The California Gold Rush Romance Collection – review and giveaway!

The California Gold Rush Romance Collection is a delightful collection of stories from nine talented and very creative authors. The plots are diverse, and I’ve never seen such an eclectic group of heroes and heroines in one book! Enter below to win a free paperback copy! Only three days left!     Is it possible there’s an inheritance far greater than gold, or is Thalia destined to remain empty, like the ghost town she inhabits? – Gold Haven Heiress by Jaime Jo Wright I enjoyed all of the stories in this book, but I was especially interested in Jaime Jo Wright’s Gold Haven Heiress,  which is an unusual love story with interesting characters. Jack Taylor is a man who grew wealthy by taking advantage of gold rush miners. He’s a changed man now, and he’s using his ill-gotten riches to help others by building a community in Gold Haven, an abandoned goldmining town, to be a place of redemption, where people can come to be healed and live safely together. He didn’t expect to find the cast-off “soiled dove” Thalia Simmons hiding in the deserted town, and while he is drawn to her, she struggles to reconcile concepts of a Read More

Miranda Warning – An Audiobook Review

I just finished reading Miranda Warning (A Murder in the Mountains – Book One) by Heather Day Gilbert. I thought it would be a straightforward mystery, but it turned out to be a multi-faceted introduction to what I expect will be a long series. NOTE – This kindle book is FREE on Amazon right now, and when you buy it (for FREE), you can get the audible version for $1.99.  I highly recommend it, and I think you will want to follow up with the next in the series, “Trial by Twelve.” The author has created a refreshingly original world. I wouldn’t classify the book as “Christian Fiction.” Instead, Ms. Gilbert writes from a Christian worldview, and her setting includes a realistic mix of Christians and nonbelievers in community. None of them are perfect, and they live naturally according to their convictions. The heroine is a unique character. She bears some scars from a dysfunctional childhood, but she went to college, married into a healthy family and doesn’t wallow in angst. As a mother-in-law, I was pleased to see the loving relationship between Tess and Nikki Jo. The politically conservative characters are portrayed as intelligent and sensible instead of rednecks Read More

Bite Size Book Reviews

I’m not feeling romantic this week. When I am stressed, instead of reaching for something lighthearted, I usually pick up a mystery or (slightly)romantic suspense novel. We moved two weeks ago, unexpectedly, and I listened to audiobooks while I worked on packing and cleaning.  When in Rome is an old favorite, and I always enjoy Kristen Heitzmann, but the others were new to me. Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris is a FREE KINDLE BOOK! (Price may change without notice, but it’s free right now!) We are starting to settle into our new home – did I mention that it is an apartment in a Tudor castle? – but I’m still not ready to snuggle up with a romance. Expect more murder and violence next week… When in Rome, audiobook by Ngaio Marsh, read by Nadia May Retro Read! This classic detective story from 1969 is an old favorite. Ms. Marsh writes so clearly that the reader experiences the story more like a movie than a book. She researched Rome, its history and its legal system for this tale of blackmail and drug smuggling. Her characters are varied, each drawn with realistic attitudes and behaviors, and each has his or her Read More

Fascinating – Christian Fantasy!

Highlands, by Chautona Havig Pre-order this now, for 99 cents! Releases automatically to your kindle or kindle app on October 6th. If you had told me yesterday that I would enjoy a book in the “Contemporary Christian Fantasy” genre – even one by Chautona Havig! – I would have smiled and nodded politely. I have good manners like that.  Well,  she sent me an advance copy. She’s generous like that. She didn’t even ask me to review it!   And I can admit when I’m wrong… this book caught my attention and held it. I meant to just skim, but it sucked me in and I was on chapter six before I realized what I was doing. I have three major projects due for clients, so I pulled out the fabrics I needed and tidied up the sewing room. Then I sat down to read chapters seven and eight. I closed the computer and started quilting. I spent ten minutes on the first table runner and opened the laptop  computer to read chapter nine. And so on. Ms. Havig drops a modern young athlete (nearly naked!) into a remote, bizarre community. He is confused. He is horrified. He wonders if Read More

Bite-size Book Reviews

With the exception of Susan Baganz’s “Pesto and Potholes” – so suitable for the start of the Green Bay Packers season! – it’s all audiobook reviews this week. I get a lot of housework and sewing and quilting done while I listen to audiobooks!   Pesto and Potholes, paperback by Susan M. Baganz This is a delightful, gentle romance sprinkled with silliness.  The heroine is recovering from serious physical and emotional trauma, trying to restart life in a new city. She connects with the hero and friends at her new church and starts to heal, but she experiences setbacks and has to recover, a little stronger each time.  I was especially impressed by the realistic community. The friends and families of the main characters interact naturally under various circumstances, including the potentially-problematic operation of a family business. Ms. Baganz writes in a pleasant rhythm, pacing the story well.     Poseidon’s Arrow, audiobook by Clive and Dirk Cussler, read by Scott Brick I’m starting to worry about Dirk Pitt. He’s not getting any younger, but he’s still out there saving the world. This is an interesting and creative story featuring the rare earth minerals, Chinese villains, and an amazing piece Read More

Love Comes Calling – A Book to Chew On

I chose that catchy title because I normally write bite-size book reviews, and I have a little more to say about this one.  A few days ago, I needed a pleasant story – nothing too thought-provoking – to listen to while I did some sewing.  Siri Mitchell’s book Love Comes Calling looked perfect. And I loved it. Just loved it. I didn’t need the author’s note at the end to tell me that the heroine had ADHD. Any mother or teacher (and many adults who don’t even have children) recognized it on page one. When I read the Amazon reviews later, I was surprised to see that not everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. They found the heroine: confusing, annoying, immature, flighty, scatterbrained, selfish, insecure, irresponsible, repetitive, foolish and impulsive. Well, then…  the author did a fabulous job of creating an authentic heroine.  That is exactly how such a girl would feel and appear to others. Some reviewers found the stream-of-thought style confusing because the heroine’s thoughts were so random and jumpy, and I think it is likely that her personality is better captured in the audiobook than in the written format. The reader, Morgan Hallett, is good. She Read More