Seaside Letters by Denise Hunter

Seaside Letters
(A Nantucket Love Story)
by Denise Hunter
Thomas Nelson Publishers
Copyright 2009
320 pages
Christian Fiction Romance
ISBN: 978-1595542601

My Synopsis: Sabrina Kincaid is a waitress at Cobblestone Cafe, and a part-time research assistant for Renny, a local mystery writer. She's been through some very tragic experiences in her short life. They have caused her to become a timid person, who lacks self-confidence, and feels like she is unlovable because of them.

Tucker McCabe is the owner of Cap'n Tucker's Water Taxi, and is head over heels in love with "Sweetpea" ~ his best friend online ~ who has stolen his heart. He wants to find her, so he can really get to know her in a face-to-face relationship. He decides to hire Sabrina to help him with his search. Sabrina is reluctant to lend a hand...especially since she is, in fact, "Sweetpea"...and she has serious romantic feelings for him! She's not sure she can be around him for extended periods of time, without him discovering her secret.

My Review: I really enjoyed Tucker and Sabrina's unique love story ~ it's a refreshing change from the typical Christian Fiction romances that are currently available. The fact that Tucker and Sabrina have an online relationship that's more open and honest than their in-person relationship was an interesting concept. Sabrina feels more comfortable talking to Tucker via email, where she's able to share some of her past heartbreaking experiences. Tucker is ready to take the relationship to the next level and meet in person, but Sabrina is scared to death of him finding out that she's really "Sweetpea", and that she could lose the most important person in her life.

If you'd like to find out more about Denise Hunter, and her books, please visit:

If you're interested in purchasing Seaside Letters, please visit:
www.Christianbooks.com or www.Amazon.com

Thank you to Thomas Nelson BRB for allowing me to review this book for them. If you'd like to become a reviewer, just visit here to find out more.




for A Passion Most Pure

Here's what Julie had to say...

I JUST got home not two hours ago, and Denver was a blast!! It was a TOTAL SHOCK that I won Debut Book of the Year as I was told by the ACFW bookstore coordinator (a friend of mine) that two of the books I was up against were absolutely amazing, and another was by an author who had beat me out in several other contests, so I really did not hold out much hope.

They call the finalists' names and ask them to stand until they read the first line of the winning book (like the Christys). I was getting ready to sit down (because NO way did I expect to win) when I heard "Sisters are ..." and then like an ice-cream brain freeze, shock shot through me head to toe and I couldn't hear anything else, not my friends screaming behind me or applause or anything. I stumbled up to the stage the wrong way and had not even written a speech. But I got some laughs (and some tears) when I told them that the last time I was up on that stage, it was to receive the boobie prize (a lovely basket of books) for the most rejections in a year at the 2005 ACFW Conference. I told them that it was up to 19 that year but eventually rose to 45 rejections, 39 of which I garnered on my own before my agent took me under my wing and sold me in 3-book deal six months later. Grin ... apparently it inspired quite a few people, which is reallllly good! :)

I had emailed Julie to congratulate her on her award; she responded a little while ago, when she got back home. She is such a sweetheart, and a great friend! Congrats again, Julie!!! You have truly earned the award! :)

Thank you, again, for allowing me to post your response on my blog to share with everyone.

(To read my review for A Passion Most Pure, just click the title.)

My First Award on My New Blog!!!

I just received my very first award, The Splash Award, for my new Book Review blog from my friend Heather @ Gofita's Pages! Thank you so much, Heather!! I am honored to receive this award. Isn't it beautiful?!?!

The Splash Award is given to alluring, amusing,
bewitching, impressive, and inspiring blogs.

When you receive this award, you must:

- Put the logo on your blog/post.
- Nominate & link up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.
- Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.
- Remember to link to the person from whom you received your Splash Award.

1. Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot
2. Southern Sassy Things
3. Butterfly Blessings ~ 2 Cor. 5:17
4. Never a Dull Moment
5. Strange and Random Happenstance
6. My Guilty Pleasures
7. This That and the Other Thing
8. Reading at the Beach
9. Creative Madness

I know the rules say "up to 9", but I have to add one more: So Many Books...So Little Time.


Book Review: That Certain Spark by Cathy Marie Hake

That Certain Spark
by Cathy Marie Hake
Bethany House
Copyright 2009
348 pages
ISBN: 9780764203206

Siblings Enoch and Taylor Bestman have just arrived in Gooding, Texas. Enoch is the new veterinarian, and Taylor is the new, long-awaited doctor. When the townsfolk find out that their new doctor is a woman, they’re ready to run her right back out of town ~ especially the men! Unfortunately, Taylor has to deal with one such man as her very first patient, Karl Van der Vort, not long after arriving in town. The women, and children, are fairly quick to accept Taylor’s medical expertise, while the majority of the men try to get Enoch to treat them as well as their animals.

There are quite a few quirky characters in That Certain Spark ~ they are what kept me somewhat interested in finishing it. Widow O’Toole, who is fond of riding her velocipede all over town; Hope Stauffer who is known for turning around sayings, “yet they make sense in their own funny way”; Skylar, Karl’s dog; and last but not least, Piet, Karl’s brother ~ when he gets really upset he mixes up his word order. He still speaks in English, but reverts to Dutch word order. There are a few others, but I’ll let you discover them for yourself.

I was really excited to read That Certain Spark because I normally enjoy Cathy Marie Hake’s witty romances. Sadly, this one is not going to be one of my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an okay book, but not what I’ve come to expect from this author. In my opinion, there was really no romance whatsoever between Taylor and Karl; most of the book they spend their time “debating” whether or not Taylor should be a doctor, since she’s a woman. This got really old. Thankfully, there was a bit of a romance between a couple of other characters, but I won't go into that and spoil it for you. :) If you enjoy mystery/suspense ~ there is somewhat of a mystery intertwined in the story ~ someone is trying to sabotage Taylor’s efforts, and run her out of town.

If you’re interested in reading other books by Cathy Marie Hake, I would recommend trying a couple of her other books first: Fancy Pants, Forevermore, or Letter Perfect, just to name a few. This way you can decide for yourself how That Certain Spark compares to her previous novels.

To find out more about Cathy, and her books, visit her at: www.cathymariehake.com. You can purchase her books at: Amazon.com or Christianbook.com


First cover created for No Place for a Lady!!!!

I found this over on Maggie's blog, Southern Belle Writer ~
this was the first cover created for No Place for a Lady!
I like the one they decided to go with better.
(see the next post)
This cover model makes me think of April, instead
of Crystal...she looks conniving!!

Which one do y'all like better?

Book Review: No Place for a Lady (Heart of the West Series, Book 1) by Maggie Brendan

No Place for a Lady
(Heart of the West Series, Book 1)
by Maggie Brendan
Copyright 2009
303 pages
ISBN: 9780800733353

Let me first say that I absolutely adored this book! It is a refreshingly different historical/western Christian Fiction romance. If you love romance, cowboys, southern belles, or westerns...I highly recommend Maggie Brendan's debut novel, No Place for a Lady...you will be blown away! I couldn't believe that this was Maggie's very first novel; it feels like she's been sharing her stories for years.

Crystal Clark's father has recently passed away, so she's decided to leave her life in Georgia behind, and start fresh on her aunt's ranch, Aspengold, in Colorado. When she meets Aunt Kate's foreman, Luke, she falls for him pretty quickly, but tries to squelch her feelings once she discovers that he is not a believer. Another complication arises in the form of April McBride. April's father is a neighboring landowner, who wants Aunt Kate's land any way he can get it, while April has her heart set on Luke. Crystal has to deal with some heartbreaking situations during her stay at Aspengold, but in the end, she comes out a stronger, better person for enduring them.

Luke Weber is Kate's foreman, but he's also the son she never had. When he meets Crystal, he thinks she is a typical prim and proper southern-belle with no backbone. Once disaster strikes Aspengold ~ he finds out just how tough Crystal can be ~ and even though Luke has not given his heart to God, he discovers that God has not forsaken him.

I'm impatiently waiting for Book 2, The Jewel of His Heart, to be released on October 1st. I can hardly wait to find out what happens to Josh McBride, April's brother. I'm also looking forward to catching up with everyone from No Place for a Lady!

To find out more about Maggie Brendan and her books, please visit her blog: Southern Belle Writer. You can purchase her books at Amazon.com or Christianbook.com

Oh, one more thing ~ Maggie doesn't like how she looks in the photo I recently posted of her, Julie Lessman, and myself ~ so here's another one. Isn't she beautiful?!?! :)

Be sure to click the link below to read other great reviews
of books from all different genres ~ you just may find
something new to read! Join in the fun!



Book Review: Beyond This Moment (Timber Ridge Reflections Series, Book 2) by Tamera Alexander

Beyond This Moment
(Book 2, Timber Ridge Reflections Series)
by Tamera Alexander
Bethany House Publishers
(a division of Baker Publishing Group)
Copyright 2009
394 pages
ISBN: 9780764203909

I just finished reading Beyond This Moment and all I can say is...WOW!!!! This is now, by far, my favorite Tamera Alexander book!! I absolutely loved it! It's even better than Daniel and Elizabeth's story, From a Distance (Book 1). Please, please, please rush out and get your own copy ~ you will not be disappointed!

From the back cover:

When Dr. Molly Whitcomb, Professor of Romance Languages, steps off the train in Colorado Territory, she makes a choice ~ one that goes against everything she stands for. Yet it's the only choice that offers her a chance to regain a fraction of all she's lost.

Sheriff James McPherson's instincts about people rarely miss the mark. He senses Professor Whitcomb is hiding something. he just doesn't know what. When James learns Molly's secret, his own reputation is undermined. And when Molly Whitcomb's reinvented life begins to unravel, it threatens his job, the stability of Timber Ridge, and what he always knew to be true about himself.

When Molly Whitcomb is forced to leave her position as a Professor at Franklin College in Athens, GA, and take a teaching position in the town of Timber Ridge, located in Colorado Territory, she is less than enthusiastic. As we learn more about why Molly has come to Timber Ridge, the more we understand why she felt she had to make the choices she did. Very quickly, Molly realizes the secrets she carry are going to hurt the kind people she's already met. As she looks deep inside her heart, she realizes that she not only blames herself for her current predicament, she blames God as well. Why didn't He see fit to keep these things from happening to her? As we follow Molly on her journey, we eventually understand why it was in God's plan to lead Molly to Timber Ridge.

The very first time Sheriff James McPherson lays eyes on Molly Whitcomb, as she steps off the train in Sulfur Falls, he feels something he's never before felt for any woman. The feeling grows the more he gets to know her, but he feels that she's not being completely honest and honesty has always been important to him. However, James has secrets from his own past that have been gnawing at him for quite some time. He also has additional burdens that are weighing on him as he worries about how to keep his sister, Rachel Boyd, and her two sons, safe from the constant threats he feels as the Sheriff of Timber Ridge.

Beyond This Moment is a very emotional book, in my opinion. Neither Molly, nor James, realize the extent of hurt that could come from the secrets they carry. I laughed and cried (mostly cried!) right along with them. There are quite a few secondary characters that add depth to this story, and I enjoyed getting to know them as well...most of them anyway!

This is a wonderful continuation of Tamera Alexander's Timber Ridge Reflections series. I can hardly wait to see what happens next in, Within My Heart, which will be Dr. Rand Brookston and Rachel Boyd's story.

To find out more about Tamera, and her books, visit her at www.tameraalexander.com.

To purchase her books, visit Amazon.com or Christianbook.com



~ Julie Lessman and Maggie Brendan ~

(I meant to post this photo when I started my "new" blog, but it slipped my mind until now.)

I had the privilege of meeting both Julie Lessman AND Maggie Brendan at a Book Signing in Buford, GA (which is about an hour and a half north of me!) back in June of this year. They were at the LifeWay bookstore there. It was AWESOME!!! They are the first "famous" people I've ever had the honor of meeting. They are both such sweethearts! I wish we all lived closer to one another because I would love to be able to visit with them occasionally. I took my copies of all of their books for them to autograph for me ~ sweet! LOL My sister, Whitney, went with me. She loves to read as much, if not more, than I do. We had a great time! Okay, okay...I know you're ready for the photo, so I'll hush now. :) Here it is...

Maggie Brendan, me, and Julie Lessman (from left to right)
Aren't they both too cute??? :)

I was hoping to have already posted my review of Maggie's debut novel, No Place for a Lady, but I haven't been able to get it back from whoever has borrowed it...one of my sisters, or my Mom. I'm going to try to get it this weekend, so I can post my review real soon. Be sure to check back...if you haven't read it yet, you should really think about getting it! Book 2, The Jewel of His Heart, will be released on October 1st, so you need to hurry up and read No Place for a Lady!

To read my review of Julie's debut novel, A Passion Most Pure, just click on the title.

You can purchase any of their books at Amazon.com or Christianbook.com.

To find out more about Julie Lessman and Maggie Brendan, please visit them at:




Book Review: Snow Melts in Spring by Deborah Vogts

Snow Melts in Spring, Book 1
(Season of the Tallgrass Series)
by Deborah Vogts
Copyright 2009
303 pages
ISBN: 9780310292753

When I first saw this book in the CBD catalog, I thought it was going to be a romance. It does have some romance, but it's also a very emotional story about forgiveness ~ whether it's forgiving others, yourself, or trusting that God has truly forgiven you when you accepted him into your heart.

Mattie Evans has always loved the Flint Hills of Kansas, and she can't understand why anyone would ever want to leave. Even though her family has decided to move away, Mattie has chosen to stay and is now the local veterinarian. As she encounters one tragedy after another, she learns to trust God as well as her own heart. After one such tragedy, she is called on to personally nurse a friend's estranged son's horse back to health.

Gil McCray left town straight out of high school to pursue a career as a professional football player. Memories of the horrible tragedy that made him decide to leave town have haunted him every step of the way. No matter how hard, or fast, he runs he can't outrun his memories. When another tragic event brings him back home, he's determined to face his past, with God's help, as well as Mattie's.

I was so excited to finally get the opportunity to read Ms. Vogts debut novel, Snow Melts in Spring. I must say that it was worth the wait! I'm anxious to see what happens next in, Seeds of Summer, due for release in May 2010.

To find out more about Deborah Vogts, visit her at www.deborahvogts.com

To purchase Snow Melts in Spring, visit Amazon.com, or Christianbook.com.


Book Review: Montana Rose (Montana Marriages, Book 1) by Mary Connealy

Montana Rose (Montana Marriages, Book 1)
Author: Mary Connealy
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781602601420

The very same day Cassie Griffin's husband dies, the men of Divide, Montana practically fall all over each other trying to determine who will marry her! When the richest rancher in town tries to force the visiting parson to perform the wedding ceremony, Red Dawson intervenes...but he's not quite sure it's God's will for him to do so. Cassie has already decided that she hates Red, due to a previous encounter with him, but she quickly discovers that she hates the other townspeople more. To save herself from a terrifying situation, Cassie reluctantly accepts Red's offer of marriage.

This is a wonderful story about learning to be the person God has created you to be ~ not the person others may want you to be. I found Cassie and Red's story to be heartwarming, as well as, encouraging. Red is constantly seeking God's help in his new marriage ~ while Cassie is busy keeping her thoughts concerning her new husband to herself, or so she thinks!

There are no slow, or boring, parts in Montana Rose; I read it in about 2-3 hours! Cassie and Red will have you laughing, and crying, right along with them. There are also some interesting secondary characters ~ I especially enjoyed Belle Tanner, and her daughters. We will be reading their story in The Husband Tree ~ Mary's second installment of her Montana Marriages trilogy. I can't wait to find out what happens next!

I highly recommend this book ~ if you enjoyed Petticoat Ranch, then you will love Montana Rose! Be sure to watch for books 2 and 3:

The Husband Tree, Book 2 - releases January 1, 2010
The Wildflower Bride, Book 3 - releases May 1, 2010

To find out more about Mary Connealy, visit her at: www.maryconnealy.com

If you're interested in purchasing any of Mary Connealy's books, visit Amazon.com or ChristianBook.com

Book Review: A Passion Most Pure (Daughters of Boston, Book 1) by Julie Lessman

(This review was first posted on my original blog on 9.1.2009 ~ click here to see the original comments.)

A Passion Most Pure (Daughters of Boston, Book 1)

by Julie Lessman
Revell - a division of Baker Publishing Group
Copyright 2008
477 pages
ISBN: 9780800732110

I had never heard of "edgy" Christian Fiction romance until the release of Julie Lessman's debut novel, A Passion Most Pure. I wasn't sure what that meant until I finally had an opportunity to read it. There has been quite a bit of controversy over her books. Personally, I don't understand why. In my opinion, it's refreshing to see an author who is brave enough to write a book (especially in the Christian Fiction realm) that covers some of the "delicate" issues. What's wrong with reading about the romantic relationship between a married couple, as long as it's tastefully written? I don't have a problem with it at all, in fact, I would like to see more authors join her. It's exciting to read something a little different from the "normal" Christian Fiction romance!

Faith and Charity may be sisters, but they've never really been friends. Charity has always been jealous of Faith's close relationship with their father, Patrick. Faith has always felt that Charity is "better" than her, i.e.: more beautiful, more sophisticated, more experienced at attracting attention from the opposite sex. As you will discover, Faith is actually correct in that last observation.

Collin McGuire has been Faith's secret crush ever since he rescued her from a bully back in the fifth-grade. Unfortunately, Charity now has her eye on him as well. This leads to much gut-wrenching turmoil and heartbreak not only for the sisters, but for the rest of the O'Connor family.

Julie has a gift for making her characters so life-like that you feel as though you share their feelings every step of the way. Be sure you have some tissues nearby.

A Passion Most Pure gets 5/5 stars in my book ~ I absolutely loved it!

For more about Julie, and the rest of her Daughter's of Boston series, visit her here.

The other books in her debut series are:

A Passion Redeemed (Book 2) - Charity's story
A Passion Denied (Book 3) - Lizzie's story

To order your very own copies of these 3 books ~ go to Amazon.com or ChristianBook.com