden, Laura Frantz, Julie Klassen, Maggie Brendan, Karen Witemeyer.

Rating - 4 stars

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Deposit Slip - A Review

When Jared Neaton is handed a lawsuit involving a deposit slip and a large sum of money, he sees this as a chance to put his struggling law practice in the black for a long time. With the opposition throwing everything they have at him and trying to stop him, Jared is determined to get to the truth. Yet even with the outcome becoming increasingly not in his favor, Jared still struggles to find answers for his client. As he searches for answers, he finds himself back in his hometown and trying to understand the course his father took all those years ago.

This is the first book I've ever read by Todd Johnson. And while it took me a while to actually pick it up and read it, mainly because it's not my typical genre, once I finally started reading it, I really enjoyed it. This was a legal thriller that had me guessing at the outcome. I didn't see the way that things were playing out until right at the end. I really liked the character of Jessie, Jared's secretary. She was a strong character who knew what she wanted. When Jared realizes that he's turning into the same man that his father was, he changes. And that's a turning point for him, and for how he is going about the case.

I received this book for free from the publisher, Bethany House, for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Robert Whitlow, Steven James, Randy Singer, Davis Bunn, and courtroom dramas.

Rating - 4 stars

Marshal's Promise Giveaway Winner

It was so much fun seeing all of the comments. Thank you Rhonda for being my first interview and for providing a copy of the book to the winner.

Using, the winner is Jes!

Congratulations. I've emailed you so you can send me your contact info and tell me if you would prefer the book as a paperback or as an e-book.

Happy reading.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Christmas Roses - A Review

Celia Anderson is a young widow with a baby daughter and is praying that more boarders will show up to help her make ends meet. The last thing she wants is to remarry even if it means her daughter would have a father.When wandering carpenter Mark Williams arrives on her door looking for a place to stay, she doesn't expect him to work his way into her heart. After all, she'll only remarry if the man she marries brings her roses for Christmas. Mark is searching for answers and finds the small Wyoming town a good spot to stay for the winter before continuing on his quest. He sure wasn't expecting to have his heart stolen by a beautiful widow and her infant daughter. He also wasn't expecting to make peace with the God she loves. Will he figure out a way to give Celia roses for Chirstmas?

This is the first book I've ever read by Amanda Cabot. This was a really sweet story that shows how Christmas is a time of miracles. Mark learns to let go and finds that dreams can come true. Celia learns love again. This is a very sweet Christmas book and made me glad to visit the season.

I received this book for free from the publisher, Revell Books, for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Available in September 2012 at your local bookstore from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Recommended for fans of Melody Carlson, Christmas stories, Thomas Kinkade, Cindy Woodsmall.

Rating - 4 stars

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Interview with Rhonda Gibson and a Giveaway

Rhonda Gibson is the author or co-author of several books including the Love Inspired Historical novel, Marshal's Promise, and the Romancing America Midwife's Legacy.

I "met" her when I'd read her book Marshal's Promise and I'd visited her website. I've also gotten to know her through Facebook and Twitter. I'm thrilled to be able to have her with me today for my first ever author interview!

So without further ado, here's Rhonda!

Dawn: Rhonda, thank you for joining us today. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi Dawn. I guess the first thing you should know about me is that I’m a wife, next May I will be married 30 years. I have two children and three grandchildren. I love to read and I love making beaded jewelry. I have a dog named Sheba and right now I have 7 outdoor cats. 

No I’m not a “cat woman” but someone thinks I’m really nice and left a mama cat who had babies, babies are pretty wild, mama has moved on and I’m still feeding the babies. LOL, one of those outdoors cats is my old cat Sunny and two of them are brand new Siamese kittens that I received for my birthday last month. I guess that is enough about me for now but feel free to ask me anything.

 Dawn: Congratulations on the 30 years. That is an accomplishment in this day and time. :) Seven cats? I only have the one, my sweet Kiki, and I love having her around. So tell me, how did you become a writer?

I’ve always loved telling stories and when I got old enough to write, I started writing :)

Dawn: Ok I'll admit that I discovered your books through Reader Service, and Marshal's Promise was the first one I read of yours. Since then I've also read Midwife's Legacy. Both of those books are very different. How did the idea for Marshal's Promise come about?

The Marshal’s Promise was originally called, Jesse’s Girl. My husband loves that Bruce Springsteen song. So he and I brainstormed and came up with the beginning of The Marshal’s Promise.   

Dawn: Well I certainly enjoyed it! In fact my copy is somewhat battered! Now tell me about Midwife’s Legacy. Was it easier or harder to write a story/novella with others as part of this book ? What went into the deciding factors of writing a generational story? Were you and the others given the topic – ie a family journal handed down among the generations – or did you collaborate to come up with that end?

This collection was very fun to write. My co-authors are wonderful ladies who are very easy to work with. I was invited into this collection by my agent. When I came into it, the basic idea of the journal and the fact it was a generational story were already decided. I was given the freedom to come up with my own story and I really wanted my heroine to travel the Oregon Trail. My co-authors agreed and away we went.

Dawn: I loved playing the computer game of Oregon Trail as a child, though I think my entire wagon train typically died before reaching Oregon. Watching the trail come alive through the eyes of your heroine was very fun. 

I have found several times when I've finished a book or even a movie, that I don't want to say goodbye to the characters. That could very well be one of the reasons I love Harry Potter fan fiction so much, I don't have to say goodbye to the characters. Is it ever hard for you to say goodbye to your characters?

Funny you should ask this, Dawn. I just finished, today, Hannah’s story. She’s Rebecca’s friend from The Marshal’s Promise. Saying goodbye to her and Daniel is hard. I came into my office a few minutes ago prepared to go back to Granite, Texas, the setting of her story. I’m hoping that they will be in my next story but that is up to the editor at this point.

Dawn: I'm looking forward to reading it! Since I know you are one of my followers here on my blog, you know I read pretty much everything, though I'd have say my personal favorite genre is that of historical fiction. Do you prefer to write in a historical setting or a contemporary one?  

I prefer historical. My books are steeped with history but I like to think they have that old, western feeling. 

Dawn: Both of the ones I've read have that feeling! 

I've read some books that have been really good, the author's drawn me in from the first. And I've read others that I've struggled to finish, or just didn't finish because I wasn't drawn into the story. What do you think makes a good book? 

Good characters and a touch of humor. I love books that when I am finished reading them, I feel like I know them and don’t want to say goodbye. I hope my readers have that feeling after every book.

Dawn: I know I felt that way after reading Marshal's Promise. It's probably why my copy is rather battered. I know of several authors whose books make me feel like I've made a great friend. There's even been times that I've been known to cry at the happy ending. :)

 I"m always wanting to know what authors have coming out soon? What do you have coming out soon that we can look forward to?

Groom By Arrangement is coming out in February 2013. It is Eliza Kelly’s story from The Marshal’s Promise.

Dawn: Sweet! I'll add it to my drop-everything-and-read-when-it comes-out list!

With all of this writing, what do you do for fun and to relax?
I read and I bead. Those two things are both relaxing and fun for me. My husband and I also enjoy geocaching. 

Dawn: One of my best friends enjoys going geocaching as well. 

I'm curious, who or what inspires you?
I don’t know that there is one person who encourages me to write more than any other. I have lots of friends and family who cheer me on. I’m thankful for each and every one of them. Even you have inspired me to keep writing because you have enjoyed my books. 

Dawn: Awww, thank you for the sweet words. I have enjoyed your books. Do you have a favorite book, tv show, song, movie, etc.?
How Fletcher Hatches An Egg is my favorite children’s book from when I was a child. Right now my favorite tv show is The Big Bang Theory, Favorite movie – Children’s Disney’s The Sword in the Stone, Adult While You Were Sleeping, My favorite colors are pink and blue, my favorite ice cream is chocolate and my favorite candies are M&M’s and Gummi Bears.  Did you notice I have a sweet tooth?

 Dawn: I love the Big Bang Theory! And yes you do seem to have quite the sweet tooth!

Since this is the time of year when the holidays are upon us, what is your favorite Christmas (or any holiday) memory? 

My husband proposed to me under my parents Christmas tree.   

Dawn: That's romantic! Engaged at Christmas and married in May! I'm sure there's a story to that proposal too.

I ask a similar question to this one at my skin care classes, only I ask about what makeup item the guests can't live without, so here's the more traditional question. If you were stranded on a desert island, and you could only have 3 things with you (items that will help you leave the island not included) what would you have with you?

My Bible, my toothbrush, and James (my husband)

Dawn: I like those choices!

Our time's almost up, so I have just one more question for you today, what advice do you have for others who want to write?

Don’t listen to Nay Sayers. They are the people who make fun of you because you write, the ones who tell you “you will never get published” and the ones who call your writing “a hobby.” Be true to yourself.

Dawn: Thank you so much for stopping by Rhonda! I've enjoyed getting to know you a bit more.

If you want to find out more about Rhonda's books, check out my reviews of Marshal's Promise and Midwife's Legacy.


I'm going to give away a copy of Marshal's Promise by Rhonda to one lucky commenter. No, I'm not giving away my battered copy. I will give away a copy of either the Kindle version or the mass market paperback, winner's choice. Either one will be shipped via Amazon (so you'll get sooner than the prizes I still need to mail out from the last few months. Sorry girls. They're going out TODAY!). To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment here. Gain a second entry, leave another comment telling me you follow my blog. You can gain additional entries for leaving comments on ANY of my book reviews. You can find the entire group here.  Comments on the reviews may be made daily for additional entries. At least one of your comments on this post must have your email address so that I can reach you. Use this form myname(dot)hotmail(dot)com

Ends on Friday night November 23. I'll pick a winner on Saturday morning.

As I will not be around most of the day today, I will respond to comments when I finally do get home. I'm pretty sure that if Rhonda's schedule allows her to, she'll respond as well. 

edited to add picture of the book cover.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Midwife's Legacy - A Review

Four women. Four generations. One journal ties them all together as they face the trials and tribulations of being a midwife, and they may just find unexpected loves in the midst of all of their work. Adele Marley is a busy widow, mother, midwife, and Wisconsin farmer to really notice the banker. Polly Schultz is trying to survive the dangers of the Oregon Trail and finds herself falling for the young preacher. Christiana is determined that women can have both families and careers and tries to convince one man of that fact. Modern woman, Kendra Silverstone, has had her confidence shaken and stumbles upon her ancestors' journal. Will it hold the answers she seeks?

I usually avoid the 4-1 collections, because I like my books to have more story to them. The good thing about novellas is that they are short and I can usually read them in one setting. That said, I did enjoy each story in this book. Some more than others.I think my favorite one was the one about Christiana. Each of the four women, Adele, Polly, Christiana, and Kendra, had to come to understand that they were doing exactly what God had called them to do. Their realizations came at different points. Yet they came. My biggest complaint with the book is that the stories weren't long enough for me to really sink into and enjoy. About the time that I'd grown attached to the characters, the story was over and we moved on.

I received this book for free from one of the authors for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating - 4 stars

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lovelier Than Daylight - A Review

On a visit to her sister, Susanna Hanby discovers that her sister has disappeared and her children with her. Susanna goes on to her uncle and aunt's home in Westerville, and enlists their help in finding the children. The Hanbys discover that the children have been placed in orphanages. When a saloon opens in Westerville, Susanna feels very strongly about the dangers of drinking and crosses paths with Johann Giere, a German brewer from Columbus. Despite the attraction she feels for him, her judgement is clouded because of his family's profession. As tensions rise in Westerville and the Hanby's determination to claim the children, both Johann and Susanna must work together and learn to put their differences aside.

This is the third and final book in the Saddler's Legacy Series. I'll admit it was hard to say goodbye to Will & Ann Hanby after following them through the other two books. While this one was not my favorite of the series, I still found it to be very good. Susanna's determination to reclaim the children that she loves was touching. Yet what made her seem more human was the fact that when she realized that her strong opinions could possibly have contributed to the destruction of a family's livelihood, she learned the value of holding her tongue and seeking the advise of her wise uncle and aunt. Johann recognized a choice he'd have to make. He prayed hard about both opportunities that presented itself, both which seemed to be of God, before he made a decision. He's a strong man with a strong faith. Hard topics such as temperance, abuse, and even to some extent prejudice are brought up in the book and dealt with beautifully.

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of historical fiction, Colleen Coble, Cathy Gohlke, Jody Hedlund, Julie Klassen

Rating - 4 stars