Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A BRIDE FOR ALL SEASONS: THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE COLLECTION by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy

Title: A Bride for All Seasons: The Mail Order Bride Collection
Author: Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Robin Lee Hatcher, Mary Connealy
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 18, 2013)
Pages: 400

A BRIDE FOR ALL SEASONS: THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE COLLECTION is an anthology of four stories by different authors. I love how each story is connected by the Hitching Post Mail Order Bride, yet stands alone.


Having only read two other books by MARGARET BROWNLEY, I was excited to read AND THEN CAME SPRING. The story began with a strong beginning, drawing me right in, just as MS BROWNLY has done in previous books I’ve read by her.

MARY-JO PARKER crossed many miles to meet the man she was to marry; just to discover he was the subject of the town funeral. If it wasn’t bad enough that the man she was to marry passed away, she discovered someone had tampered with the letters they’d shared, deceiving both parties involved.

TOM GARRETT wasn’t sure what MS PARKER was up too, but he intended to find out. He not only took on the responsibility of his brothers kid when he passes away, he now had to figure out what to do with his mail order bride.


As a huge fan of DEBRA CLOPTON, I snatch up any book with her name on it. The fact that I had read and loved a couple of MARGARET BROWNLEY’S books, and I wanted to read a book by ROBIN LEE HATCHER and MARY CONNEALY, only added to my decision.

I admit I haven’t read many novellas, but what I’ve read, I’ve come to the conclusion that few can pull it off. If you’ve never attempted to write a short story, you can’t begin to understand the difficulties in producing a well written story in so few words. I have to say I was impressed with MS CLOPTON’S ability to do so.

AN EVER AFTER SUMMER, if I’m not mistaken, is MS CLOPTON’S first novella, as well as her first historical. MS CLOPTON delivered in both areas. It’s the best novella to date that I’ve read. Up until now, her stories have been contemporary. I wouldn’t mind seeing more historical from her in the future. As so typical of MS CLOPTON’S writing, AN EVER AFTER SUMMER captured me from the first to the last page. I can’t wait for her next story to be published.

The nerve of that man! ELLIE SMITH  had never considered herself a “Bible thumper”. Just because MR MCCONNELL was misinformed of her faith by someone who took it upon themselves to alter their letters, didn’t mean she tried to hide her faith from him.
MATTHEW MCCONNELL took one look at the woman holding a Bible in her hand and realized he’d been misinformed. As far as he’s concerned, she can turn her pretty self around and head back where she came from. 


I was pleasantly surprised by WINTER WEDDING BELLS by ROBIN LEE HATCHER. It's well writing, with a wonderful plot. That novellas are harder to write then novels, leaves me to believe I’ll be in for a real treat in reading one of MS HATCHER’S full length novels.
I’ve been looking forward to reading one of MS HATCHER’S books for some time. I hadn’t expected to be introduced to her writing through a novella in a collection of stories that included one of my favorite authors, DEBRA CLOPTON. MS HATCHER now has a new fan.

LUVENA ABBOTT hadn’t traveled for days just to turn back around. No, just because CLAY BIRCH wasn’t expecting her arrival to included children, didn’t mean she had the means to head back where she’d just come from.

MISS ABBOTT was every bit as pretty as her picture, but CLAY had made it perfectly clear he wanted no part of a widow with children.  He needed someone strong and courageous. One that could handle the land. The small mining town he called home, wasn’t suited for kids.


Some years ago I read a book by a popular author with a heroin that was from Ireland. Throughout the entire book, the character spoke with a heavy Irish dialect. To date it’s the most exhausting fiction I’ve read. What I appreciated about MARY CONNEALY’S, WINTER WEDDING BELLS, is the mention of the heroines Irish decent, giving the readers just a touch of the dialect. The right amount to let the reader know she has an accent, without bogging down the story.

DAVID LARAMIE has been told he doesn’t have long to live. He placed an ad for a wife who is strong enough to take care of his farm, as well as his children.

MEGAN MCBRIDE knew from MR LARAMIE’S letters that he was sick, but she never imagined he didn’t have long to live, as David professes. Megan plans to not only prove to David that she will be a good mother to his children, but that he’ll be around for many years to come.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Title: Stealing the Preacher
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; 1 edition (June 1, 2013)
Pages: 352

UGH! Why did it have to end?
After reading SHORT-STAW BRIDE by KAREN WITEMEYER, I could hardly wait for the next in the series about another Archer brother in, STEALING THE PREACHER.  Having read every book MS WITEMEYER has written, I had no doubt I was going to love the next. She has been nothing short of consistent in delivering a masterpiece.
Crockett Archer is on his way to Texas to interview for a position at a church. One that he has his heart set on. There is no way he could have imagined what God has in store for him.
Joanna Robbins is mortified by her father’s actions. What was he thinking, stealing a Preacher right from a train? Even if he is easy on the eyes and an answer to her prayers.
With the main character a Preacher, the reference to faith was done brilliantly. It was natural, not forced or preachy. The spiritual growth throughout was believable and exciting.
MS WITEMEYER is high on my list of favorite authors. Every word is handled with perfection, with amazing lines that pack a punch, superb writing, a unique storyline, and well thought-out characters that come to life.
STEALING THE PREACHER includes drama, action, humor, romance, family relationships, and faith all wrapped into one amazing story. One that will have you captivated from the first to the last word.
So captivating, I read half of STEALING THE PREACHER while at an amusement park. Though there was much activity around me, I was lost in the story. Taken away to another place and time. The 1800’s to be exact.
MS WITEMEYER has a way of making you fall in love with both the hero and the heroine. Even the secondary characters are distinct, with memorable personalities. STEALING THE PREACHER is not your typical romance. Yeah, of course they get-together, but the path that leads them there and when, is different from your typical romance.
I cannot wait to read about the next Archer brother.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Title: Between A Rock And A Grace Place
Author: Carol Kent
Publisher: Zondervan (September 16, 2010)
Pages: 224

In reading STORIES OF FAITH AND COURAGE FROM PRISON by CONNIE CAMERON and JEFF PECK, I was lead to MS KENT’S book, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A GRACE PLACE. I hadn’t expected to get as much from it as I did. Not only are you given a glimpse into the life of the Kent’s, but stories from others that have gone through trials in their lives.

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A GRACE PLACE by CAROL KENT is not just for those with a loved one that’s incarcerated. It’s for those that volunteer in the ministry, work in the system, or have experienced some really tough times in their lives.


Chapter 1: Grace in the Hardest of Places, Surprised by Faith

Chapter 2: Angels in Disguise, Surprised by Mercy

Chapter 3: Longing for a Better Life, Surprised by Contentment

Chapter 4: The Secret Power of Gratitude, Surprised by Thanksgiving
Chapter 5: Unexpected Kindness, Surprised by Favor

Chapter 6: Why Do You Weep? Surprised by Joy

Chapter 7: A Different Kind of Liberty, Surprised by Freedom

Chapter 8: Dwelling in the Grace Place, Surprised by Adventure

Epilogue: The Ultimate Surprise

I included the contents because it really speaks of what’s between the pages. Trust, compassion, faith, hope, joy, and love.

We all go through trials and tribulations at one time or another in our lives. But what separates us is how we handle them, along with what we take away from it. With God’s love and amazing grace, we can get through anything He places in our path.

Monday, July 1, 2013


Title: The Red Rider
Author: Randall Allen Dunn
Publisher: Character Entertainment (June 29, 2013)
Pages: 340 

When I began to read THE RED RIDER by RANDALL ALLEN DUNN, I had no idea the ride I was embarking upon. Typically a romance reader of books involving a guy with a cowboy hat, I had my doubts. To my surprise, MR DUNN captured my attention, taking me on an amazing adventure.

“Red”/Helena Basque, is not your typical female. Scarred for life from an early age, the nearby villagers did little to make her feel loved, much less accepted, with the exception of one person. The blacksmith’s son, Pierre Leone. He seemed to be the only one who can look past the ugly scars that marred her face. A true friend. But a friend is all he could remain, for Helena knew that it would be nothing less than unfair to allow their friendship to grow into more than what it was.

Helena is soon tossed into a situation that she has no choice but to step-up and take control. Even if that means risking her own life. The Lycanthru’s are determined to take over the province, and they aren’t about to lose to a girl who dresses like a boy, with the audacity to hunt wolves on her own.  

THE RED RIDER is packed full of adventure and drama, with a hint of faith, and a subtle amount of romance. A wonderful combination that is sure to please readers of many genres. As an aspiring writer, I’m in awe of the amazing lines MR DUNN, delivers.

I’m always fascinated when I read a debut novel that captivates me from start to finish. Where a novel is so well written, that I’m in awe of the authors writing, as well as their ability to tell an amazing story. And that’s exactly what I experienced while reading THE RED RIDER by RANDALL ALLEN DUNN.

There are stories with great writing styles. Those that have amazing plots. Those that sustain your attention with every word. Ones that exceed your expectations of great lines, with a satisfying ending. MR DUNN accomplished all of these aspects.

I can only hope that the right person will come across THE RED RIDER, and turn it into a movie that is sure to be a box-office hit.

I look forward to reading other novels by MR DUNN’S in the future.