Thursday, June 27, 2013

Undeniably Yours - A Review

When Megan Cole's oil tycoon father dies unexpectedly, she suddenly finds herself at the helm of his company and his holdings. His holdings include not only the multi-million dollar Cole Oil, but also a horse farm on the family's ranch. As Meg tries to navigate the life of a corporate business woman, she wants to unload some of the holdings. Unfortunately for Bo Porter, one of the holdings she wants to unload is the horse farm. Bo convinces Meg to give him six months to get the farm out of debt before she sells it. During the six months, Bo and Meg fight an attraction to each other that neither feels can go anywhere. Yet when Meg's past suddenly arrives, she finds that a future with Bo is a lot more attractive than the demons of her past. Will they figure out what it is that God has in store for them? And will Meg find her place in her father's oil world?

This is the first book I've read by Becky Wade, though I have her debut novel on my Kindle. I just hadn't gotten around to reading it yet. This book hit me while I was in a mood of not really wanting to read. The last few books I'd read had been pretty deep, so I wanted something light and fun. This book met that goal. First of all the cover of the book alludes to fun. I found the characters to be delightful. Meg's a rich girl but isn't a spoiled brat. She has for the past several years lived on a very modest salary. She's also got an almost country girl simplicity to her. Bo is every inch the cowboy. He works and manages a horse farm. He seems to be more at home in a pair of dirty jeans and boots than a business suit. Yet for all his country boy charm, he is also fiercely protective of those he loves, including Meg. I loved seeing how he was willing to fight for the time to prove to Meg that the farm was a good investment. Some of the secondary characters were sweet as well.

For me, this was a perfect relaxing, fun book that I didn't have to think while reading.

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

Recommend to fans of chick lit, contemporary romance, Karen Witemeyer, Robin Jones Gunn

Rating - 4 stars

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Giveaway Winner and Mary Kay Goals

Happy Sunday to all my wonderful blog readers!

My Stealing the Preacher Giveaway ended yesterday and a winner has been chosen.

Thanks to for selecting the winner.

The winner is Katie!!!! Congratulations. I've sent you an email asking for your address.

To those of you who claimed books from my getting rid of books posts, I will have them all in the mail on Saturday June 29. I've just not been able to make it to the post office yet.

I need your help. I have a HUGE HUGE HUGE Mary Kay goal to finish on June 30. I am only $2200 retail sales away from earning the Princess Court. What is the Princess Court? Well it is a national court of sales where those in it will have done a total of $20,000 retail production from July 1 - June 30. This is my first time to ever be this close to being a princess. And I'm pulling out all the stops right now. How can you help me? I'm so glad you asked. All I need you to do is go to my website and place an order. For every $50 you order, you will get your name into a drawing for a pampering basket that I will give away on July 1. I will ship FOR FREE to anywhere in the US.

Mary Kay has all sorts of totally awesome products from fragrances (my personal favorites are the Dance to Life and Thinking of You) and body care (I love the body wash and shave) to three different lines of skin care (Botanicals, Timewise, and Timewise Repair). There are also mascaras, color products, lipsticks, etc. I'd link the catalog, but for some reason the link's not working.

The products are 100% guaranteed, and I promise that I will not sell your personal information. All credit/debit card purchases are processed through a secure server. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

So my friends, I am really hoping that I can count on you to help me reach my biggest goal EVER!!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Widow of Gettysburg - A Review

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The place where, for three days, one of the most know battles of the Civil War was fought. Union widow Liberty Hollowaway is unprepared to have her farm taken over as a Confederate field hospital and that she's expected to nurse the wounded men, some of whom may have been responsible for her husband's death. Former slave, Bella Jamison, works as a hired hand for Liberty as well as other women of Gettysburg. When one wounded solider unknowingly reveals a connection to a Southern plantation owner, Liberty longs for answers at the same time that Bella wants to run from the past. The bravery and the courage of the women will help them put the past behind them and move forward to an uncertain future.

I have long been a Civil War fan. I know of Gettysburg, of course, but I didn't know about what the people of the town actually went through. This is the first book I've read by Jocelyn Green and it won't be my last. Rich with historical detail, the book explores how the people - the women especially - banded together in the aftermath of one of the most horrific battles of the Civil War and their lives were forever changed.

There is so much to this book. At first, the varying points of view were hard to follow, but as the book went on, I was lost in the history of the story. The story is actually pulled from true accounts of the diaries and journals of women who lived in Gettysburg in 1863. There was one point I wanted to hit a Confederate doctor over the head for refusing to aid a wounded Union solider found on Liberty's farm when the doctor himself had all but forced Liberty, a Union widow, to assist him in treating Confederate patients. Most books I've read on the Civil War have been set in the South (Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, etc) and show the devastation to the people of the South. It was refreshing to read a book set in the North for once. This was not a light-hearted read. There are very strong emotions in the book. In fact, once I finished it, I found a couple of books that I'd read in the past to reread that were light-hearted. Yet, I applaud the courage these women showed. True, they didn't have much choice. But they stayed and ministered to and cared for the wounded - Union or Confederate - without seeing the uniform. To these women, the hurting were just men. Men who were fighting for what they believed in whether they were from the North or from the South.

I received the Kindle version of the book for free from Moody Publishers via NetGalley for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommend to fans of the Civil War, Laura Frantz, Sarah Sundin, Francine River's historical fiction, Gone With the Wind

Rating - 4.5 stars, which will be 4 stars on Amazon.

My signature is still under construction as I work on tweaking it. Please bear with me as it gets tweaked. I'm also writing my reviews off of a different computer and can't make the changes that have been suggested to my signature at this time.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Wings of Glass - A Review

Penny runs away and elopes at the age of 17. She had no clue that her husband wouldn't end up being Prince Charming. After years of abuse, her spirit is broken. When an accident at work leaves her husband blind, Penny is finally allowed to work. She takes a job cleaning houses and soon makes friends. Everything is going great. She's got friends, she's going to have a baby, and her husband is being sweet. But is this an illusion or the real thing? What'll happen if her husband's sight returns? Will Penny be able to stand up for herself and her baby or will she continue to be a victim?

I had no idea when I started reading this what it would be about. This is the first book I've read by Gina Holmes, and it won't be my last. The style of writing is different than anything I'd read before. It's written as a letter to Penny's baby. Penny is an abused and battered wife. The emotions she feels (denial, anger, acceptance) actually have the reader wanting to help Penny find a way out. I was very annoyed with the pastor that Penny went to for counceling as he just gave her platitudes and didn't try to help her.

Things I never knew about abuse - there is a cycle to it. The victim feels that it's her lot in life. The abuser isolates the victim. And so much more. I am grateful to say that while I, personally, have never been in a situation like Penny's (and I pray I never will be!), I have known women who were victims. I've also known their children. If you are a victim of abuse, please seek help. At the end of the book, the author gives information on how to seek help. There's a hotline for National Abuse. I know for certain that most cities have at least one battered women's shelters.

I read this book for pure pleasure as part of the Tyndale Summer Reading Program. My thoughts and opinions are my own. I purchased the Kindle version months ago.

Recommended to fans of Laura Frantz, Susan May Warren, Lisa Samson, Karen Kingsbury, Francine Rivers's contemporary novels

Rating - 5 stars

I didn't know when I created my signature with the butterfly on the flower that the butterfly wings would play such an important part of this book. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Stealing the Preacher Giveaway

It's time for my monthly giveaway!

I promised in the post where I wrote my review that I'd give away a copy of Karen Witemeyer's newest book, Stealing the Preacher. I loved loved loved this book.

Giveaway will end next Saturday, June 22nd. I can only ship US.

It's not a rafflecopter one this time.

How to enter (please make sure you have an email address listed):
  • 1 entry - leave a comment telling me what you think of my signature and if I need to tweak it anymore.
  • 1 entry - follow my blog and tell me in a comment (can be the same comment where you tell me what you think of my signature) how you follow it (email, Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs, etc)
  • 1 entry - follow me on Twitter (@DawnJanis) - be sure to send me a tweet telling me you're following!
  • 1 entry for each comment you leave on any book reviews for January - June of 2013. See the label book reviews to the left side bar or look on the right side bar by month. If you want to come back here and leave a comment telling me which ones you commented on, that'd be great too, but it's not necessary as I'll get an email notification when there is a new comment.

And that's it. That's all you have to do.

Friday, June 14, 2013

More Books Up for Grabs

Ok so I'm still cleaning. And I have more books to give out to you my wonderful blog readers. These are a first-come-first-served basis. I'll come back and edit as the books are taken. Keep in mind that some of these books have been on my shelves for ages and the pages may be yellowed a bit. I do try to keep my books in pretty good condition, but time does pay it's toll. So none of these are going to be brand new books. Yes, some are review copies that I am happy to pass along. And some my have my name in them.

Make sure to leave an email address (use this format - myname(at)hotmail(dot)com to prevent spammers).

Books (titles link to Amazon)

Wow! Thanks guys! Looks like you will be getting some good books. Don't worry. As I continue to purge books off my shelves, I'll list more. So if you missed out on these, there will be more. Not sure when though.

And to think that I also took a TON to Goodwill today too!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Books up for grabs

Hello happy blog readers! I am in the midst of a massive cleaning of my apartment and have a few books up for grabs. Not a normal giveaway where I pick a winner. If you want it, it's yours. Just leave a comment telling me what you want and a contact email where I can email you for your mailing address.

I can only ship US.

Books (titles are links to the Amazon book page)

I'm sure there will be others. But this is it for right now.

And don't forget that I'll be giving away Stealing the Preacher (normal giveaway) on Saturday, so watch for that fun giveaway.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Deadly Devotion - A Review

Research scientist, Kate Adams, is shocked when her mentor dies suddenly in what the police have ruled as a suicide. Kate knows that Daisy didn't kill herself and is determined that the police re-open the case. Former FBI agent Tom Parker is reluctant to reopen the case. Yet when he discovers Kate investigating on her own, he unofficially reopens the case. As Kate and Tom investigate, someone feels that Kate has stumbled too close to the truth and wants her silenced - forever. Can Tom protect Kate before it's too late?

I'm not sure if this is the first book of Sandra Orchard's that I've read or not. I may have read some of her Love Inspired Suspense novels a while back, but I just don't know. I do know I enjoyed this book. I had my own list of suspects and one second I'd be like "oh such and such did it." Then the next chapter, I'd change my mind. So I really had no clue who was the guilty party, which was a good thing. I loved Tom's Dad. I think he was my favorite character in the book. This is a fast paced story. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received the Kindle version of the book from Revell Books via NetGalley for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of romantic suspense, Love Inspiried suspense, Irene Hannon

Rating - 4 stars

Available June 2013 at local bookstores from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Connect with the author!
Facebook -
Website with bonus features-

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bedtime Stories and Prayers - A Review

Description (from Amazon) -
Bedtime routines often include a story and prayer. Now parents and kids can combine both with a special Little Blessings compilation book. The padded hardcover book includes the following sweet stories:
  • Bedtime Blessings, which reminds kids that God created nighttime too and they have nothing to fear
  • Thank You, God, which reminds kids to be thankful for everything
  • Blessings Everywhere, which helps readers remember their blessings
  • God Loves You, which carries the most powerful message of all to comfort and guide little ones through the night and through their lives.
Each page is filled with full color art of the endearing multicultural Little Blessings characters with illustrations by Care Bear creator Elena Kucharik.

My Thoughts -
Each story is short and written in a rhyme that will capture kids hearts. Because of the few words per page, each story felt a little long. Yet I enjoyed reading this sweet book. I can easily see young children being fascinated by the pictures and the stories. I've not tested it with children to see how they will respond to the book, but that will soon change when I bring the book to a friend to read with her daughters.

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

Recommended to parents of young children, teachers, child care workers, fans of the popular Little Blessings series

Rating - 4 stars

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Pilgrimage of Promise - A Review

Bo Miller has cancer and it's eating away at him. His wife, Mona Beth, refuses to accept that the man she's loved since high school is going to be taken away from her after only a few years together. He wants to make sure that she truly understands why he broke the promise they made to each other all those years ago. She feels that it's the past and it shouldn't be brought up. Yet a packet of letters may hold the answers she longs for and bring peace and healing to them both. Will she have the strength to take a journey through the past?

This is the fourth book in the Miller Creek novels and the first that I've read by Cathy Bryant. It's a combination of contemporary and historical fiction as Bo and Mona Beth's stories are told. Beautifully written, I was quickly engrossed into this tender, heart-breaking story. The events of the 1960's are handled in a way that help the reader to understand why the characters made the choices they did. Mona Beth's faith as a young woman was so strong. Even when life didn't work out the way that she'd planned it, she clung to her faith. Then as an adult watching her husband suffer so, her faith was more rocky. Yet Bo's faith at that point was the stronger of the two. I read this book in a couple of days, I was so engrossed into the story. Once I finished it, I did a search on my Kindle and discovered I had books one and two already on my Kindle, so I moved them to a folder of books currently reading. Even though this is the book 4, it's not necessary to read them in order. Sure you gain a bit more depth into the characters of Steve, Dani, Trish, Andy, Mona Beth, and Bo, but I was able to enjoy the book without reading the others.

I received the Smashwords Kindle version of this book for free from the author for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Karen Kingsbury's older novels, contemporary fiction, Melody Carlson, Susan May Warren

Rating - 5 stars

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ripples Along the Shore - A Review

War widow Caroline Milburn arrives back in St Charles, Missouri not really wanting to return to her sister's home. Yet for a widow, there's not much else for her. She enjoys her friends in the quilting circle, but her heart longs to start over. Former Confederate officer, Garrett Cowlishaw, has captured her attention. Especially since he's leading a wagon train west. Caroline longs to be a part of the train heading west, but it seems impossible for a woman alone. Will she get her fresh start?

This is the third novella in the Quilted Hearts Series and I was happy to be able to read it since I enjoyed the others. I have really mixed feelings about this one. It was good to get a conclusion to Maren and Emilie's stories from the first two novellas. What was off on this one was that it ended very abruptly. The obvious romance between Caroline and Garrett was almost an afterthought and the reader doesn't get to find out if Caroline and Garrett can overcome their differences to find love. Maybe that question will be answered in the book due out in August where Anna is the main character. I did enjoy connecting with Boney again from the Cripple Creek books. It's rather fun to see him as a young man.

For me, though, the biggest drawback on this book is the way that it ended so abruptly. I, mean, it felt like it was in the middle of the thought and the author decided she was done and had no more to say. Perhaps there could have been a few more paragraphs or pages that would resolve the ending and smooth things out a bit. I don't know. Of the three novellas, this is my least favorite, though it was the one I was most excited to read.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books program for the purpose of reviewing. I was not required to write a positive review, only to express my thoughts and opinions, which I have done. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Mona Hodgson, historical fiction, novellas

Rating - 3.5 stars, which will be 3 stars on Amazon.

Please rank my review

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bride for All Seasons - A Review

A mail-order bride catalog whose facilitator of the ads submitted has a tendency of editing the ads admits that his "edited" ads have helped four couples find happiness. But what happens when the couples find out about the "creative editing? Four talented authors combine to write these novellas.

And Then Came Spring - Margaret Brownley - Gambler's daughter, Mary Jo Parker, arrives in town to discover that not only has her fiance died, but that he left behind an 8 year old son that was never mentioned in his letters. Yet it's the boy's uncle that finds her hoping for more.

An Ever After Summer- Debra Clopton - Widower Matt McConnell was very specific in his ad for a mail order bride - Bible believers need not apply. All he wants is a practical woman to be a mama for his daughter. When Bible believer Ellie shows up, he's so desperate for help that he accepts her as is. But will love follow?

 Autumn's Angel - Robin Lee Hatcher - Aspiring opera singer Luvena Abbott from a privileged childhood arrives in rural Idaho with her nieces and nephew in tow to answer the ad that Opera House owner Clay Birch placed. He specifically stated that widows with children should not apply. What will Clay do when Luvena takes an add out of her own?

Winter Wedding Bells - Mary Connealy - David Laramie wants a woman who will care for his children when he dies. But no young woman with dreams of her own would even consider his ad. Then Megan shows up. Seems that David's edited letter made no mention of him dying.

My thoughts

I have read books by each of these authors before. So when I saw that they were writing a novella book together, I knew I had to add it to my to-read list.

I wasn't disappointed in the book. Each author brought her own style to the book, and each story had characters that were endearing. I laughed my way through one of the stories, and sighed happily after reading others. This is a very enjoyable read. I'd have to say that my favorite story was Winter Wedding Bells mainly because I just adored Megan. I think that this book would be great for a beach, a pool side, a family vacation, or anything else going on in the summer.

I received the Kindle edition of 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 Mary Connealy, Debra Clopton, Robin Lee Hatcher, Margaret Brownley, fun reads, historical romance, mail order brides.

Rating - 4 stars

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

That Certain Summer - A Review

When sisters Karen and Val are reunited in their hometown to care for their mother, they never expected to develop a friendship that they'd missed growing up. Karen is raising her teen daughter alone and Val's on summer break. Neither sister expected to meet a man who would rock her world. A troubled musician, Scott is angry. Yet he agrees to helping the church choir. He doesn't expect the choir to understand him or the God they serve to catch him. David and his young daughter move to town to start over. He didn't expect the daughter of one of his patients to get under his skin. It's a summer of new beginnings. A summer of forgiveness. A summer that will forever change the lives of all involved.

I've been a long-time fan of Irene Hannon's romantic suspense novels. I've also read a few of her Love Inspired contemporary romances. So I'm not entirely sure what I expected when I picked up That Certain Summer. I found that it took me a while to really get into the book. As in, I started it, but set it aside for several days parked on page 24. Yet I found myself with time to read the other day. So I picked it up - also knowing the review had to be posted this week helped!

The characters are deep. I'll admit that it took me a while to get into the book and really get a feel for the characters. Each of the four major characters have issues to deal with. Issues like anger, forgiveness, feeling inadequate, and being a strong example. The way that the characters each deal with the issues they face as well as their relationships with each other made me really fond of them. I wanted to find out Val's secret. I wanted Scott to find hope. I wanted a reconciliation between the sisters. I wanted the happy ending for each character. The book isn't a romance in the way that I've come to expect from a contemporary romance. But it is a romance. But it's so much more than that really. If I had to classify it as any, I'd say that it's a story of hope and forgiveness. A story of second chances. I recommend that fans of Irene's suspense books give this novel a try. They will be pleasantly surprised.

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

Recommended to fans of Irene Hannon, Katie Ganshert, Becky Wade, Rachel Hauck, contemporary fiction, and contemporary romance.

Rating - 4 stars

Available in June 2013 at your favorite bookstore from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.