23 July 2016

Book Review: Butterfly Bride by Lacy Williams



Book blurb:
The prodigal son is back. Ever since the terrible mistake he made in high school—a mistake that cost his best friend his life—bullfighter Luke Starr has stayed far away from Pecan, Texas, and his family. But with his twin brothers gone on their respective honeymoons, Luke is forced to come back to town to watch over Gramma and the family ranch. And he can’t wait to leave again. Because being home hurts more than being stomped on by a bull—and it’s only a matter of time until he messes up all over again.

Special ed teacher Jess Sadler will do anything for her students—even abandon her comfort zone to convince a reluctant rodeo cowboy to give “horse lessons” to a student she can’t reach. But when feelings for Luke blindside Jess, she knows she’s in trouble. The man in counting down the minutes until he can leave Pecan. Will he take her heart with him when he goes?

Then a little boy goes missing on the family ranch, and Luke must confront the ghosts of his past or lost the future he never dreamed was possible.

My Review:

Firstly thanks to the publisher for my review copy for an honest review.

This is the third book in this series but could be a stand alone book. We have been hearing about Luke and the mistake he made as a teen but not the full story. This book we find out the exact story and why Luke feels so guilty and can't forgive himself and why he thinks everyone in Pecan blame him. He is back to help his grandmother while his twin brothers are on honeymoon but once home he's out of there. Jess is a special ed teacher with a heart for special need students. She sees that one student has a connection with horses and hopes Luke will agree to give him lessons in hopes it will help reach him.

While helping this child it is helping him also. I love how the story played out. I just wanted to know what was happening. A good story well worth reading.



7 July 2016

ACRBA Tour The Warrior Lord's Sword by Ray Hawkins


4 - 8 July
is introducing

(April 2016)

by  Ray Hawkins


About the Book:


'The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword ...'That is one of the ways the Bible defines itself. This Devotional takes you into 30 other of its definitions. Your confidence in and appreciation of God's word will be strengthened as you understand its claims.The author's hope is that this book will enrich your love for and understanding of God's unchanging scriptures. For God has expressed Himself within them so you will know Him in a personal way.Scripture is God's breath in print with power to declare His glory. It is His sword to strike against ungodliness. He has given it to us also to guide, guard and govern our relationship of faith in Him.



About the Author


Ray Hawkins, retired after over 40 years as a Churches of Christ minister, enjoys sharing themes from the Scriptures through Devotional writing. Married to Mary, multi-published inspirational romance author, they have three children and five grandchildren. Ray shares his insights in his first two books on Marriage and Children with more ideas to come about ministry and much more. Living in Beauty Point Tasmania Ray heads up a new Christian Fellowship as well as doing relief preaching, community work and writing.

1 July 2016

Book Review The Bull Rider's Bride by Vickie McDonough

Dusty Starr is unstoppable in the rodeo arena, but when it comes to love? He was bucked off long ago. Now he has a second chance at love, but will he have what it takes to win? 

Champion bull rider Dusty Starr is at the top of his game—until a bull throws him and stomps on his leg. He goes home to heal and watch after his grandma until he can rejoin the circuit. While there are no guarantees that bull riding is in his future, his past is alive and well in the form of Gramma's beautiful physical therapist—a woman he never expected to see again. 

Physical therapist Lindsey Lang once loved Dusty, but then tragedy struck because of his younger brother's recklessness, and Dusty did something she never thought he'd do. He abandoned her, leaving her to mourn alone. Being assigned to Grandma Starr is hard enough, but with Dusty there, Lindsey's sure her heart won't survive. 

Against all expectations, friendship renews, and Dusty dares to hope Lindsey will forgive him. She's the only girl he's ever loved and he aims to get her back. But friendship is one thing. A second chance at love? That will take more gumption than riding a rank bull—and then some.

My Review
This is the second book in the series. Dusty is Daniel's twin and has come home to recuperate and also look after Grandmother. Lindsey is his Grandmothers Occupational Therapist and also Dusty's former girlfriend. We learn more about what happened in the past to tear to close friends apart and if they can over come the issues.

I enjoyed watching the game play out but did struggle with some medical timelines slightly but as the story evolved was able to get lost in it. Another good story in the series of three.

Book Review The Bluebonnet Bride by Pamela Tracy

Amy has never had a home. Will she find one in the arms of a cowboy? 

This is Daniel Starr's year. He's moving up the rankings on the bull-riding circuit and is determined to catch his twin brother. Nothing is going to stop him. Well, almost nothing. When his beloved grandmother falls and needs a caretaker, Daniel finds himself on the road back to Pecan, Texas, rather than making the next rodeo. Why did this happen now? And why, when he's jeopardizing his career to come home, does Miss Bossypants Amy Benjamin think he's not doing enough? 

Amy knows all about the swashbuckling Starr Brothers, but anyone who turns his back on her beloved Pecan--and on his own grandmother--doesn't deserve admiration. If Amy had been lucky enough to have family like Grandma Starr, her life would have been so different! Well, she's going to make sure Daniel does his duty. But the longer he stays in Pecan, the harder it'll be to see him go… 

My Review
I really enjoyed this book. I found it an easy book to read and loved the characters. Amy has never really had a place to call home. Since being in Pecan Texas she feels like she may have found a home. The older ladies who come into her store have become like family. Daniel has come home to look after his grandmother and buts heads with Amy. Seeing how this story plays out is fun. We see both having to reassess their preconceived ideas about each other. This is the first of 3 novella's and an excellent start to the series.


10 June 2016

ACRBA Tour Shoes Off Feet Up by Ellen Carr


6 – 10 June
is introducing

(By HopePost Publishing, 25 November 2015)

by Ellen Carr



About the Book:


Shoes Off, Feet Up: Poems of everyday life and faith invites you to sit down, put your feet up and read awhile. It celebrates life with all its fun and adventures, its blessings and encouragements and its challenges. Some of Ellen's poems touch on the light-hearted and humorous side of life, some rejoice in the joys of life and nature, while others deal with the deeper issues of living with faith in God.

You are invited to dip into this book and find some treasures. You will be blessed, encouraged and amused by these poems, and occasionally you will be challenged. Shoes Off, Feet Up ~ poems you will want to return to again and again.



Ellen Carr is an award winning author who lives in Melbourne, Australia. She writes about life, nature, things of amusement, and of her faith in God. She enjoys seeing the funny side of life, as well as pondering things of more serious importance.


About the Author

Ellen Carr lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her husband,Rod. She has two adult daughters, Sarah and Alison, who have flown the nest. When she isn’t busy writing, Ellen delights in pottering about, drinking coffee, singing in a community choir, volunteering as a Christian religious studies teacher, travelling, and spending time with family and friends. A retired teacher, Ellen has always enjoyed writing. She has written educational material, radio scripts, short stories, and of course, poetry. Writing from her heart, her works are about life, nature, amusing situations, and her faith in God. Her faith and her daily walk with God are high priorities in her life, followed by
family, friends and fun. She enjoys seeing the funny side of life as well as pondering things of more serious importance.


Many of her award-winning poems and stories have been published at FaithWriters.com, an online Christian writers’ website, and some poems appear in Glimpses of Light, an Australian anthology, which raised money for CBM (formally Christian Blind Mission).


Several of her pieces will appear in the upcoming series, Mixed Blessings. Her poem, Twelve Long Years, included in this collection, was awarded a Judges’ Commendation in the Tabor Adelaide
Creative Writing Awards competition.


In addition, her poems have been read on the radio program, Songs of Hope, on 88.3 Southern FM, in Melbourne, Australia. She also wrote the lyrics for a song, The Peace of God, played on that same station. Other poems have appeared in church news sheets, religious educational material, magazines, and on Ellen’s blog.
You can find more of her work, and a link to her blog, at her website: Ellen Carr, Postbox Poetry and HopePost Publishing, at: postboxpoetry.wordpress.com



5 May 2016

ACRBA Tour Glimpses of Light


2 - 6 May
is introducing

(By the Light Books, 15 December 2015)

Edited by Jeanette O'Hagan and Nola L Passmore









About the Book:

Be challenged, captivated and moved by these imaginative reflections on faith, help in time of need, joy in the midst of tragedy, and surprising encounters with God.

During 2015, the International Year of Light, twenty-one authors from Australia and the United States have come together to explore the theme of 'glimpses of light'—finding light in dark places—through short stories, poems, flash fiction and creative non-fiction.

Glimpses of Light includes contributions from respected and award-winning authors and poets Jo-Anne Berthelsen, Paula Vince, Lynne Stringer, Adele Jones, Jo Wanmer, Jeanette Grant-Thomson and Ellen Carr, as well as exciting new talent.

Profits from this anthology go to CBM Australia, giving sight to the blind.






About the Authors
JEANETTE O'HAGAN

Jeanette O’Hagan enjoys writing fiction, poetry, blogging and editing. She is writing her Akrad’s Legacy Series—a Young Adult secondary world fantasy fiction with adventure, courtly intrigue and romantic elements. Her short stories and poems are published in Tied in Pink romance anthology, Another Time Another Place, Poetica Christi’s Inner Child, Let the Sea Roar, Like a Girl.

Jeanette has practised medicine, studied communication, history, theology and, more recently, a Master’s in writing. She loves reading, painting, travel, catching up for coffee with friends, pondering the meaning of life and communicating God’s great love. She lives in Brisbane with her husband and children.

Website: jeanetteohagan.com

NOLA PASSMORE

Nola Passmore’s poetry, devotions, inspirational articles, and short fiction have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas. Although she’s a former academic with qualifications in creative writing, psychology, and Christian ministry; she’s found that you can never underestimate the power of friends and mentors in the writing journey.

With ringleader roles in Quirky Quills and the Toowoomba chapter of Omega Writers, she’ll be nagging (oops, encouraging) other writers for some time. She and her husband Tim have a freelance writing and editing business called The Write Flourish.

Website: www.thewriteflourish.com.au



28 April 2016

Book Review Mail Order Surprise by Lucy Thompson


Forget Me Not Romances, a division of Winged Publications (April 19, 2016)

 
Blurb
Colorado, 1881. Lydia Walsh is on the run. The quiet rancher she marries and expected to find safety and protection with turns out to have three siblings, next to nothing to live on, and is a crack shot who may or may not be one of the states best cattle rustlers.
Beau Harding wants to keep his family together and do the right thing by them. His mail order bride comes with her own set of baggage: two more mouths to feed and empty hearts begging him to fill. The job he took for some quick money gets him thrown in jail for rustling, and then to clear his name he takes on another job--and learns that his wife may have been the one plotting his family’s downfall all along.

Review
Firstly thanks to Lucy for my copy for an honest review.

I have to say wow what a great debut novel by Australian writer Lucy Thompson. I was hooked from the beginning. We start with Lydia and her two children running for a train trying to avoid someone following her. She is off to become a mail order bride in the hopes of safety and a new life. What happens when she arrives is interesting. She finds Beau has left a few things out of the letters he wrote her like siblings.

I love the different twist and turns in the book. I really felt for Lydia I could feel her pain and wanted to know what was going to happen as I was reading. There were times I just needed to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next. Lucy had me on the edge of my seat several times. This is an excellent debut noveI and if you like Mary Coneally's books you will enjoy this story. I eagerly await the next book in the series.

7 April 2016

Book Review The Seafaring Women of the Vera B by Susan Page Davis and James S. Davis



Blurb from back of book.

1854–With the captain dead in Melbourne, Australia, Alice Packard thinks the worst has happened, until she learns the crew has deserted her husband’s ship in favor of the goldfields. Only one old man, Gypsy Deak, sticks by her, but Gypsy alone can’t raise a crew from the depleted population.


In desperation, Alice turns to the only source of plentiful workers: the women of Melbourne. In a bold move, she and Gypsy empty a brothel, promising the escaped women a new life. Her all-woman (save one) crew put their backs and hearts into the voyage, but Alice finds training her sailors much harder than she expected.


Her faith is tested to the limit. With a cargo to sell, angry brothel and tavern owners in pursuit, pirates to evade, and a mysterious stowaway, will the seafaring women of the Vera B. survive to tell the tale of this daring adventure?


My Review


Firstly thanks to Susan P Davis for my copy of this book for an honest review.


I was given this book to read due to it starting in Australia and for my opinion of the book. I was in intrigued by the premise and when I started the book I just wanted to keep reading. The book is set during the Australian Gold era and many sailors jumping ship to go gold mining. Which leads the Vera B lacking a crew to return to America. A new strike has taken place at St Arnard which I has memories for me as I remember Mum talking about how my brother took his first steps at a park there. 


Looking for crew Alice is finally desperate and takes on women as her crew. Here we have a a variety of women from women escaping life in a brothel and tavern to passengers returning to England after the death of there husband/father.  There is going to be tension between the women which we see play out. 


I enjoyed the book partly because I knew many of the places and also because the Australia references were accurate. This for an Australian impressed me that the authors went to the effort to make sure they had the right terms. 


I did however get confused at times with all the women and who was who. Some are easy to remember but a few I mixed up at times. 


I do need to give a warning there is some violence in the later part of the book due to the issue of pirates. I didn't find it graphic or over done but some people who don't want to read a book with any violence might find this book may find it more than than can handle.


This book is Historical Fiction with a hint of romance. 


Overall this is a really good book and I am eagerly awaiting book 2. 

4 April 2016

ACRBA tour Twice Stolen by Susanne Timpani



4 - 8 April, 2016
is introducing

(Armour Books, 14 February 2016)

Susanne Timpani


About the Book:

After the death of his grandmother, Dimitri finds he's been lied to most of his life. His journey into the Outback to unravel the mystery of his identity leads to an encounter with Leah, a nurse with a tragic secret.


About the Author
Susanne is married, has four beautiful children and works as a community nurse with children and families. Themes of her work and her faith appear in her writing. 

Susanne is the author of the blog, 10 Minute Daily Retreat. These twice weekly reflections on scripture can be read via:

http://susannetimpani.blogspot.com.au/ 
https://www.facebook.com/10MinuteDailyRetreat

Her first novel, Twice Stolen, was released in February 2016. It fits the genre of Inspirational Fiction, has Australian Aboriginal themes and is flavoured with a sprinkling of Medical Romance.


Twice stolen won the CALEB prize for an unpublished manuscript.  The book is published by Armour Books

23 March 2016

Review of Heart of a Cowboy.

Hearts in Pursuit 
By Susan Page Davis 
Can Abby and Sam fight their way through the danger and violence and live long enough to find love? 
Texas, 1880. Abby and Sam pursue a band of raiders to rescue their younger siblings. Abby’s father is gravely injured, and she knows she can’t return home without her little sister. Sam’s father wants to thwart his powerful Mexican father-in-law and stop him from taking Pablo to live with him south of the border, but once he has Pablo back, will he continue the search for Abby’s sister? Abby and Sam feel it is up to them to keep the recovery mission on track. Though romance seems to have no place on the trail of danger and violence, can this journey draw them closer? 

Hearts Reunited 
By Miralee Ferrell 
Mercedes Taylor is determined to save her ranch after her father’s death, but she won’t let anyone help—especially not her old friend Jesse Townsend who deserted her so many years ago. The pain his family inflicted on hers goes too deep for her pride to forgive. 

After riding the trail for five years, Jesse Townsend returns to his family property to find the girl he’d once loved all grown up—and more prickly than he’s ever seen her. After his mare is seriously injured, he has no choice but to call on Mercedes—the local animal doctor—for help. 

Add the attractive banker’s daughter who Jesse seems smitten with, and trouble starts brewing. Can Mercedes and Jesse set aside the old family feud and find their way back to the love that had only started to blossom when Jesse left? 

Have Dress, Will Marry 
By Yvonne Lehman 

Julie Hayes must escape from Wildcat Mountain. Her mother died, leaving her with a step-father she doesn’t trust. 
James, who she thought would be her means of escape, is gone. Her only hope is to approach the cowboy, saddleback preacher Timothy Sullivan, when he makes his circuit into Wildcat Mountain. She asks, “Will you marry me?” He says, “Yes, of course,” expecting to perform a ceremony for her and James. 
Believing Julie is in danger, Timothy takes her to the Sullivan Ranch. Suspicions abound when she’s accused of stealing a horse and jewels. 
While Julie is trying to become the kind of woman a preacher would want to marry, Tim is trying to realize his ranching dreams, which don’t include being a circuit riding preacher. 

The Hand-Me-Down Husband 
By Vickie McDonough 

Ellen Stewart despises Lance Garrett. If not for him dashing into Isabelle’s life and stealing her heart and filling her head with his dreams, her little sister would still be alive and safe at home. When she receives Lance’s letter requesting help, Ellen rushes to Silver Springs, intent on taking charge of her young niece. A rugged ranch is no place for a motherless baby. But when she realizes the depth of Lance’s despair, she can’t leave him alone. Though everything within her wants to flee back to the big city, something makes her stay. Tessa needs her father, for one—and he needs her. Ellen knows what it’s like to lose all she’d dreamed of. When local church members make a stink about Ellen living at Lance’s ranch, they are forced to marry. Ellen didn’t want a hand-me-down husband, but could their marriage be God’s will for them both? 


My Review:
I was given this book free for an honest review.

This book contains 4 novella's each featuring cowboys. 
The first had me from the very beginning. In fact I could see it as a movie, a true western. Abby's younger sister Ellen and Sam's younger brother Pablo are taken by Mexican Raiders planning to take them to Mexico. I could see the story playing out as a movie and loved Abby's strength and courage. This story was a great start to the novella.

The second book features Mercedes and Jesse childhood friends who due to an incident led to the families becoming estranged. We see Jesse return to his ranch needing Mercedes help. We then see the struggle of being former friends with still having feelings for each other and how they deal with it.

Book Three features Julie and Timothy. Julie is stuck on living on a mountain with her step father and asks Brother Timothy to help her in an unconventional way. Timothy is the circuit pastor who wants to be a rancher. Julie learns what a real family is like when she meets Timothy's family but there are issues with trust and accusations by her step father.

Book four features Ellen and Lance. Ellen has gone to help Lance look after her niece after the death of her sister. She goes to help wanting to take her niece back to St. Louis with her but see the love Lance has for Tessa. I love how Ellen and her sister were so different and how she is able to help Lance and in turn learn more about herself and that she does have a purpose. 

All in all this is a good collection of novellas which I would highly recommend.
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