The third book in Caryl’s Texas Romance series, “Hope Reborn” catches the reader up on the lives of characters from the previous two novels plus introduces new characters, particularly feisty May Meriweather. May is a popular author of dime novels but is bored with her usual stories. Determined to find adventure for herself and possible new subject matter for her novels, May sets out to Texas where she may just write her own story.
With memorable characters, Caryl’s signature humor, and plenty of adventure, drama, and romance, “Hope Reborn” is anything but fluff. A strong message of salvation runs throughout the entire story but it is presented well within the storyline. I enjoyed the unique twist that essentially had May writing the stories of the characters from the two previous novels – clever and fun!
I enjoyed this story of second chances and emotional healing that can only come from the Lord. It was wonderful to learn about how life turned out for Henry after his previous loss. I strongly recommend “Hope Reborn” but really encourage readers to read both “Vow Unbroken” and “Hearts Stolen” first. Each book can stand on its own merit but reading them in chronological order will add to your reading pleaesure.
A digital copy of this book was provided for review by the author.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Loss both tests faith and almost eradicates any expectations of enjoying a happy-ever-after life. However, the decision to temporarily change one’s existence, no matter how successful or how hopeless, can lead to rebirth—in either case.
New York novelist May Meriwether decides a heroic Texas Ranger will make a great love interest for her new novel’s heroine. Bored to tears with muscle-hard dapper heroes and their fluffy, semi-brainless counterparts and loving adventure, she decides to go to the Lone Star State and tells her right-hand man, constant companion, and confidant Chester to make the arrangements post haste.
While strong desires for a husband and children have been long since relegated to the recesses of her heart, the self-confessed old maid throws caution to the wind when she meets a near-perfect widower He resurrects a smidgeon of hope that dreams can come true. Only his impenetrable, superstitious religious beliefs stand in the path to her falling head over heels, those and his everlasting love for his dead wife.
Would there ever be room for her in his heart? And would he give up his fanaticism over God?
An unexpected romance surprises both. Hope is reborn in God’s unfailing love and grace. Can a life built on lies find the Way to confession, forgiveness, and true joy? In a day when the church offers the only stability on the 1850 Texas prairie, these unlikely players find one another and fall in love. But will it be enough?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Caryl has always loved to write and has published several books including the three novels of the Texas Romance series. For every good blessing – including 10 children (4 by birth, 6 by marriage) and 14 grandchildren – she gives God the glory. Caryl lives a country-life with Ron, her husband of forty-six years and four grandsons, outside Clarksville, Red River County Seat, located in far Northeast Texas
“The Fruitcake Bride” is the last but certainly not the least of The 12 Brides of Christmas collection of novellas. I have spent several enjoyable hours reading this series and hate to see it reach its end.
Karen Briggs has moved to Bakerstown, Missouri in order to marry her longtime friend Pastor Clayton Parsons. After the death of her aunt, Karen has no family and nowhere to live. Clayton’s offer of marriage was an answer to her problems but she has very mixed feelings about the offer. Does Clayton really love her or does he just feel sorry for her? Will she be a good pastor’s wife or could she even hurt his ministry?
“The Fruitcake Bride” is a sweet story with several humorous scenes. Karen learns that despite her inadequacies, God has a plan for her life and that she is loved by Him and others just for being herself.
This book was provided for review by Shiloh Run Studios.
Pastor Clayton Parsons waited a year to bring his fiancée, Karen Briggs, to his new church post. They plan a Christmas wedding, but in the meantime Karen helps the church ladies with various projects, including a bake sale. But revealing her fruitcake recipe could spell disaster for her future in Bakerstown, Missouri.
More About The Fruitcake Bride with Vickie McDonough
The author of many novels set in the old west, particularly in Texas, Vickie McDonough had no problem choosing a time period for her 14th novella.
“I love reading novels set in the late 1800?s, and it’s the time period that most of the books I’ve written are set in, so when I started brainstorming ideas for The Fruitcake Bride, it was natural for me to set my novella in 1890.”
She chose her subject matter from a list of titles provided by Barbour Publishing. “I figured not too many people would want to write The Fruitcake Bride story. Being how I’m a little fruity, I thought I’d take a stab at it. I was thrilled when my editor loved my story idea.”
Vickie started with the idea of a young pastor headed west to prepare a home for his prospective bride before she joined him. Along the way, he encountered a problem: a troublesome woman named Prudy with designs on him!
Vickie was surprised by Prudy’s strong personality. “She’s a bit of a Nellie Olson from Little House on the Prairie type of character.” She wasn’t originally in the story, “but I needed more conflict. Prudy more than a little graciously added that as she popped in, bent on marrying the preacher—the same man my heroine is engaged to,” Vickie said.
Spiritual themes run strong in this novella collection.
“Karen, my heroine has lots of doubts that she is the right woman for Pastor Clay. They’ve been friends for many years, but their engagement is rushed when her aunt dies. Karen isn’t sure she is cut out to be a pastor’s wife. She prays a lot and seeks God’s will to be sure she’s not making a mistake. Clay never doubts his love for Karen, and he ends up being a good example of how God’s love for us is so strong and everlasting.”
Given her past books, research for this novella wasn’t too difficult for Vickie. She merely had to ensure Advent, Texas was a fictional town and examine fruitcake recipes. In terms of her characters, she feels they reflect her stubbornness, faith in God and concern to do the right thing.
Vickie is the descendant of early 1700?s pioneer from Germany who emigrated to the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania and later traveled west to Kansas and Oklahoma. “I am quite enamored with books about settling in the Old West, but if I had a chance to live in the 1800?s, I’d have to decline. I’m too much a creature of comfort—and I’d have to wear dresses.”
Vickie is thrilled to be working with “such a great cast of authors and is excited to hear what the readers think of the 12 Brides of Christmas Collection.”
She’d like to invite you to sign up for her newsletter to keep up with her book news. Click on this link to sign-up: http://www.vickiemcdonough.com/www.vickiemcdonough.com/Newsletter_Sign-up.html
Who is Vickie McDonough?
Vickie McDonough is the author of 33 novels and novellas, including two books in the Texas Trails: Morgan Family series, The Texas Boardinghouse Brides, The Pioneer Promises series and A Pioneer Christmas Collection. Vickie has been married 39 years and she and her husband live in Oklahoma and have four grown sons.
She’s the blogger on the tenth of each month at Heroes, Heroines and History.
For more information about Vickie and her books, visit her website: www.vickiemcdonough.com
You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter
I have read and enjoyed novels by a certain well-known Christian author since approximately 1990 and have learned that I can expect an excellent story that is well-written and well researched each time I pick up one of his books. It doesn’t matter if it is contemporary fiction, historical fiction from various areas of the world, Biblical fiction, political fiction, fiction written with another well-known author, etc. It is all quality fiction and I never question whether I should invest in his latest offering.
This particular author has just released the first volume of a new epic fantasy series under the pen name of Thomas Locke that targets the general market. Although the reader will not find an overtly “Christian” message in this novel, it is a classic story of the battle between good and evil and should appeal to those who have enjoyed tales from C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Those who have a problem with magic, wizards, and elves, etc. should probably skip this one but fantasy lovers may find themselves with a new favorite to add to their collection.
“Emissary” features two primary characters, Hyam and Joelle, two young people who have never really fit in with the rest of the world that surrounds them. Separately they each have been endowed with unique gifts that have equipped them for the destiny that draws them together in order to fight the malevolent forces that threaten the entire realm. Alone the challenge is impossible but together, along with others called to risk everything for their kingdom, there might just be a slim chance to overcome the evil that draws near.
This novel is written in a manner that drew me into the action almost immediately. Hyam and Joelle were characters that I could care about. Neither of them were perfect, in fact the opposite was true. Both had been sorely mistreated in the Long Halls where they were apprenticed and each found it difficult to trust others. Nevertheless they did not shrink from the call on their lives but bravely marched forward to even the possibility of death.
I find myself lacking in the eloquence needed to adequately describe “Emissary”. It encompasses the best of classic fantasy with beautifully descriptive passages, gallant characters, and a cause to die for. What more can a reader ask?
This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Hyam is a likeable lad who will make a fine farmer someday. But he carries a burden few can fathom. As his mother slips toward death, she implores him to return to Long Hall, where he spent five years as an apprentice. It was there that Hyam’s extraordinary capacity for mastering languages came to light–and soon cast him into the shadows of suspicion. How could any human learn the forbidden tongues with such ease? When Hyam dares to seek out the Mistress of the Sorceries, her revelation tears his world asunder.
He has no choice but to set out on the foreboding path–which beckons him to either his destiny or his doom. An encounter with an enchanting stranger reminds him that he is part hero and part captive. As Hyam struggles to interpret the omens and symbols, he is swept up by a great current of possibilities–and dangers.
With lyrical prose that unveils a richly imaginative world, Thomas Locke takes readers on a journey into the Realm. There he invites them to awaken their sense of wonder. This cracking adventure moves like a contemporary thriller but harkens back to the enduring genre of classic fantasy.
Read an excerpt from Emissary HERE.
Purchase Emissary HERE.
Free ebook short excerpt from Emissary – The Captive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Thomas Locke is an award-winning novelist with total worldwide sales of seven million copies.
His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction and his 2014 induction into the Christy Hall of Fame.
Thomas divides his time between Florida and England, where he serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University. He holds a lifelong passion for epic fantasy, science fiction and techno-thriller stories.
Thomas’s screenplay adaption of Emissary is under development as a feature film with a British production company.
Contact Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Petticoat Detective” is another fun to read western romance with a twist by Margaret Brownley. I always enjoy books by this author and this one was no exception.
When undercover Pinkerton detective Jennifer Layne is mistakenly thought to be wanting to work in Miss Lillian’s Parlor House and Boots, she decides to play along since there is probably no better way to learn the identity of the Gunnysack Bandit. She soon finds that pretending to be a lady companion will be more difficult than she expected. Jennifer is not the only one looking for the Gunnysack Bandit. Tom Colton, an ex Texas Ranger is searching for his brother’s murderer and his search leads him right to Miss Lillian’s. Despite a mighty strong attraction, both Jennifer and Tom also harbor suspicions about each other.
The plot of “Petticoat Detective” is well paced with plenty of surprises along the way as well as drama and romance. The story contains an abundance of humor including several unlikely business combinations and quirky characters. I particularly liked Jennifer’s character. Despite her uneasiness with how she was expected to dress for her “new job”, Jennifer grew to care for the other women who worked for Lillian and even Lillian herself. She got a personal taste of how others avoid or mistreat undesirable people which affected her own outlook.
“Petticoat Detective” is one of my favorite books of the past month or so and I highly recommend it to those who enjoy historical romance novels, especially westerns. I certainly look forward to the next novel in this series.
This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Pinkerton detective Jennifer Layne is no stranger to undercover work. But posing as a lady companion named Amy at Miss Lillian s Parlor House and Boots is a first for her. She s finally landed a high-profile case and is on the trail of the notorious Gunnysack Bandit, when one of Miss Lillian s girls essential to her investigation meets an untimely demise. Only a handful of people are in the house at the time of her death, including handsome Tom Colton, a former Texas Ranger determined to clear his brother s name. Amy has many reasons to suspect Tom of murder—and one very personal reason to hope that she s wrong about him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this, except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, “Maybe God’s calling you to write fiction.”
Margaret wasn’t sure that was true, but she wasn’t about to take chances. She now has more than 28 novels and is a New York Times bestselling author. Not bad for someone who failed 8th grade English. Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.
Regina Jennings has a decided talent for taking the most serious situations, adding her unique style of humor, and ending up with a natural and believable story. She definitely helps me to remember that unless we can laugh at some of what life throws at us, our lives could be dull and boring or perhaps even a tragedy.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, Abigail Stuart travels to the home of the wounded soldier she married on his death bed in order to fulfill her promise to care for his mother and sister. Warmly welcomed by his mother, Abigail finds it more difficult to earn the trust of Jeremiah’s sister. Just as she has settled in well, who should arrive but the real Jeremiah Calhoun – injured but very much alive and absolutely not the man she married! He was also not at all happy to find her with his family and known by the entire community as his widow. After all he still had a fiance he planned to marry as soon as possible. It doesn’t take very long before Jeremiah realized he very much needed Abigail’s help on the farm and agreed to allow her to stay until he was able to take care of things himself.
Okay, that is as much as I can say about the story without totally giving it away. At times it was a comedy of errors and at other times it tugged at my heartstrings. I loved the characters and especially enjoyed seeing the effect that Abigail’s caring spirit had on Jeremiah, his sister, and even his fiance. This is one book that should not be missed!
This book was provided for review by the Book Club Network.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Abigail Stuart Thought She was Jeremiah Calhoun’s Widow. But Jeremiah Calhoun Is Very Handsome, Very Alive, and Very Perplexed. Most Inconvenient Indeed.
With few options of her own, nurse Abigail Stuart agrees to marry her patient, a gravely wounded soldier calling himself Jeremiah Calhoun. They arrange a quick ceremony before he dies, giving Abigail the rights to his Ozark farm and giving Jeremiah the peace of knowing someone will care for his ailing sister after he’s gone–a practical solution for both of them.
After the war, Abigail fulfills her side of the bargain–until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up, injured but definitely alive, and wastes no time in challenging Abigail’s story. Abigail is flummoxed. After months of claiming to be his widow, how could she explain that she’s never seen this Jeremiah Calhoun before? How can she convince him that she isn’t trying to steal his farm? And will she find a way to stay, even though this practical arrangement has turned into a most inconvenient marriage?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her ornery husband and four dangerously charming children.
Visit Regina’s website at www.reginajennings.com.