Monthly Archives: July 2013

What Are You Reading Today?

I thought it would be fun to see what all of my followers and anyone else who visits our blog is currently reading?  We might get some great ideas from each other!

Right now I’m actively reading, Blowing on Dandelions by Miralee Ferrell.  I’ll be publishing a review in the next few days I hope…things keep getting in my way of reading lately!  Not good!

I’m also reading, Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle.  I was up in the middle of the night on Monday with my back hurting, so I pulled this book up on my kindle!  If it had been during the day I would have been laughing out loud (didn’t want to wake my hubby) and I had to have lots of tissues to wipe my eyes, because I was silently laughing so much I was crying…can’t wait to get back to this book! 🙂

And I’ve been slowing reading a great devotional book, Walking with Bilbo by Sarah Arthur.  If you are a Hobbit and Lord of the Rings fan like me, you’ll love this book of devotions.  I think I’m taking my time, because I don’t want to finish it.  I’m sure this will be one I’ll refer to again and again.

So….what are you reading?  Let me know!




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Women’s Book Club Meeting Information for September 21, 2013

For the past two meetings we have been reading and discussing Cindy Woodsmall’s series, Amish Vines & Orchards.  The final book, For Every Season, is coming out on August 20, 2013 and in order to keep the momentum going, we are moving our meeting from September 7th, 2013 TO September 21, 2013. That will give everyone enough time to get the book and read it before our meeting.

We can’t wait to see how Cindy brings this story to a close.  Who will Rhoda end up with, Samuel or Jacob?  What about Leah, will she leave the Amish like she’s always said she would do…maybe she ends up with Landon.  And what about that elderly couple in the woods and Rhoda’s strange visions of her sister and the voices she keeps hearing?  Oh, we can’t wait to read this book!!!

So friends, mark your calendars for Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 9:30amWe will be meeting at Carmen’s home this time.  Look for more information about the menu and directions in emails from Carmen.  Carmen has already ordered the books, so if you missed out on the order you can either buy a copy yourself (I’m sure The Carpenter’s Shop will have them in-stock) or download to your e-reader, or come in and read the Media Center copy.  If you plan on reading our copy, please come in soon and put your name on the waiting list, so everyone will have a chance to read the book before the meeting.  Don’t wait until the last two weeks before the meeting and all of you come in at once…it just won’t work…been there, done that!

You can visit Cindy’s website and read an excerpt from the upcoming book by clicking HERE.

Here is a YouTube video of Cindy talking about how and why she became a writer.  This video was made in 2010 (which was the year that we actually got to have our meeting with her at The Carpenter’s Shop…what a great meeting that was!).

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Sarah’s Kine Justice: A Story of Modern Hawaii by Hermann Schachtschneider

How would you like to try out a new author?  Sometimes I get stuck in a rut by reading all my favorites and might miss out on someone good. I came across this author, Hermann Schachtschneider, and his book, Sarah’s Kine Justice, on Goodreads.


It’s a free Kindle download, July 27-31, 2013.  I love Hawaii, never been, but have always wanted to go, so the thought of a mystery written in Hawaii is appealing.  And this is what is written in the description on Amazon:

Told from a Christian worldview!

This story is told from a Christian worldview. The main protagonists are not morally perfect, but they are practicing Christians. They pray, and they find strength in their relationships with their Creator and Savior. The author has taken care to not include expletives, blasphemous language or the sorts of story events and elements that he finds morally offensive in many popular thrillers and mysteries. The result is a first class thriller that you can recommend unequivocally to any Christian book lover.

Click the “Buy Now” button to add this ebook to your cart, and discover the uplifting pleasure of reading a thriller purposely written from a Christian worldview.

Aloha and Peace be with you.

I don’t know anything about the author or book, other than what he has said on Goodreads and the one review on Amazon, but I downloaded it and am going to give this new author/book a try.  If you decide to do so to, let me know what you think, ok?



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Free and Discounted E-Books – July 27, 2013

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  • FREE on Kindle:  The Color of the Soul by Tracey Bateman
  • FREE on Kindle:  Harvest of Rubies  (Harvest Series #1) by Tessa Afshar
  • $1.99 on Kindle:  Harvest of Gold (Harvest Series #2) by Tessa Afsahr
  • $1.99 (July 27-August 2) on Kindle:  Jungle Fire by Dana Mentick.  You can read my review of this book by clicking HERE.  I really enjoyed this book.
  • $1.99 on Kindle:  Tidewater Inn (Hope Beach Series #1) by Colleen Coble. We had a great interview with Colleen on our blog this month and we gave away, Rosemary Cottage #2 in this series.  Click HERE to read her interview.

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Going to Heaven

Here’s a Saturday Funny…compliments of


childrenI was testing the children in my Sunday school class to see if they understood the concept of getting to heaven. I asked them, “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, Would that get me into Heaven?”

“NO!” the children answered.

“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into Heaven?” Again, the answer was, “NO!”

By now I was starting to smile. Hey, this was fun! “Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children, and loved my husband, would that get me into Heaven?” I asked them again.

Again, they all answered, “NO!”

I was just bursting with pride for them. “Well,” I continued, “then how can I get into Heaven?”

A five-year-old boy shouted out…

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Restored To A Perfect Shine

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When I was 15, our family moved to an old colonial style home on the outskirts of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  My father immediately assessed the property and saw its potential.  He decided that with a little paint and TLC, we could make this 5 bedroom house into a home for our family of 9.  The painting was going to be easy, but have you ever restored hardwood floors the old fashioned way?

First, we emptied the room and removed the vinyl carpet.  Next, we got rid of protruding nails.  After all the nails were gone and some of the floor boards replaced, we scrubbed the dirtiest areas with a brush, we swept and we mopped.

Once dry, the floor was ready to be sanded.  Each of us was handed a piece of sandpaper which we used to smooth down our designated area of the floor. While we worked, my father moved from one spot to another encouraging and advising us on how much pressure to apply and how to move the sandpaper in a circular fashion.  Every night we had to sweep the dust away, since we did not own a vacuum cleaner.

By the third day, some of us got grumpy thinking we would never see an end to this project. Then, finally, one day, the floor was ready for my father to stain and varnish. When he finished, the floor looked beautiful, shiny and new.

My father had restored wood floors before, so he knew how it would look when we were through doing all the hard work.  He had a plan.  He was sure we could do the work.  He also knew we would do the work because we trusted that he knew what he was doing.  He probably didn’t tell us how long it would take because knowing that would have been overwhelming.

God is in the business of restoring people.  He has a plan.  He created us and is aware of our strengths and weaknesses.  He knows the true measure of our faith and trust.  And ultimately, He is the only one who knows the duration and the outcome of his plan for us and future generations.  Sometimes He will even use us to smooth the way for others to come to Him.  Because He has been faithful to keep his promises in the past, we have the assurance that His plans are “to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11) in this life and the next.

Dearest Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your faithfulness, your loving-kindness and your discipline.  Thank you for taking the time to wash away our sins.  Thank you for smoothing out the rough places in our lives and for using us in preparing the way for others to come to you.  Forgive us when we lose heart, and encourage us when we hesitate to come along beside you.  Knowing your timing is perfect, we give you our hands, our hearts and our will. May they be used for your glory!

In the name of the one who makes us a new creation,


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An Unforgivable Secret (Amish Secrets #1) by J.E.B. Spredemann

Powerful Story of Forgiveness (4 Stars)


An Unforgivable Secret (Amish Secrets #1) by J.E.B. Spredemann

This is a powerful story of one woman’s past that has effected her whole life.  Hannah Stolzfus is a sweet Amish young woman and her beau, Christian Glick, are going to get married.  But before that, Christian has something important to take care of.  When Hannah finds out that Christian was seeing someone else, she is heart broken and she makes a huge mistake.  One that follows her for years.  She forgives Christian and they marry and he has changed and loves her very much and they are having a good life.  That is until everything starts to fall apart.

I really don’t want to say more about the story, because the best part of reading a good book is not knowing what is going to happen, but to discover it piece by piece yourself.  To let it grab you unexpectedly and touch your heart in ways that I don’t think it can if you know it’s coming.  Have tissues handy and be ready for God to touch your heart as you read this book.

I received a complimentary e-book copy of this book from the author for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This book is only available on e-book.  The current price is $2.99 on Kindle.


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Some Really Great E-Books – Free and Discounted – July 25, 2013

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I’m excited today because I’ve found some good e-books on sale.  Just click on the e-reader and you’ll be directed to the website to read about the books and then download if you like what you see.  But, remember to double check the prices, they can change quickly.  Also, click on the authors name and you’ll be directed to their websites.

  • FREE on Kindle:  Like A Watered Garden (The Garden Gate Series #1) by Patti Hill.  This is a fantastic series! So get this book while it’s free, you won’t regret it.  Our Women’s Book Club read the entire series!
  • FREE on Kindle:  God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments by Rose Chandler Johnson.  Being Southern myself, I’m really drawn to sweet iced tea and this book sounds like it will be really good.  It has some great recommendations by Elizabeth Musser and Ann Tatlock.
  • $1.99 on Kindle:  Sweet Caroline (A Lowcountry Romance #1) by Rachel Hauck.  This is a wonderful series.  In fact, anything by Rachel is great!
  • $3.99 on Kindle:  The Measure of a Lady by Deeanne Gist.  She writes the most delightful historical romances! I’ve read several of her books and I have loved them all.
  • $3.99 on Kindle:  No Safe Harbor (Edge of Freedom #1) by Elizabeth Ludwig.  You can read my review on our blog.  It’s a wonderful book and the sequel is just as good!

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Cinnamon Crisps Recipe

We have this book in our Media Center, and now thanks to Cassie and her blog, we can try this delicious recipe! It looks easy enough for me to give it a try.

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Catching Katie by Robin Lee Hatcher (4 Stars)

Positively Charming (4 Stars)


Catching Katie by Robin Lee Hatcher

Catching Katie is an appropriate title for this sweet historical romance.  Katie Jones knows what she wants out of life and she’s jumping head first into the women’s suffrage movement.  She’s been in Washington D.C. and then heads back home in her old motorcar she has named “Susan B”.  She is going to try and get the women’s movement going in Idaho and then the whole country.  But when she gets back home and see’s her best friend Ben, who just happens to own the local newspaper, things start happening.  Ben agrees to let her have a women’s column each week and she begins stirring up all kinds of trouble around town.

She is adorable and Ben is too and it’s obvious from the start that they are meant for each other.  The only trouble Ben has is to convince Katie of that.  So, he really does spend most of the book trying to catch her attention and to admit her love for him.  She gets into all kinds of crazy situations and most are comical and a few serious.  I found it interesting reading about the women’s movement in the early 1900’s.

I guess the book is predicable to a point, but it kept my interest and I loved reading this book.  Sometimes I just want a good lighthearted romance to just sit back and enjoy.  This is that kind of book.  One you’d take to the beach with you to just relax and smile at all the escapades Katie and Ben get into.  I hope to read more books by Robin Lee Hatcher in the future.

I won this book through a sweepstakes on Goodreads and was not asked to do a review but I wanted to because I really did enjoy reading this book!  And I’m donating it to our Media Center for our patrons who love historical romances! They will love this one!


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Free and Discounted E-Books – July 24, 2013

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If the Shoe Fits: A Contemporary Fairy Tale by Sandra D. Bricker (5 Stars)

Delightful, Romantic and Funny! (5 Stars)

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Ok, to be honest, at the beginning of this book you know who Julianne will end up with.  But what you don’t know is all the funny, delightful escapades that Julianne will get herself into while on her search for her Prince Charming!  Julianne Bartlett and Will Hanes have been the best of friends since childhood and now that they are grown it hasn’t changed, or has it?  They are both lawyers and they decide to open their own law office.  They are the perfect partners, but Will wants more.  And Julianne is on her quest to find her prince, even though he’s standing right beside her. The fun is just beginning and you don’t want to miss a minute of it!

This is another delightful book by Sandra D. Bricker that you don’t want to miss.  I love a book that draws you in immediately and makes you laugh.  This is not a serious drama, not a spine-tingling thriller, but it is totally wonderful!  There are many genres of books and I’m so glad that Sandra does so well in writing the wonderful, humorous kind.  She tells a great story and along the way she shows how God has His plans all along and how the characters find His will for their lives.  This is not a preachy book, but the characters relationship with Jesus just intertwines throughout the book.  I think this book would make a wonderful Hallmark movie!  So, Sandra if you read this, tell your manager to send this book to the producers of the Hallmark channel and hopefully they will see the makings of a delightful romantic movie!

“I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.” I  received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Publishers for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This book will be donated to our Media Center to join Sandra’s other series, Emma Rae Creations!

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Free and Discounted E-Books – Get ’em While They Last!

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Here are some great deals.  I know the date on two of them are for this week, and Terri’s Blackstock are just today, so if you want them pay attention to the date.  I do know the series by Terri Blackstock is GREAT!  It would be $8 for the set of four, but if you don’t mind paying for e-books, then it’s a great deal.  Our Media Center has the series you can checkout, or you could check your local library system to see if they have them (I know the Georgia Library system does!)  Please check the reviews on these books to decide if you want to purchase them.  Of course, the freebie is a given!  No cost and if you don’t like it, you can delete it without feeling bad for wasting your money, but just reading about, Skip Rock Shallows, has me intrigued and I think I’m going to like it!

  • FREE (July 21-27, 2013) on Kindle and Nook:  Skip Rock Shallows by Jan Watson  Thanks Tyndale House for this great deal!
  • $1.99 (July 21st ONLY) on Kindle:  Last Night (Restoration Novel #1) by Terri Blackstock (This is a Kindle Daily Deal)
  • $1.99 (July 21st ONLY) on Kindle:  Night Light (Restoration Novel #2) by Terri Blackstock (This is a Kindle Daily Deal)
  • $1.99 (July 21st ONLY) on Kindle:  True Light (Restoration Novel #3) by Terri Blackstock (This is a Kindle Daily Deal)
  • $1.99 (July 21st ONLY) on Kindle:  Dawn’s Light (Restoration Novel #4) by Terri Blackstock (This is a Kindle Daily Deal)
  • $2.99 (July 21-27, 2013) on Kindle and Nook:  Grace’s Pictures (Ellis Island #1) by Cindy Thomson  Thanks Tyndale House for this great deal! (I haven’t heard of this author, but the book sounds good and looking over the author’s blog is very interesting.)


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A Bride For All Seasons (5 Stars)

Mail-Order Brides At It’s Best (5 Stars)


A Bride For All Seasons (The Mail-Order Bride Collection) by Margaret Brownley, Debra CloptonMary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher (Thomas Nelson)

Melvin Hitchcock has a catalogue called, Hitching Post Mail-Order Bride Catalogue.  And he is determined to be the matchmaker of all, even if it means changing the ads and or letters a little to make them more appealing.  He may make some mistakes we don’t know about, but in this book of four romantic stories of mistaken identities he is a winner!

If I reviewed each novella, this review would be way too long, so I’ll just say that each story is total romance at it’s best.  Each “to-be” bride and “to-be” groom have been deceived in one way or another, and the beginnings of their meetings are rough, but God is able to overcome each one of their problems and bring them together.   The books are all separate stories, with the exception that each one placed an ad in Mr. Hitchcock’s catalogue.  Some of the stories are more humorous, than others, and some a little more serious, but all are just plain wonderful to sit down and read and enjoy watching the stories unfold of these people being brought together, sometimes in strange ways.  I loved each novella in this book and highly recommend it to anyone who loves sweet romances.  Each one of these authors did a fabulous job!!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze and Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I know many of our Media Center patrons will LOVE this book!  

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The Pirate Queen Giveaway at WaterBrook Multnomah

Just wanted to let y’all know about a great book giveaway at WaterBrook Multnomah.  This is for The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman.  Just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the site to enter.  Giveaway ends on July 26, 2013, so hurry on over and enter.

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A Song To Sweeten Our Sorrows

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“After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”  (Mark 14:26 NASB)

One treasured memory of my childhood is hearing my mother sing as she went about her daily tasks.  As we grew older, she taught us those songs and we sang them in the car when we went on family outings.  Most of them were songs she learned when she sang in the church choir and some that reminded her of her Puerto Rican homeland.

Just before I got married and left home to come to Georgia, my mom confessed to me that when she came to live in New York City as a young bride, she was homesick and afraid of living in so huge a metropolis.  She said that singing those songs gave her courage to face each day.

Recently, I read an article about two Christian women, Gisela Wieberdink-Söhnlein and Hetty Voûte who were arrested in Amsterdam for hiding Jewish children in World War II.  They were sent to Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, Germany in 1944.  To survive there and at Vught Camp, where they were later transferred, they wrote and sang songs.  The songs offered comfort to their fellow inmates, were a source of entertainment, and provided a distraction from the ugliness and brutality that surrounded them.  Both women survived the war.

Remembering my Mom’s story and reading about these women brought to mind the hymn that says:

God of grace and God of glory.

On Thy people pour Thy power;

Crown Thine ancient church’s story,

Bring her bud to glorious flower,

Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,

For the facing of this hour.

No matter how small or how great our suffering, the Lord grants us grace for each day and each hour.  What a wonderful God we serve!

Dearest Heavenly Father,

Before going to the Mount of Olives, Jesus sang with his disciples.  It is clear by the verses that follow that He knew Golgotha awaited Him beyond that garden of prayer.  Then, You sent an angel to strengthen Him, and He was able to say: “Your will be done.” Thank You for sending us Jesus. As we wait for the fulfillment of your promise to receive us in your kingdom, put a song on our lips, and strengthen our resolve, so that we will live a life that is pleasing to you.

In His precious and holy name,



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Dark Road Home (Edge of Freedom #2) by Elizabeth Ludwig (5 Stars)

Riveting Historical Romantic Suspense  (5 Stars)

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Dark Road Home (Edge of Freedom #2) by Elizabeth Ludwig (Bethany House – 2013)

Be sure to watch the YouTube video below with Elizabeth talking about how she came to write this series, you’ll love it, and her!

First let me say you have to read the first book in this series, No Safe Harbor.  This book continues on with the same plot of hatred between the two warring Irish political groups in America, this time focusing on Cara Hamilton’s brother, Eoghan Hamilton and Ana Kavanagh a friend of Cara’s.  Both Eoghan and Ana have things in their past they want to hide from each other.  But at the same time they are drawn to each other like magnets.  Eoghan has honest feelings for Ana, but he’s so involved with the Fenians, an political organization pushing for change in Ireland, that he gets involved with one of the leaders who is seeking out information on Eoghan’s brother-in-law.  And he needs to get close to Ana to get information, all along he’s being used by another scoundrel who wants to find Ana and do her harm.  I can’t say anymore without giving away more of the story that you need to discover for yourself.  But rest assured, throughout this novel God is working in both of their lives, slowing breaking down the barriers they have put up against Him and letting them learn that God loves them, no matter what!

If you like historical novels, especially Irish immigrant-political mysteries, with some sweet romance, then you’ll be sure to like this series.  If you’ve already read the first book, then hurry out and get this one!  It’s a “hold-your-breath” – “don’t-see-how-they-will-get-out-of-this” type of book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Bethany House Publishers for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Media Center now has both books in this series!


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We Have Our 100th Follower – Now We Are Going For 200!

Cindy Paulson from Athens, GA, is our 100th follower and we are so excited!!  She picked, The Killing Frost by Hannah Alexander as her “thank you” gift.

It took us about 6 months to reach 100 followers, let’s see if we can make 200 sooner!  We just love our followers and feel so blessed that you take the time to browse our blog from time to time.  We hope you enjoy what you read and are getting some good e-books for free or cheap.

Read through our author interviews, June was Ann Gabhart (even thought the giveaway is over,  you’ll still be blessed to read her interview).  And this month the author is Colleen Coble (the giveaway is over but I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading the interview we had with her, it’s like meeting a new friend by reading these interviews with authors).  Starting August 1st, we will have an interview with Jennifer Erin Valent and we’ll giveaway an autographed copy of, Fireflies in December.  If you haven’t heard of her or read this series (3 books) you are missing out on a very special treat! I consider these books as “Christian fiction classics”.  I can’t wait to post the interview with her!  The giveaway will run from August 1 – 10, 2013 and the winner will be picked randomly on August 11th.

Thank you again for following our blog.  Happy Reading!

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Great Prices on E-Books

These aren’t free, but for $1.99, they might as well be!  Remember to double check the price before downloading, because prices tend to change quickly.

  • $1.99 on Kindle and Nook:  Though None Go With Me by Jerry B. Jenkins (This is such a wonderful book, but be sure to have a box of tissues handy!)
  • $1.99 on Kindle and Nook:  Even Now/Ever After by Karen Kingsbury (This is an especially great deal because you get two books in one!)

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That Certain Summer by Irene Hannon Was An Unexpected Surprise!

Much More Than A Summer Romance Novel (5 Stars)


That Certain Summer by Irene Hannon (Revell, Division of Baker Publishing Group – 2013)

Be sure to watch the trailer at the end of this review as Irene shares about her new book.

School’s out, time for a relaxing Summer with family and friends, right?  Not exactly.  Two sister’s, Val and Karen have not had a good relationship for many years, but this Summer Karen needed Val’s help with their cantankerous mother, Margaret, who is recovering from a stroke.  So Karen finally breaks down and call’s Val to come and help her.  Val is a drama teacher, out for the Summer, but going back home is the last place she wants to be.  She does agrees to come help out hoping that this is what she needs to face her past and help her move on with her life.

Meanwhile, Scott is in a terrible accident and he is suffering with an injury that may end his musical career.  He ends up back home with his mother and she gets him a job as a temporary music leader at her church.  That’s the last place Scott wants to be, but he goes anyway.  And then there is David and his five year-old daughter, Victoria, who need to move past the sadness of his wife’s death and decides a move to another city will help.

Of course they all end up in the same town and it just so happens that David is a physical therapist and he’s the one Val takes her mom to for therapy.  And it just so happens that Karen sings in the choir where Scott is trapped into being the temporary music leader.  Sparks begin to happen between these couples, but this story is so much more than romance.  Each person, even cantankerous, Margaret, has a past they have to deal with before they can move on to a better life.  Only with God’s help can they forget, forgive, and let God transform their lives so they can live the abundant life Jesus came to give us.

I’ve read several of Irene Hannon’s mystery/suspense novels and I wondered if she could write a contemporary romance with as much talent as her mysteries.  I don’t need to wonder any longer.  This book was excellent!  I was totally drawn into the lives of each of the characters and loved every word!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Book Club Network and from Revell, Division of Baker Publishing Group for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This book will be donated to our Media Center for our patrons to enjoy!

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