Monday, January 23, 2012


Smitten is a delightful collection of four novellas written by Colleen Coble, Kristen Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter.
            The town of Smitten, Vermont, seems doomed when the main employer, a lumber mill, announces it is closing. Smitten tells the story of four friends who won’t let the town die without a fight. They launch a scheme to turn Smitten into a honeymoon destination. Each of the friends agrees to tackle an aspect of the town’s rebirth, with heartwarming results.
            I loved the novella format as a way of telling this story. Each of the authors puts her own spin on her protagonist, giving variety to the characters’ actions. The four novellas dovetail with ongoing sub-plots. One I particularly enjoyed was a character named Natalie’s continuing struggle to produce edible gluten-free treats at Mountain Perks, a coffee shop she owns in Smitten.
            If you’re looking for a fun read over these winter evenings, you’ll love Smitten.

            Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing me with an advance reader copy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

LONG TRAIL HOME, by Vickie McDonough

When Annie Sheffield is thirteen, her life goes from bad to worse when her father abandons her in Waco, Texas. With nowhere else to go, she pretends to be blind in order to have a home at the Wilcox School for Blind Children.
Several years later, her peaceful life is rocked when a returning Civil War veteran, Riley Morgan, takes a job as handyman at the school. Annie is drawn to him, but cannot reveal the fact that she's sighted or she'll have to leave the only real home she’s ever known.
Long Trail Home is filled with memorable supporting characters. I particularly enjoyed Sean Murphy, the blacksmith. This engaging story takes the reader on the Long Trail Home to a heartwarming conclusion.
Fans of McDonough’s Texas stories will love this one. I know I did.

Monday, January 9, 2012

SUMMER OF PROMISE, by Amanda Cabot

Abigail Harding plans a short visit to her older sister, Charlotte, in Wyoming, then she will hasten back to Vermont, where she has an almost-fiancé waiting. Her sister's protestations that all is well in her marriage don't match up to the actions Abigail observes in the home Charlotte shares with her husband, Jeffrey, at Fort Laramie.
While Abigail walks a fine line between being a guest of her sister and husband, and therefore unable to interfere, and being worried about what’s really happening at the Fort, she finds herself drawn to Lieutenant Ethan Bowles. Besides Charlotte, Ethan is one of the few good things Abigail finds to like about Wyoming. But with someone waiting for her in Vermont, she can’t allow her growing feelings for Ethan to run away with her heart.
Complications at the Fort grow, with stagecoach robberies and desertions all pointing to someone with inside information about the Army’s plans. Cabot doesn’t shy away from real-life details in her stories. Summer of Promise brings encounters with the women at “Peg’s,” a bawdy house near the fort. One particular girl will touch your heart.
Fans of Amanda Cabot’s books will love Summer of Promise. Fortunately, it’s the first in a new series for Revell, so there are two more novels to come in this entertaining series.

My thanks to Revell for providing me with a copy for review purposes.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Helen Carlisle is left widowed, with a small son, when her husband is killed in the Pacific during WWII. To the people in her hometown, she's a brave woman who is giving her time to support the war effort in honor of her heroic husband's memory. But Helen is hiding a secret about her marriage.
Lt. Raymond Novak wants nothing more than to serve his hometown as a pastor, but with the war raging on, and two brothers already in the service, he enlists in the Air Corps--to train pilots, not to be one.
When Helen Carlisle catches his eye, he’s determined to win her hand, but her past fears place a roadblock between them.  His own fears erupt when he’s called to active duty in Europe. Blue Skies Tomorrow moves seamlessly from California to the European theater and back again. Sundin is a master at writing breathtaking scenes of air battles involving B-17 bombers. The final chapters of this novel will have you holding your breath.
Blue Skies Tomorrow is a fitting conclusion to the saga of the Novak brothers. It’s not necessary to have read the first two books in the Wings of Glory series to enjoy this one. But if you haven’t read A Distant Melody and A Memory Between Us, you’re in for a treat. This is a wonderful series.