Posts Tagged ‘Book Reviews’

it happened at the fair

I freely admit I’m a big fan of Deeanne Gist. I have yet to read anything she’s written that wasn’t entertaining, engaging and fun.

It Happened at the Fair did not disappoint.

Set at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, the story highlights Cullen McNamara and his efforts to line up buyers for his invention at the event. Cullen is losing his hearing and the noise in the Machinery Hall, where his booth is located, prevents him from doing business. Taking the advice of a friend, he turns to a teacher of the deaf, begging her to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.

Della Wentworth is reluctant to spend her free time at the fair tutoring a grown man, one who is decidedly handsome and piques her interest.

The give and take between these two is fun and fast-paced. What made this book so interesting, though, was the way the author weaved in fascinating details about the Chicago World’s Fair through the story. You can almost see, feel, taste and smell what the characters experienced.

On top of that, Gist sprinkled photos and drawings from the fair throughout the book.

If you love history, romance and an entertaining read, this book has all three!


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what I didn't say

What I Didn’t Say by Keary Taylor is a great book for anyone who enjoys YA fiction.

Jake Hayes is a senior who thinks he’s got the world by a string. The only thing that could make life even better would be working up the courage to tell Samantha Shay how he feels about her.

Getting drunk after a football game with two best friends, they decide to go see Samantha and end up in a terrible accident that leaves Jake unable to talk ever again.

His biggest regret is not telling Samantha how he feels when he had the chance.

Samantha has plenty of her own problems as she tries to hide a terrible secret, maintain her good grades and keep her head above the swirling waters of her senior year.

The characters in this book, although plagued at times by their bad choices, will work their way into your hearts and linger in your thoughts long after you’ve read the last word.

This is a book I would encourage all teens to read. It gives a great perspective from a teen point of view while teaching some valuable life lessons.

At a great price for the Kindle edition, there’s no reason not to give this book a chance.


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Kristen Heitzmann wrote a wonderful series of three books under the Diamond of the Rockies title.

The first book is The Rose Legacy, followed by Sweet Boundless and then The Tender Vine.

I’ve read the books several times, and love them more each time I read them again.

The books follow the story of Carina Maria DiGratia, a spoiled Italian girl from Sonoma, California, who escapes to the rough mining town of Crystal, Colorado, driven by both hope and vengeance.  Before she even reaches the town, she has an unfortunate encounter with Quillan Shepherd, a freighter who gets on her bad side.

Carina soon learns she doesn’t know who to trust, and finds herself leaning on Quillan for help.

In the second book, she is Quillan’s bride, but the two of them can’t seem to figure out how to get along and live together, so he spends months away with his freighting business until tragedy strikes and he’s forced to make some choices.

The third book has them traveling to Sonoma because Carina wants to be reunited with her family. She and Quillan both learn to lean on their faith through the experiences they endure.

These are three wonderful books with characters that seem so real you want to laugh and cry right along with them. They also are a great reminder of how God can work in the hearts of those who are willing.

If you love inspirational historic fiction, be sure to check these books out.

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cowboy with a cause

I really enjoyed this story by Carla Cassidy.

Cowboy with a Cause wasn’t what I expected, which is probably one of the reasons I liked it.

Adam Benson is a cowboy looking for a fresh start in a small Oklahoma town. Deciding to leave his family ranch in his brother’s capable hands, he looks for a place to live in town temporarily and finds himself renting a room from former dancer Melanie Brooks.

Melanie had to give up her Broadway career due to health issues that now have her tied to a wheelchair.

The part that I liked was that Adam didn’t see a woman in a wheelchair who needed his pity, he saw a beautiful woman who happened to be in a wheelchair who needed his friendship and earned his respect.

Throw in a little suspense along with the romance, and the story keeps you engaged right to the end.

I would give this a PG-13 rating, for a few steamy encounters between Melanie and Adam.

Overall, a good book and a quick read.

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Book reviews – every author’s worst nightmare and dream come true.

We all need them.

We crave the good ones.

Are devastated by the bad dones.

Captain Cavedweller has, more than once, suggested I never again read one since the bad ones tend to make me not so happy.

Unfortunately, I seem to be completely incapable of taking his sound advice, so I continue to read the reviews.

A few weeks ago, I received two reviews that were awful. Absolutely horrid.

Want to know the best part?

They weren’t even for my books!

The first one referred to characters I have no clue who are and the second offered her opinion on the details that went on and on except the details weren’t in my book.


So aside from making me shake my head, roll my eyes and sigh, I did find some small measure of entertainment in them.

If you’re going to lambast someone’s book, could you at least get the right one?

On the flip side of that coin, the other day I had several new reviews and the comments in them made my heart syrupy and my eyes watery and an overwhelming sense of gratitude fill me to overflowing.

It is humbling to read some of the things people write and their words –  their kindness – encourages me to keep going, to keep trying, to keep growing as a writer.

My heartfelt thanks today to you all for your support, your gentle words, your willingness to read my ramblings.

Thank you.

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nora roberts born in fire

My beloved Aunt Robbie is a huge Nora Roberts fan.

The last time I had the opportunity to visit her, she gave me three books and told me they were the first Nora Roberts books she read, the ones that started her obsession with books written by the prolific queen of romance.

I finally got around to reading them the other day, and I can see why Aunt Robbie quickly got hooked on Roberts’ books.

This triology tells the story of three sisters. Here’s the description from Amazon:

Born in Fire: Maggie Concannon is a glassmaker whose exquisite works are more than mere objects of beauty: they are reflections of her own true nature. When gallery owner Rogan Sweeney comes to Maggie’s isolated studio, her heart is enflamed by their fierce attraction – and her scarred past is slowly healed by a gentle and forgiving love. Born in Ice: When the harsh storms of winter descend upon western Ireland, the locals stay indoors – and visitors stay away. Brianna Concannon’s bed-and-breakfast becomes a cold and empty place. This year, though, she’s expecting an unusual guest – mystery writer Grayson Thane – from America. A restless wanderer with a dark past, he plans to spend the cold winter alone. Yet sometimes fate has a plan of its own. Born in Shame: Shannon Bodine is a talented graphic artist whose life revolves around her job at a prestigious New York advertising agency. Her world is turned upside down when she learns the identity of her real father: Thomas Concannon. Respecting her late mother’s wish, Shannon travels to County Clare. There, her loneliness and shame melt away in the embrace of family. And amid the lush Irish landscape, she discovers the possibility of a love that is meant to be.

Once I started the first book, I couldn’t stop reading. I had to finish all three – they were that good.

I will caution, there are some very steamy scenes as well as a few phrases of questionable language.

Thanks, Aunt Robbie, for sharing these with me!



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DoubleorNothing 500x750 (3)

Meg Mims did a fantastic job writing the sequel to her award-winning book Double Crossing.

Double or Nothing follows the adventures of Lily  and Ace, the man who has stolen her heart.

Rich in historic detail with engaging characters, this is mystery that keeps you wondering right up to the end who did it and what will happen.

If you enjoy historic fiction, this is a great choice. Even if you haven’t read the first book, this sequel can also stand alone.

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