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Dreams No Longer Captive


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Tuesday’s Tale

Mismatched in Texas is book 2 of Deep in the Heart of Texas series by Janice Thompson.

Belinda Bauer lives in Poetry, Texas, in 1904. Poetry is a city heavy on men and light on women, so Belinda decides to become a marriage broker. After all, almost everyone wants to get married. But, Belinda feels marriage isn’t for her; she’s destined to be a marriage broker.

Belinda’s first prospect is George Kaufman, the local barber and her best friend since grade school. However, George isn’t so sure about her pronouncement. He is happy with his single life.

Belinda doesn’t take no for an answer and proceeds to search newspaper and magazine articles advertising mail order brides, for a potential mate for George. In fact, she becomes so excited by the prospect she starts looking for brides for all the single men of Poetry.

Mayhem ensues as prospective brides and grooms aren’t compatible, and Belinda is at a loss to explain why.

Belinda matches Reverend Billingsley, a widower, with Sarah Jo Cummings. Sarah Jo appeared to be somewhat demure on paper, but in real life, she is anything but. She flirts with every man in town and then decides to build an opera house.  She definitely isn’t the material of a preacher’s wife!

Poor Belinda, she thinks her skills are best when approached in a scientific way, but what happens when her matches are all wrong? Can two people be too much alike?

Mismatched in Texas, is another delightfully quirky book by Janice Thompson, queen of delightfully quirky books.

Even though the story is second in the series, it can and does stand alone. **NOTE: This novel was previously released as Love Finds You in Poetry, Texas.**

I received this book free from the author, Janice Thompson, in exchange for an honest review.

Marriage broker


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Monday’s Missive

Forever Amish by Kate Lloyd is book three of the Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy; however, it could be a standalone book.

Sally Bingham, daughter of Ed, of Honest Ed’s Used Cars fame, decides to take a trip. She has been getting emails from an Amish girl, Lizzie, who keeps asking questions about her dog business. Lizzie is very persistent, even after Sally tells her she no longer operates the business and asks that Sally please come to visit and help her find the perfect dog, preferably a corgi.

Sally, leaving behind her ill father and new fiancé, embarks on a trip to Bird-In-Hand in Lancaster County Pennsylvania, taking her favorite car, a fire engine red 67 Mustang.

A leak in the roof of the B&B where Sally had reservations forces a change in plans and lands her at the home of Lizzie’s family, as their guest.

The longer Sally stays in Bird-In-Hand, the more she’s convinced that Lizzie knows something about her mother. Sally doesn’t even know who her mother is.  How could Lizzie?

As Sally tries to track down the mystery, she slams into many brick walls set there by her father, but why? Her father’s health is rapidly deteriorating; her fiancé is acting strange and elusive. Why does she feel such an affinity for Armin King?

Kate Lloyd does an excellent job of introducing intrigue and trickery into the plot of Forever Amish, making you want to quickly read the book to find out all the answers.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Mustang


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Fine Friday

I am doing well, recovery wise. I still have pressure in my eye, but that should clear up soon. My eye patch has been removed and that is a blessing!

I see the Dr. for a follow up the latter part of next week.

My problem now is to limit my reading and computer time! Limiting computer time is not really a problem, but limiting my reading time is a HUGE problem, especially since a lot of my activities are currently curtailed!

For some reason, my WP Reader is in an endless loop showing the same 2 or 3 blogs over and over. I guess that is good for now as I won’t be tempted to catch up on the last several days of reading!

I can see!


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Thursday’s Transmitting

My Heart Stood Still by Lori Copeland is the second in the series of Sisters of Mercy Flats.

Ann-Marie and her sisters, unknown to the mission nuns, have been supplementing the coffers at the mission in Mercy Flats by disguising themselves as nuns. As My Heart Stood Still begins, Anne-Marie is being carted off from a jail wagon after a Comanche attack, by a Crow warrior named Creed. Her other two sisters were rescued by two white men and taken in a different direction. As she is riding astride the “savages” horse, she can’t help but wonder if she’ll ever see her sisters again.

However, after her daring rescue, it looks like Ann-Marie’s time has run out.  A gentleman she and her sisters have swindled recognizes her and turns her over to the authorities. As a result of his exposure, she must use her wit and skills of deception to avoid being hung, thus putting her and Creed’s life in danger.

Along the way, Anne-Marie is given Biblical insight into her wrongs, but how can she break a promise to her sisters? Are they even alive? How will she ever make it safely back to Mercy Flats? Anne-Marie also realizes she is falling for Creed, but does he care for her, too?

My Heart Stood Still is a fast moving and attention-grabbing story that fills in details and doesn’t leave you feeling as if you missed out by not reading the first book. The story is sure to make you want to read the others in the series, though.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Escape


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Tuesday’s Tale

The Last Heiress, by Mary Ellis, is a novel based on the relationship between a British textile mill heiress, her American family, and a poor mercantile owner.

Amanda Dunn, heiress to Dunn Textiles in England, is persuaded by her ill father, George, to go to North Carolina.  The Civil War has created problems for the employees at the mill and for the family; there are no longer any shipments of cotton available. He wants her to do everything within her power to start cotton flowing back to the mill before things become untenable. He also wants her to visit her twin sister, Abigail, and Abigail’s husband, Jackson.

Amanda, along with her maid, sets off for Wilmington. While there, she is appalled by slavery, in both North Carolina and her sister’s home.

Jackson has little tolerance for Amanda and her anti-slavery ways and is constantly trying to make her life miserable. He doesn’t see a difference between her maid and slaves though there are many real and glaring differences, were he to open his eyes.

Amanda meets a poor, local merchant who helps her navigate her way through a business dominated by males. After she falls in love with him, Jackson becomes even more inconsiderate by pointing out all the ways Nathaniel is unsuitable for her. He even arranges a dinner where his only purpose in mind is greatly embarrassing Nathaniel.

The story is interesting to read as each character struggles with the changes brought on by either out of control events or because of their beliefs and feelings.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Ship blog


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Monday’s Missive

An Amish Cradle is a four in one book of novellas by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller and Vannetta Chapman.

In the Father’s Arms by Beth Wiseman is the first in the series. Ruth Anne Zook and her best friend Bethany are pregnant and due at almost at the same time.  Things go well for Bethany, but not so well for Ruth Anne.

Ruth Anne and Levi are stunned when their baby is born with Down’s Syndrome. They both are convinced that God will be with them in raising their son, but they still have a hard time adjusting. In addition, Bethany has disappeared from Ruth Anne’s life with no explanation.

As they begin to adjust to little Joshua’s diagnosis, they are hit with more sad news-Joshua has multiple other physical conditions. How can they manage financially and emotionally?

Beth Wiseman does a remarkable job of relating all the joy, angst and wonder of finding out that a much anticipated and wanted child is not exactly as one expected, but is exactly the one the Lord planned.

A Son for Always by Amy Clipston, the second in the series, focuses on Carolyn and Joshua Glick, a newly married couple expecting their first child together.

Carolyn had become pregnant with her first child, Ben, when she was a teenager. She learned to be self-reliant and to care for Ben on her own and has a hard time letting go of feeling she has to care for Ben alone.

As Carolyn’s pregnancy continues and then she gives birth, Joshua has a hard time understanding why she doesn’t want to quit her job.  Doesn’t she trust that he can care for her and their family, Ben included?

Amy Clipston writes as one who has experienced single motherhood and remarriage before, exploring and relating a woman’s love for her children.

A Heart Full of Love by Kathleen Fuller is the third in the series.

Ellie Miller and her husband, Christopher, are expecting their first child.

Ellie is blind because of a car accident several years prior to her marriage to Christopher. She has overcome the hardship, and she and Christopher have adapted well.  They have arranged their home and her garden in a way that makes it easy for her to carry on her daily life and chores. Try telling her mother, Edna, that though. She doesn’t trust Ellie and meddles to the point of interference when she finds out Ellie is pregnant.

Edna decides, after the twins are born, that the only way the little family will be safe and Ellie can function, is if she moves in with her and Christopher.

As Edna takes over more and more, leaving Ellie extremely frustrated, Christopher decides to step in and asks his mother-in-law to leave. Can hurt feelings be overcome and Ellie allowed to be a mother to her twins?

Kathleen Fuller does a skillful job of helping you envision life as a blind person trying to function independently in a seeing world.

Vannetta Chapman is the author of the fourth story, An Unexpected Blessing.

Etta and Mose Bontrager are enjoying a little more freedom since their children are almost grown, when Etta discovers she’s expecting a change of life baby.

Etta goes into labor during a blizzard, and were it not for the help of some neighbors, she would never have made it to the Birthing Center in time. Obstacles arise during the delivery, leaving Etta and Mose to lean heavily on the Lord.

As the family settles into their new life with the baby, Etta frets about one of her older children, who left home several years before. She hasn’t heard from him in a couple of years. Is he safe? What is he doing? Will she ever see him again? Will he ever see his baby sister?

Vannetta Chapman captures the fear and anxiety of a mother with a mid-life baby, while alternately portraying her worry over her absent son.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cradle


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Sunday’s Sharing

I will be going in for the removal of a “tricky” cataract on my right eye Tuesday. Because of this, I will be auto-posting several reviews and Wednesday’s Words. I also will not be answering comments or approving pingbacks for a few days (probably on Friday, if all goes as planned).

I also noticed that I am falling woefully behind on reviews by only doing them 2 or 3 days a week. I am reading much, much faster than I am posting!! I plan to post a review Monday-Friday for a while, with a Wednesday’s Word thrown in for good measure.

Doc


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Friday’s Fiction

Heaven Help Heidi (Family of the Heart) by Sally John is a great story, realistic and very thought provoking.

Heidi Hathaway is on the fast track of life. She seemingly has it all, a fantastic job in real estate that she loves, a very modern, minimalistic condominium and a late model crimson colored German car.  Things were going great until they weren’t. Heidi is cruising at 80 miles an hour on the exchange out of Orange County into San Diego. After switching lanes, she has nowhere to go but the shoulder, where she loses control on gravel and goes flying.

Heidi’s life is turned upside down. She can’t work, can’t live alone and can’t walk easily, definitely not well enough to navigate her condo’s three levels. After spending an interminable amount of time, recuperating at her parent’s home, she decides to rent her condo and move into a smaller home.

She moves into a charming little bungalow at Casa de Vida and changes her life forever.

Casa de Vida is an enchanting community of an eclectic group of people. Everyone living there is (or has) faced needs of epic proportions, and none more than Heidi at the time she moves in. As each bungalow resident pulls together to welcome Heidi, life is changed in ways no one can ever anticipate.

I really enjoyed Heaven Help Heidi. Even though there is a large cast of characters, the story still ebbs and flows flawlessly through each one’s life, as they knit together and form life-long friendships.

Sally John does a stunning job of interlacing spiritual nuggets and knowledge without bashing you over the head while at the same time leaving you with true spiritual morsels.

Heaven Help Heidi will leave you assessing your beliefs and wanting to become a better person.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

cabana


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Wednesday’s Write-up

Gunfight at Grace Gulch (Christian Cozy Mystery) (A Dressed For Death Mystery Book 1) by Darlene Franklin is a contemporary novel based on the re-enactment of the history of Grace Gulch, a fictionalized town in Oklahoma.

Audie Howe recreates the gunfight, part the beginning of the town of Grace Gulch, every year.

Cici (Cecelia) Wilde is the owner of a vintage clothing store and provides the costumes for the re-enactment.

When the remake results in a murder, Audie and Cici decide to investigate the murder. After all, Cici’s sister/niece, Dina, and her best friend, Cord, are considered suspects and she knows they are innocent.  Audie wants to assist her to clear the smirch on his production and be closer to Cici.

Scattered throughout the book are letters from Grace Gulch’s namesake, Robert Grace, to his fiancée, Mary. The letters give insight into the establishment of Grace Gulch. Do they also provide a clue to the murderer’s identity?

The characters in the book are fun, and some are delightfully quirky. The story is believable and keeps you guessing through plausible and realistic plot twists and turns.

An intriguing and fascinating story steeped in mystery and (imagined) history, Gunfight at Grace Gulch, is a hard book to put down.

I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. (Thank you, Darlene Franklin for a delightful story!)

CowboyLady at gunfight

 

 

 

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