Monday, December 31, 2012

THE WINTER PEARL by Molly Noble Bull

A beautiful story of forgiveness and of a life transformed that you thought could never be changed.  A story of hope and love.  The main character, Honor McCall, had a hard life.  But her determination and her seeking for answers resulted in a life she never would have imagined and a love she only dreamed of.

The year is 1888 in Colorado and Honor McCall finds herself escaping her drunken uncle who wants to marry her and abuse her more.  She escapes on a stagecoach and finds herself stuck in a small town called Hearten, recovering from a stagecoach robbery where she was hurt.  The local pastor in town, Jethro Peters, and his Mother who runs a boardinghouse in town takes her in and helps her get well and grow in her understanding of the things of God.  While all this is going on Lucas, her uncle, sets out to find her.  It is a story of Honor and how she learns to care for the people who are helping her and grow in her understanding of the Bible.  But it is also a story of Lucas and how he sinks so low in his life and how someone comes along and shows him the love and understanding he truly needs.

I found myself very interested in these people.  I would not have thought the story line would take the turn it did, but I always enjoy a little surprise when I am reading.  Forgiveness is not an easy task, especially when someone has been treated badly, but the author did a very good job of dealing with the transformation one experiences when they can finally let go of their anger.  I look forward to reading more stories by this author.

Friday, December 28, 2012

FINAL CHANCE by Christina M. Schneider

I love it when a book catches your attention with the very beginning pages and holds it all the way through.  This was such a tender love story about two people who both got a second chance at love and marriage.  A  story that shows how God can take something tragic and turn it into something that turns out to be very good.

Andrew Carson has been divorced from his wife Hayley for 7 years.  When Hayley is in a bad car accident with two of the five children and her life is threatened, Andrew comes to the hospital, and prays for her life to be spared.  He realizes how much he still loves his wife.  When Hayley pulls through, Andrew is her caretaker while she heals, along with taking care of the family (and earning their trust).  Andrew knows he wasn't there for them before, but he is getting a final chance to be a different husband and father.  It was so refreshing to see how much Andrew cared and how he had changed.  And also encouraging to see the forgiveness and love that Hayley had for her husband.  This story is a keeper!  It is my first time reading anything by this author, and I look forward to hopefully reading more by her in the future.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WINTER CHILL by Susette Williams

Sasha Steinfeld is a student in college who is trying to overcome her past and move on with her future.  She needs help though with trusting again, especially men, and can't get past her fear of them.  But God leads in mysterious ways sometimes.  Sasha finds herself driving back from a hike in a blinding snowstorm, she crashes her car and has to find shelter somewhere.  So she finds a cabin, no one is home and so she starts climbing in a window above the kitchen sink.  She ends up getting stuck in the window.  When Forrest Tucker comes home and sees an intruder stuck in his window he gives her some help and pushes her inside.  He then must convince her to trust him, which does not come easy for Sasha.  This is just the beginning of a relationship that grows into something much more.

I really liked the way this story started and had to laugh at the way these two people finally meet.  I also enjoyed Forrest's idea of helping Sasha out of a bad situation.  They were a fun and delightful couple to get to know.  This is book two in the Seasons of the Heart series.  It could easily be read by itself, but it does mention characters from book one and lets you know a little bit more about what is going on with them.  If you are looking for an entertaining and enjoyable quick read, then I highly recommend "Winter Chill".

Saturday, December 22, 2012

FALLING IN LOVE by Susette WIlliams

Sometimes you just want to sit back and read a nice relaxing, romantic story that doesn't take to long to read, but leaves you feeling complete and satisfied.  This story did that for me.  It is a book about falling in love, just like the title says.

Katie is studying to be a vet and finds herself going to school, and helping out  Wade McAlester with his veterinarian practice.  Wade has been helping Katie study on the side and they have become good friends; at least that is the way Katie has seen their relationship.  Wade on the other hand has fallen in love, but doesn't want to rush Katie into anything while she is going to school and working for him.  But when Katie starts trying to set him up with dates he gets a little frustrated and finds its time to let Katie know how right they are for one another, without scaring her off.  

It is fun to read and has a very cute romantic ending.  It is book one in  the "Seasons of the Heart" series and I am looking forward to starting book two, Winter Chill next!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


A good friend of mine told me that this story would make a great Hallmark movie and as I was reading it I could picture each scene in the movie. It was an endearing story of two people searching for folks from the past to give them a Christmas card that strangely got lost until years later. 

Samantha Sowerman has just moved into an old house being made into apartments.  She lives in the present (2012) but in her mail receives a Christmas card dated from December, 1944.  It was sent to a Bette Larsen from a soldier in the war by the name of Mac Hydberg.  The note on the card leads Samantha on a quest to see if the sender of the card or the lady it was being sent to can be found so she can deliver it to them.  She seeks the help of Tyler Lars, from Veteran Affairs office, who has had to take a "desk job" since being injured in Iraq from a land mine.  Tyler as first doesn't want anything to do with helping Samantha, but her persistance pays off and they begin the search.  As they search, they also begin to get to know one another and so the romance begins.

This book had a nice story line to it and I enjoyed reading of the quest to find these two older folks.  Samantha and Tyler seemed like real people who had a heart for others, although Tyler liked to keep his emotions from showing by seeming harsh and uncaring.  It was a nice story to read around Christmas, and maybe someday I will see it as a Hallmarkc movie!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

RACHEL by Kathleen Sherwood

This story is a sequel to the book McKenna and just as good if not better than the first book.  I suppose you could read it as a stand alone, but you will miss out on so much if you don't read these two stories in the order they were written.  Both are so good and so worth it!

The Parkers' oldest daughter, Rachel, is now grown up and thinking her life is pretty perfect, as she is teaching and looking foward to someday being married to her childhood friend, Mark O'Malley, who has just finished his schooling to become a doctor.  But as time goes by and Mark's brother Matthew spends more and more time around Rachel, she begins to realize that maybe she is thinking about marrying the wrong O'Malley brother.  Matthew has loved Rachel from afar for a long time and seeing her and his brother think about marriage is tearing him up inside. 

This book not only told the story of Rachel, Mark and Matthew, but also kept the story of McKenna and her husband and their past alive and closed some chapters on their lives.  It had alot of little closures to folks you have met in the first book.  I loved the way this author writes and how she incorporates the strong Christian beliefs these folks had and how their faith and trust in their Lord got them through some diffcult situations and times.  Once I started reading I had a hard time putting this book done until I was finished.  A warm, romantic story with alot going on that will keep you interested and enjoying yourself to the very end.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

McKENNA by Kathleen Sherwood

A story that truly shows you how God can and will work all things out for good, to those who love Him are and called according to His purpose.    I loved McKenna's Mom's advice as she was dying, "We must remember that He knows best and only wants what is best for us.  He can see the whole picture of our lives, McKenna, while we can only see what is happening today."  McKenna had to cling to that as she faced some difficult times after her Mom died and she went to live with her Uncle and Aunt.  Life was not easy for McKenna, but she learned, "one day at a time, very slowly at first, the healing begins and then you are actually able to thank God for allowing the ones you lost to have a part of your life.  Some days are harder than other though."
McKenna never lost faith though and finally she finds life looking up, when a man by the name of Tucker comes into her life and rescues her from a bad situation.  In order to take her with him on a wagon train west to help take care of his little girl, Tucker must marry McKenna, though they both go into marraige realizing they will just be friends.  But McKenna is someone who is hard not to fall in love with, and Tucker is someone McKenna can easily trust to protect and take care of her; so your heart is warmed as you watch the marriage become real and lasting.  As you watch them build and grow a home your heart is blessed and you find yourself very satisfied as you close the last pages of the book.
This story was filled with Godly insight and wisdom.   It showed characters who experience sorrow and joy and love and a continued "trusting in the Lord with all their heart, not leaning upon their own understanding, but in all their ways acknowledging Him and letting Him direct their paths.   Tucker and McKenna's marriage was a joy to read about and I look forward to reading more about their oldest child, Rachel, in the sequel to McKenna.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

FINDING HOME by Marianne Evans

What a great story!  I loved all of the characters and could hear the British accent in Peter and Vanessa's speech as I read.  The ending was so good it just made me want to read the book all over again.  I don't give out alot of 5 star reviews, but this one was a winner.

Alexa Gordon has had a disappointing break-up and now she just wants some joy and fulfillment and happiness in her life, not heartache and self-doubt.  So when she hears from her good friends Vanessa Colby and brother Peter in England (Vanessa was her dorm mate when she studied abroad 3 years ago) she decides to fly back to England for a visit.  When Alexa was in England before, Peter was just a guy that was fun to hang out with, but this time around they both start to realize what they have is more than just friendship.  But Alexa lives in America and Peter in England so Alexa doesn't see how this new relationship could possibly work.  But as the Bible verse at the beginning of this book says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will direct your paths".

What a fun romantic story.  I loved Peter's endearing "Lexie-love" nickname for Alexa.  He was quite the guy and made quite an interesting ending to this story.  I loved everything about the story and it taking place around Christmas made it a perfect to read, with Christmas only days away!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

SAVANNA'S GIFT by Camille Eide

This was a quick read that could take you a nice long evening to read and enjoy.  It is all about getting that second chance at a love you let slip through your fingers the first time around.
Savanna finds herself arriving at a Oregon ski lodge she left 4 years ago when she  walked away from Luke Nelson, who had proposed to her.  When she discovers that Luke now runs the ski lodge, and that she is "snowed in" she realizes that her delay there was a "God-thing.  A gift.  A chance to regain what she'd lost."  She just has to convince Luke that she was wrong and to give her a second chance.  You will be cheering Savanna on and Luke as they both try to come to terms with what their hearts are telling them.  A magical few days at a gorgeous ski lodge all decked out for Christmas.  What better way to spend an evening in December than to enjoy "Savanna's Gift".
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 167 KB
Publisher: Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing) (November 29, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


This story hit the mark as a sweet and enjoyable romantic Christmas story.  I liked how the "Polar Bear Plunge" is what brought the two characters together.  It was one of those books you just need to curl up on the couch and begin reading until you reach the end.  Have a blanket beside you, because the water is cold and there is snow and ice on the ground and you will want to "bundle up"!
Aleni is a well loved nurse who has a young son Ty, a great mother-in-law, Megan and a heart that can't get over her husband being killed in Afghanistan.  Brice is a handsome, well known new author who just wrote a book about his tour of duty and escape in Iraq.  When he ends up in the emergency room and Aleni is his nurse things just keep happening to keep them together.  I loved how everything worked together, from Brice and his dogs, to Aleni returning a Christmas tree.  It was fun, fast paced and truly a story I will read again.  It was good, even to the last line by Ty in the book.  Christmas is almost here, so I encourage you, if you want to to be uplifted, have fun and truly enjoy a romantic story, get the book and begin to read.
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 193 KB
Publisher: Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing) (November 29, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services


This is a story that hit home a little with me.  A must read for those women who find themselves way too busy over the Christmas Season.  A story about Rose, a wife and mother who was "so busy doing Christmas, there wasn't time to experience Christmas".  We have probably all been there, but after reading this, I realize I need to just stop doing and start just being with the one(s) I love, and that most definately includes time with my Lord.

Rose found herself volunteering at her church for so many things, that she was neglecting her own family.  They were good "things" to do, but somewhere she lost sight of what is most important.  It would take a minor accident to slow Rose down and let her see she doesn't have to "do it all".  As the saying goes, "Thanks, I needed that".

Make sure you read the article, "Jesus didn't hurry" by Karen Hancock, at the end of the book.  It also was very thought provoking and good.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

FINDING CHRISTMAS by Gail Gaymer Martin

This was a story that had mystery, suspense, danger and loss; but it also had love, romance, forgiveness and hope.  It took you through alot of different emotions and it all takes place around Christmas.
Joanna Fuller was told 3 years ago that her daughter (and her husband) were killed when their car plunged into a lake.  Her husband's body was found in the car but the daughter, Mandy, was never found.  Now 3 years later Joanna starts to have a reawakening of doubts and feels as if her daughter needs her and could still be alive.  Her husband's good friend Ben, who left town shortly after the accident has returned and Joanna feels he is the only one who will listen to her.  Ben tries to help Joanna without letting his feelings for her get in the way.  Then strange phone calls start happening and emails and Ben starts to believe Joanna, that maybe Mandy is still alive.  The unraveling of this mystery leaves you heartbroken for the little girl, but there is hope and rejoicing at the end.
I thought the relationship between Ben and Joanna was very real and precious. They both found strength to help in time of need in their relationship with the Lord.   I also thought the author did a great job of mending the relationship between Joanna and her Mom.   There was alot of tragedy and evil portrayed in the story, so it isn't a "holly, jolly" Christmas story, but it does have a happy ever after ending!  It kept me captivated until the very end!

Monday, December 10, 2012


This is the month of December (when I generally just read "Christmas" stories), and this is another nice story that takes place around the Christmas season.  Dr. Grant Hardesty finds himself in Button Gap for the month of December working at a clinic as a volunteer doctor.  He is not doing this clinic work because of his love of people, but so that it will look good on his resume.  Maggie Davis is the nurser at the clinic and doesn't care for this new doctor very much and would really like to see him leave.  Maggie has a secret she (and the whole town) is keeping and she doesn't trust the doctor to go along with this secret.  But God works in mysterious ways and He will work it all out for good this Christmas in Button Gap.
This was a nice story to read around the holidays.  It brings a family together for Christmas which always makes you feel good.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


An endearing Christmas romance that would be a perfect "Hallmark" movie.  Dr. Eric Carlson is, from experience, thinking marriage and medicine just don't mix.  But when he meets Kate and her little girl Sarah, he has a hard time remembering that motto.  Kate has a hard time letting go of her husband who has died several years ago.  But being around Eric is slowly opening up her heart to love again.
These two people both started out as friends and it was very enjoyable watching their friendship quickly grow into love.  I appreciated Dr. Eric's firm commitment to his failed marriage, his passion for the work he loves and his care for Kate and her daughter.  It was just a feel good story all around.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

PRAIRIE CHRISTMAS Novella by Catherine Palmer, Elizabeth White & Peggy Stoks

This was 3 short stories by three different authors and I enjoyed them all.  The first story, "The Christmas Bride" is part of a series called "A Town Called Hope".  Rolf Rustemeyer anxiously awaits the arrival of his Christmas bride from Germany.  But while he waits he finds more and more to like about his special friend, Lucy, who lives in Hope and runs a bakery.  When Rolf sets out to help Lucy with a difficult situation in her life, they both discover more than friendship.

In "Reforming Seneca Jones"  you will find Annie Fitzgerald who has just arrived in town and finds her brother not there to greet her and help her get settled.  What she does find though is Seneca Jones, a Pony Express rider who is full of life and notorious for breaking ladies hearts.  Seneca never counted on falling in love.

The last story was a very sweet love story about two people that never expected to fall in love so late in life.  Betsy Wilcox is 68 years old and never married.  Her new neighbor is 70 year old Elmore Determann, who has a love of life and for his Lord.  It will take alot for Elmore to win Betsy's heart.  I really enjoyed watching these two folks interact.  Betsy was a fiesty one, but she was no match for Elmore and his "joy of the Lord".

All three stories were vastly different from each other but all three had good lessons to learn and fun romances to read about.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


This was a story that caught me be surprise near the end (which is usually a good thing).  It is a story of a couple who fall into the category of "opposites attract" because Noella is a journalism professor and a kind hearted, everybody-loves-her type person, and Tom is a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and a bah-humbug type of guy.  But they meet and fall in love and then have a devastating break-up because of Christmas (I am not going to ruin the surprise of what that involved).  Anyways the rest of the story takes you on a journey that took me by surprise.  It is a very well done story and fun to read around Christmas, but for those who know the true meaning of Christmas, there is nothing mentioned about a babe born in a manger or any other spiritual references.  I read it, enjoyed it, thought it was a cute story, but as fiction goes, realize there is no truth behind this story.  And with that, I will leave you to discover the "mystery" behind this review.