Dancing With Fireflies by Denise Hunter (A Chapel Springs Romance)



MY REVIEW:

Because of its whimsical title and gorgeous cover art, the reader would probably expect “Dancing With Fireflies” to be just one more sweet and syrupy romance novel. Actually the story does include a sweet romance but there is much more substance to this book than its cover might suggest.

Hunter’s characters are natural and filled with life. Jade is a troubled young woman who finds herself in a difficult situation. Daniel is a special man who adores Jade but must choose between his love for her and the big plans his parents have already made for his future. Besides romance, the plot has its share of conflict, misunderstanding, angst, and near tragedy. At times I did not agree with Jade’s actions but in view of her experiences, I could understand her confusion. Daniel was a rock through the entire story and I was happy with the choices he made about his career.

“Dancing With Fireflies” covers some difficult subject matter that might be suitable for more mature readers. The specific situation was handled tactfully and with care; however parents of teens may want to read the book in order to decide if it is appropriate for their child. This novel could be an opening for discussion with daughters about the very real dangers that they could encounter while dating or even at a party.

I always enjoy novels by Denise Hunter and “Dancing With Fireflies” was no exception. I recommend it without reservation.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Dancing With FirefliesJade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she’d never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He’s loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she’s back, his feelings are stronger than ever.

As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she’s hiding secrets from her family, and she’s strangely attracted to the man who’s always called her “squirt.” Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.

Learn more and purchase a copy at Denise’s website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Denise HunterDenise Hunter is an internationally published best-selling author. Her books have won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and was a RITA finalist. In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all of her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps, too. When Denise isn’t writing, she’s busy raising three heroes-in-the-making with her husband.

Find out more about Denise at http://www.denisehunterbooks.com/.

Summer of Joy by Ann Gabhart



MY REVIEW:

“Summer of Joy” was quite the nostalgic read for me because during the summer of 1964 I was very close to the same age as the book’s main character Jocie and also grew up in a rural/small town atmosphere. It was so easy for me to identify with Jocie’s life although thankfully, my own was fairly boring by comparison. Just when I thought Jocie and her family would get back on an even keel after all the events in the previous books in the Hollyhill Series, it seemed like more excitement and even some danger were in store for the Brooke family and friends.

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Hollyhill once again and spending time with many of the familiar faces from the earlier books. From smart and spunky Jocie, to her wise and caring father, to wacky but beloved Wes, I love all Gabhart’s wonderful characters. This story has a little something for everyone – a bit of romance, plenty of humor, some danger and suspense, and woven through it all, a wealth of faith and forgiveness.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Summer Of JoyAs summer draws to a close Jocie’s world seems serene–but is it just the calm before a storm?

Unbeknownst to Jocie Brooke and her family, two people are making their way to the small town of Hollyhill, Kentucky. One everyone thought was gone for good and the other no one’s ever heard of. Still, one thing is sure–they promise trouble. The past is coming to call, threatening to destroy strong relationships that everyone has simply taken for granted.

The summer of 1964 may be winding down, but the controversy in this little community where nothing ever seems to change is just heating up.

Bestselling author Ann Gabhart invites you to Hollyhill for a story both exciting and enduring that will stick with you long after you turn the last page.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ann GabhartAnn H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Scent of Lilacs, and Orchard of Hope. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Find out more at www.annhgabhart.com.

A Sky Without Stars by Linda St. Clare (Litfuse)



MY REVIEW:

With Native American ancestry in both my family and my husband’s family, I am always interested in reading about them. There have also been quite a few quilters in our families and I have quilted some myself so the entire Quilts of Love series has been special. A Sky Without Stars combines the two and was both entertaining and informative.

Interestingly enough, the novel took place the year I was born. I was somewhat surprised at the amount of prejudice toward the Native Americans that was still prevalent during that era and also by the contempt so many of them held toward the “white God”. A Sky Without Stars opened my eyes to how these people were treated – possibly with good intentions to help improve their lives but with total disregard to their history and culture. No wonder they resisted the gospel!

I enjoyed A Sky Without Stars very much. The story was well-written and easy to read with strong characters that I could care about. Situations and emotions throughout the book were realistic and believable. I liked how everything was resolved at the end and would not mind reading more about these characters. I actually hated to see the story end.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



QuiltsOfLoveAbout Quilts of Love:  Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women’s fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

A Sky Without Stars

 

In 1951, Frankie Chasing Bear is a Lakota caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she knows he will need to become as a white man to succeed. After his father’s killed in a barroom brawl, Harold and Frankie move to Arizona, where she begins a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn and prayed into it.

She distrusts Christians, as her own parents were forced to convert at an Indian School, until she meets BIA agent Nick Vandergriff, a half-Lakota who’s also caught between cultures. Nick must convince Frankie that white men and Christians aren’t all bad as he tries to win her heart in order to put the stars back into her sky.

Purchase a copy and learn more at the Quilts of Love website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Linda St. Clare

Linda S. Clare is an award-winning coauthor of three books, including “Lost Boys and the Moms Who Love Them” (with Melody Carlson and Heather Kopp), “Revealed: Spiritual Reality in a Makeover World,” and “Making Peace with a Dangerous God” (with Kristen Johnson Ingram). She is also the author of “The Fence My Father Built.” She has taught college-level creative writing classes for seven years, and edits and mentors writers. She also is a frequent writing conference presenter and church retreat leader. She and her husband of thirty-one years have four grown children, including a set of twins. They live in Eugene, Oregon, with their five wayward cats: Oliver, Xena the Warrior Kitty, Paladine, Melchior, and Mamma Mia!

Learn more about Linda at: http://www.lindasclare.com

Maybelle In Stitches by Joyce Magnin

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Maybelle In Stitches
Abingdon Press (March 18, 2014)
by
Joyce Magnin
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A word from the Author:

I am the author of seven novels. Five adult novels and two middle grade readers. I never wanted to do anything else but write and every day I wake up astonished that I get to do what I always dreamed about. My days are filled with words and images along with the usual family stuff. I have three children, Rebekah who is married to Joshua. They have three of the most adorable boys on the planet, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren. My daughter Emily Kate is a lovely young woman anthropologist and my son Adam is fourteen and a student–he’s a genius who loves frogs and lizards and fish and plants. He amazes me.

I have never eaten a scallop. I love cream soda. Drink way too much coffee. I do not like elevators but I do enjoy needle arts and of course books. I prefer jazz over country (no offense), milk chocolate over dark, but not roller coasters although my life has often resembled a roller coaster ride.

One of my life’s desires is to meet Amy Grant so I can tell her she saved my life.

Learn more about Joyce and her books on her Blog.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kanzinzki, is away fighting in World War II.

Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Maybelle In Stitches, go HERE.

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MY REVIEW:

Maybelle In Stitches is one of the latest additions to the Abingdon Press Quilts of Love series. Although I did have a bit more difficulty getting into the story, I found plenty to interest me once I did. The story takes place during World War 2 with a primary focus on the wives of soldiers fighting in the war. As these women waited for their husbands to return home, they not only managed their homes but often worked in factories to help the war effort. Maybelle and her best friend Doris both work as welderettes on ships but their evenings and weekends are extremely lonely and long. Working together on a quilt started by Maybelle’s mother, the friends and a few other military wives fill their free time putting together a quilt of hope.

The story manages to give the reader insight into the lives of these women as they experience life without their husbands and go through good times and tragedy together. A strong emphasis on the faithfulness of God no matter what the circumstance is present throughout the narrative. Another major theme is the importance of friendship in our lives.

Bluebonnet Bride by Colleen Coble



MY REVIEW:

Having recently read “Butterfly Palace”, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Coble’s novella “Bluebonnet Bride” features Nathan White who had  a minor role in the previous novel. Because of circumstances surrounding him in “Butterfly Palace”, Nathan mostly came across as gruff and distrustful although it was obvious that he loved his sister and niece. I enjoyed reading about the Nathan that Elli got to know soon after she married him as a mail order bride.

Colleen managed to pack quite a bit of action and suspense into such a brief story and she kept it believable too! I read my copy of the ebook in one sitting because I NEEDED to find out what happened before I could put it down for the night. Both Elli and Nathan were both characters I would love to revisit. Elli was a sweet young woman desperate for a chance of a safe home and a family to love. Despite her grave circumstances, she was determined to be a good wife to Nathan. Nathan proved himself to be a husband Elli could depend on and easily grow to love. When danger followed Ellis all the way from Finland to Texas, Nathan’s first priority was to protect her and his niece Hannah.

The only complaint I could voice about “Bluebonnet Bride” is that it was much too short; however I could say that about any book written by Colleen Coble. She is one author whose books I do not miss.

This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publisher’s BookLook blogger program.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Bluebonnet BrideAt the turn of the 20th century, Elli Korpela boards The Baltic with hundreds of eager women, all seeking new beginnings and brighter futures in America . . . as mail order brides.

Escaping a forced engagement, Elli seeks refuge in a faraway marriage, desperately needing her new life with a Texan named Nathan White to be safer than the one she left behind in Finland. And as she glimpses her future husband and his darling niece at the train station, she instantly knows her risk will prove the best decision she’s ever made.

Until he became the guardian of four-year-old Hannah, Nathan White never took an interest in marriage, arranging a mail order wife to simply love and care for his orphaned niece. That is, he never took an interest until he laid eyes on the beautiful Elli Korpela.

After a fairytale ceremony in the gardens of the grandest estate Elli’s ever seen, a place called Butterfly Palace, their peaceful beginning takes a disquieting turn as an intruder brutally attacks Elli in the middle of the night. Nathan intervenes, but the devil escapes unidentified, leaving Elli to face two chilling possibilities: either the attack was arranged by strike workers in Nathan’s employ or her shadowy past followed her into the present – and across the sea.

As the danger mounts, Elli and Nathan must face their enemy together, fighting to stay alive – and fighting to stay man and wife.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Colleen CobleBest-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.

Find out more about Colleen at http://www.colleencoble.com/.