Mars...With Venice Rising


“Mars…with Venus Rising” is a sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, even sometimes a bit quirky, but always a fun and enjoyable read. Heroine Penn Davenport has allowed her life to be ruled by fear since the death of her parents and brother in a plane crash. She still lives with the two eccentric great aunts who raised her in a home filled with love and the wonderful fragrance of their baking. Naturally Penn would meet and fall for a totally unsuitable man, one who seems to live life on the edge and encourages Penn to loosen up a little. Can John Townsend help Penn overcome her fears and turn them over to God?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Mars…with Venus Rising” although the frequent food descriptions made me want to cheat on my diet. Fortunately for those who do not have to watch their sugar intake, the author has graciously included all of the tempting recipes described within the story, especially the Celebration Cookies and Cinnamon Rolls. I may just have to treat the rest of my family to the cookies soon.

With strong characters, a well-developed plot, and an excellent message about reliance on God, this story held my interest throughout. Although the author is new to me, I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for more of her books.

This book was provided for review by the Pelican Book Group.


A meddling horse, paper bag floors and a flying saucer on the town square. The little town of Mars has it all–including a brand new resident who might spell heartache for one of its own.
Twenty-something Penn Davenport yearns for an exciting life in the big city and wants to shed the label of orphan that she’s worn for years. To achieve that dream, she must pass the CPA exam then move away from the two aunts who reared her after her parents died in a plane crash.

When John Townsend-full of life and the joy of living-moves to town, he rattles Penn’s view of herself, her life, and her dreams…which isn’t such a bad thing until she falls for him and discovers he’s a pilot.


Hope Toler DoughertyHope Toler Dougherty holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University as well as York Technical College. A member of ACW, RWA, and SinC, she has published articles on topics ranging from gardening with children to writing apprehension. She blogs for Almost An Author. Her first novel, Irish Encounter, was released in May, 2015.  Hope loves flowers, real mail, live music, reading, crocheting, traveling, cooking, and volunteering. Connect with Hope at