Saturday, December 22, 2012

Review: SisterChicks in Gondolas

Sisterchicks® in Gondolas!
by Robin Jones Gunn 
A Christy Award Winner

Jenna and Sue have been sisters-in-law for nearly thirty years but inseparable friends for only the last five. When Jenna is invited to a week’s stay at a fifteenth century restored palace on a quiet canal in Venice, Sue is her travel companion of choice. The catch? They must cook for a group that is staying at the palace for a retreat. With about six words of Italian between them, a map, and a keen appetite for gelato, Jenna and Sue enter into the lilting gondola-paced Italian lifestyle. Together they discovering corners of Venice most tourists never see and over boiling pots of pasta they dare each other to dream again. These two Sisterchicks realize that sometimes when serving God, the most important thing to do is just show up…and watch for goodness and mercy to follow close behind.

My Review:
Totally fun book! I love it!
SisterChicks In Gondolas by Robin Jones Gunn took me totally by surprise, in a very good way.  I was hooked from page two of the Prologue. At times it could have been written about me. (mid-life crisis, memory loss) Sue tells Jenna to keep a notepad by her bed and one in her purse at all times, 
so she can write down things as she thinks or dreams about them so she won't forget.
I laughed out load so many times it put a smile on my face. Oh to be able to go on a real SisterChick retreat. 

I was blown away by how much this book also "talked" to my soul.
Here is an example from the book. All the new experiences, tastes, encounters and small challenges were displays of how God could care for Sue more than I ever could. My job wasn't to diagnose her or counsel her or try to teach her anything. We were students together. Equals in every way.  Sue and I were victims of grace.
I felt as if I'd just been shown my place---a clarification of my role in our friendship. I had places deep inside me that I needed to examine and that needed healing, too, but Sue was not trying to fix those in me. All I had to do was be here and receive the grace that fell on me.
Wow, that says it all. 
I give this book a 5+ out of 5. SisterChick In Gondolas is book full of truth that I won't forget. 

I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah and Blogging for Book for my honest opinion.

ROBIN JONES GUNN is the best-selling and award-winning author of more than seventy books, with over 4 million copies of her titles sold worldwide. Best known among them are the Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, and Christy and Todd: College Years teen series. A Christy Award winner and a two-time finalist for excellence in fiction, Robin has also been a Gold Medallion finalist. She and her husband have a grown son and daughter and live in Hawaii.

You can purchase it at these links:

Friday, December 21, 2012

Review: A Texan's Choice by Shelley Gray

A Texan's Choice
The Heart of A Hero #3
Shelley Gray
Abingdon Press

Pub Date   Oct 1 2012

Texas, 1874. Long ago, Scout Proffitt gave up on ever being a man of honor like his Civil War hero brother Clayton. But when Scout steps foot on the rundown remnants of the Circle C ranch, he wonders if maybe—just maybe—the Lord has something different intended for him. 

Rosemarie has lived most of her life doubting her worth and shouldering the blame for her brother’s death. But when a stranger rides onto her ranch, claiming he owns it, she suddenly is given a choice: either keep looking at the dark side of life . . . or dare to dream.

My Review:
I was hooked in the first few pages of A Texan's Choice by Shelley Gray and read it in one evening.
It is the third book in The Hear of A Hero Series and I will be going back to read the other two books in the series, A Texan's Promise (book #1 and A Texan's Honor (book #2 This one can easily stand on its own. I loved the strong character of Scout Proffitt and that he had a tender side when it came to Rosemarie. I enjoyed seeing the wonderful changes in Rose's life as the relationship between she and Scout progressed. A Texan's Choice is proof that God can change even those people that the world does not think can be changed.  This one has tough men who dream of a better life, and romance to smile about. I give this one a 5 out of 5.

I received this book from Abingdon Press and Net Galley for my honest opinion.

Shelley's bio from her site:
 I grew up in Houston, Texas, went to Colorado for college, and after living in Arizona, Dallas, and Denver, we moved to southern Ohio about ten years ago.
I’ve always thought of myself as a very hard worker, but not ‘great’ at anything. I’ve obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree…but I never was a gifted student. I took years of ballet and dance, but I never was anywhere near the star of any recital. I love to cook, but I’m certainly not close to being gourmet…and finally I love to write books, but I’ve certainly read far better authors.
Maybe you are a little bit like me. I’ve been married for almost twenty years and have raised two kids. I try to exercise but really should put on my tennis shoes a whole lot more. I’m not a great housekeeper, I hate to drive in the snow, and I don’t think I’ve ever won a Monopoly game. However, I am the best wife and mother I know how to be.
Shelley's website

You can purchase A Texan's Choice at the below links:

Review: Shattered by Dani Pettrey

(Alaskan Courage Book #2)
Dani Pettrey
Baker Publishing Group
Bethany House Publishers
Alaskan Courage Series – Book 2 – Coming February, 2013!
With All the Evidence Against Him, Only a Sister's Trust Can Save Him Now

When her prodigal brother Reef’s return to Yancey, Alaska, is shattered by his arrest for murder, Piper McKenna is determined to protect him. 

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. And he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth puts Landon's career in jeopardy.

When Piper launches her own investigation, Landon realizes he must protect her from herself--and whatever complications await as the two follow clues deep into Canada's rugged backcountry. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.

My review:
Go buy this series!! I have read Submerged (book #1) in the Alaskan Courage Series by Dani Pettrey
and was super excited to be able to review a copy of Shattered (book #2).  Both books are amazing and Dani Pettrey is a new author whom the Christian book market will be watching in the future. 
I loved how you meet the characters in the previous books and then they each have there own love story in the preceding books.  Submerged and Shattered have everything I could want in a book; a love story, mystery, murder and adventure. I'll be waiting for the next books in the series, as I am sure they will just just as much fun as the first two.
This book gets a 5+ of of 5.  Way to go,  Dani!! Keep them coming!

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers and Net Galley for my honest review.

About the author:
Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.
Get Shattered at the below sites:
Baker Book House    (ebook link)

You can buy the the first two books together here.
Get Submerged at these sites.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review: A Mother's Promise by Anna Schmidt

A Mother's Promise
(Book 3 of Women of Pinecraft)
Anna Schmidt
Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Barbour Books
Pub Date   Dec 1 2012

Recently widowed Rachel Kaufman is seeking a fresh start for herself and her son, Justin. Will a move to Florida, her new job as hospital chaplain, and Pinecraft’s Mennonite community be the balm to soothe her grieving soul? Teenager Justin is struggling to fit in. Will a newfound sense of power as a bully be his only recourse? Dr. Ben Booker lost his faith when his niece Sally became ill. Will his attraction to Rachel restore him mentally and spiritually? When gossip about Rachel jeopardizes her career and her second chance at love, how will God work to turn a potential disaster into paradise?

My Review:
I was wonderfully surprised by A Mother's Promise by Anna Schmidt, which is  Book 3 of Women of Pinecraft series. I loved this book so much I plan to read the two previous books in the series, which are A Stranger's Gift (book #1) and A Sister's Forgiveness (book #2)

Having been a young widow myself,  I found it easy to identify with the feelings and mourning stages that Rachel went through.  I admired her for deciding to make a new life for herself and her son, Justin in Florida. It also took courage for her to go to college before she married in the Mennonite community that did not encourage their women to do so. She was a women with an incredibly sweet spirit, that drew most people to her.  It was wonderful to see how that same sweet spirit worked on others in the book who did not want to give her a chance. She touched many lives and they were all changed for the better.

Dr. Ben Booker is a man that I instantly liked. And his niece Sally is an strong young girl of 13, to be inspired by. Thank you Anna for a very enjoyable book.  I will recommend this book to my friends and give it a 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book from Barbour Publishing and Net Galley for my honest review. 

Anna Schmidt's web site 

 About the author:
Anna Schmidt is the author of over twenty works of fiction. Among her many honors, Anna is the recipient of Romantic Times’ Reviewer’s Choice Award and a finalist for the RITA award for romantic fiction. She enjoys gardening and collecting seashells at her winter home in Florida.

Publishers website

You may purchase A Mother's Promise at:


Friday, December 14, 2012

Review: A Royal Marriage by Rachell McCalla

Another of the many books I read on my vacation.  I'll be posting a few reviews everyday.

A wedding awaits...
 Despite her protests, Princess Gisela, headstrong daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, must enter into a diplomatic marriage. Yet en route to her wedding, her ship is attacked and she’s gravely injured. Rescued by a renowned healer, King John of Lydia, Gisela recuperates at his Mediterranean castle. The handsome, widowed ruler soon has her reevaluating her beliefs on love and marriage…but only if King John could be her groom. Their love is forbidden, and duty requires him to deliver her to her betrothed. Unless they
can find a way to join their hearts—and kingdoms—with love, faith and honor.

My Review:
Loved, loved, loved this book!!
I started reading A Royal Marriage at bedtime and it kept me awake until I was finished. :) I just love it when a book draws me in and takes me to that magical time in history of Kings, Princesses, castles and knights in battle.  Princess Gisela is a beautiful heroine who intends to honor her fathers wishes for her even when her heart tells her to love King John of Lydia.  I found myself drawn to the
wounded heart of King John and his strong faith in God, as he tenderly cares for Princess Gisela.
I really loved A Royal Marriage and give it a 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book from Harlequin Love Inspired Historical and Net Gallery for my honest review.
I was not paid in any way to review this book.

Rachelle McCalla's Website

You can purchase A Royal Marriage at the links below:


Review: Courting Cate by Leslie Gould


 When This Couple Gets to Courting, Sparks Will Fly!
In Paradise, Pennsylvania, Cate Miller is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance. Her sweet and flirty sister, Betsy, on the other hand, seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!
But the sisters' wealthy father has made one hard-and-fast rule: older Cate must marry first, before younger Betsy can even start courting. Unfortunately, untamable Cate has driven away every suitor--until Pete Treger comes to town, that is.
Prodded by the men of the area, Pete turns his attention to winning Cate's hand. But is his interest true or is there a scheme at play?

My Review:
Courting Cate by  Leslie Gould is a very enjoyable book.  I loved the unique story line and the assortment of very believable characters.  Cate is a (fun, sweet, lively and lovable) character who refuses to give up on life, no matter what life experiences come her way.  She is constantly put to the test by Pete's mom and comes out a better person through it all.  It is fun to watch the romance develop between Cate and Pete despite all that there families puts them through. You will come away from Courting Cate with a smile on your face. Courting Cate is book #1 in The Courtships of Lancaster County series. I look forward to reading book #2 in the series which is due out in April 2013.  I give this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

I received Courting Cate from Bethany House Publishers & NetGalley for my honest review. I was not paid in any way for my review.

Where to Purchase:
Baker Retail
Barnes & Noble

About the author:
Leslie Gould is the coauthor, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 bestselling The Amish Midwife and The Amish Nanny. She is also the author of numerous novels, including Garden of Dreams, Beyond the Blue (winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice for Best Inspirational Novel, 2006), and Scrap Everything. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and has taught fiction writing at Multnomah University as an adjunct professor. She resides with her husband and four children in Portland, Oregon. Learn more at:
Leslie Gould's Website

Review: A Lady In the Making-Susan Page Davis


 Description: Lady In The Making (Prairie Dreams Series: Book 3)

When Millie Evans boards the stagecoach, she’s determined to leave her past—and her brother’s gang—behind to start a new life. Instead she finds herself face to face with David Stone, the man she and her brother once tried to swindle out of his fortune. Millie attempts to explain her regret—but David remains unconvinced even as he sees proof of Millie’s changed heart. Can Millie prove she’s changed in time for David to save his own life? Or will mistakes from the past prove too much to overcome? 

My Review:
The Prairie Dreams Series by Susan Page Davis was on my HAVE to read book list and when I received my review copy of Lady In The Making (Book #3), I started with the first two books in the series first. The first two books are: #1-The Lady's Maid and #2-Lady Anne's Quest.  The whole series
is fantastic and I read them all in three days.  Susan is now one of my favorite authors and I will be reading more of her books soon.

Lady In The Making is full of adventure, romance, mystery and a whole lot of fun. I loved Millie
and David's love story and how it showed the redeeming power of God.  You meet Millie in The Lady's Maid  as a character that is in need of a relationship with Jesus. It is so exciting to see her
character grow in faith in A Lady In The Making. Get ready for a fun-filled read and you will not be disappointed. I give this entire series a 5 out of 5 stars.

I received my review copy from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

You can purchase the book at the links below.


Author Website
Publisher Website

About the author:
 Susan Page Davis is the author of more than thirty published novels. She’s a Carol Award Winner and a two-time winner of the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. In 2011, Susan was named Favorite Author of the Year in the 18th Annual Heartsong Awards. A native of Maine, she and her husband, Jim, now live in western Kentucky.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Re: reading, reviewing, reading, reading

We are getting ready for my grand daughter, Sara's 16th birthday on December 8th. It is going to be a huge
party with the Alice In Wonderland theme. Sara is Alice of course. Her mom is the Red Queen, Grandad is the The Mad Hatter and her sisters are the Cheshire Cat and the Rabbit. I'm just me. lol

I have been spending time reading, reading and more reading. I have 4 book reviews to post, but have to get back to my computer to post them. Hard to write a review on an i-Pod. I have read some wonderful books
since being here.
Off to hang out with the girls. They just got in from school. Can't wait to see Grandad (my husband soon),
Bye for now.