The Christmas Heirloom by Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, and Becky Wade | Christmas Book Review

The Christmas Heirloom by Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, and Becky Wade

Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter,
Sarah Loudin Thomas, and Becky Wade
Historical Romance

In Kristi Ann Hunter's "Legacy of Love," Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman's grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer's "Gift of the Heart," widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas's "A Shot at Love," Fleeta Brady's rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family's brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade's "Because of You," Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

My Thoughts

This was the choice of my book club for our annual Christmas book. What a perfect pick! There are four short stories from four very talented writers. I felt like each story could be read in an evening. During this busy time of year that is a real bonus. While each story is a stand alone novella there is a theme that pulls all of them together. The connecting thread that weaves throughout each story is a brooch that is passed from mother to daughter.

I enjoyed each of the stories and can't say that I preferred one over the other. The continuity between the stories was very smooth and made for an overall good read.. The last two stories, A Shot At Love by Sarah Loudin Thomas and Because of You by Becky Wade, are off shoots from their current series. If you're fans of these two authors you definitely don't want to miss this book.

So far this is my favorite Christmas read of the season. If you're looking for a stocking stuffer for your favorite reader this would be a wonderful choice.






Disclosure statement

I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

A Tale of Two Hearts (Once Upon A Dickens Christmas #2) by Michelle Griep | Christmas Book Review

A Tale of Two Hearts (Once Upon A Dickens Christmas #2) by Michelle Griep

Once Upon A Dickens Christmas #2
Michelle Griep
Historical Romance

London, 1853: Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life, for there’s nothing more mundane than serving customers day after day. Every minute she can, she reads and dreams of someday becoming a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William is a gentleman’s son, a charming but penniless rogue. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his scheming cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.

William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t. So does William. Deceiving the old man breaks both their hearts. When the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.

Can two hearts survive such deception?

My Thoughts

I have been looking forward to reading this book for a year now. It was worth the wait! Last year I read the first book in the series and knew that if it was any indication of what was to come I wouldn't be disappointed. I wasn't. This book shifts the story to an unlikely couple. William Barlow seems to be the perpetual bachelor and Mina Scott is a server at her father's tavern. Mina has had a crush on William since she first set eyes on William but he's not really paid that much attention. But when a family situation arrises Mina becomes the perfect person to help William.

This charming story takes a few twists and turns but on the whole stays pretty much as you would expect. It really is the perfect read for a cozy night in front of the fire. The characters are lively (just wait until you meet Uncle Barlow) and the romance is warm and fuzzy. If you've been binge watching Christmas movies then this will be a nice change of pace. The little shout outs to the wonderful works of Dickens are the perfect accompaniment to this delightful story.

I am eagerly anticipating the third book in this series which is slated to come out next year. I hope that this will become a nice little Christmas tradition from Michelle Griep for years to come.



Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Everything She Didn't Say by Jane Kirkpatrick | Historical Fiction Review

Everything She Didn't Say by Jane Kirkpatrick

Historical Fiction

There is more than one way to tell a story . . . 

In 1911, Carrie Strahorn wrote a memoir sharing some of the most exciting events of twenty-five years of shaping the American West with her husband, railroad promoter and writer Robert Strahorn. Nearly ten years later, she's finally ready to reveal the secrets she hadn't told anyone--even herself.

Certain that her writings will be found only after her death, Carrie confronts the pain and disappointment of the pioneering life with startling honesty. She explores the danger a woman faces of losing herself within a relationship with a strong-willed man. She reaches for the courage to accept her own worth. Most of all she wonders, Can she ever feel truly at home in this rootless life?

New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick draws out the emotions of living--the laughter and pain, the love and loss--to give us a window not only into the past but into our own conflicted hearts. Based on a true story.

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My Thoughts

Jane Kirkpatrick has once again found a little known female pioneer and brought her story to us. We've come to expect interesting stories about women that in their own unique ways helped to shape our nation. In Everything She Didn't Say, Ms. Kirkpatrick uses Carrie Strahorn's actual account as the building blocks of the novel then fills in the nuances from her own imagination and historical facts. The result is a fasinating story of one ordinary woman doing extraordinary things.

Carrie Strahorn isn't someone that you would be familiar with unless you happen to be from one of the towns that she helped establish. She grew up in a Chicago suburb as the daughter of a prominent physician. She lived a privileged life that led to her meeting Robert Strahorn. She fell in love and they soon married.

Like most women of that time Carrie imagined settling down and raising a family. She quickly learned that settling down with Robert was not in the cards. Robert was an aspiring railroad promoter and writer. That meant travel, lots of travel. Again the story is fascinating yet heartbreaking at the same time.

Carrie's story is a wonderful example of what dying to self means. Time after time she had to make the decision to put aside her wishes and dreams because of a covenant she made. As a wife and mother I can relate. It's a daily struggle to put aside personal ambitions in order to fulfill someone else's dreams.

The following quote is my favorite from the novel. I think it captures the essence of the story.

"What I hadn't realized then--and that Caldwell helped teach me--is that it's how we respond to the broken tracks that matters, because there will always be brokenness. It's what we do with the punches we take, the heart-stopping moments, those are the knives that carve out who we are. I came to believe that people born with silver spoons in their mouths never get the real nourishment they need to grow to their full height unless the spoon tarnishes or the food drops off now and then and they have to find a way to pick it up themselves. They're really deprived, which may be why we call them "spoiled," like meat left out in the son."

I highly recommend this book to all women. Carrie leads a different life than most of us, but her experiences are riddled with lessons for each of us.

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Jane Kirkpatrick




Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.





Crack Yourself Up Jokes For Kids by Sandy Silverthorne | Children's Book Review

Crack Yourself Up Jokes For Kids by Sandy Silverthorne

Sandy Silverthorne
Children's Book

Why are dogs such bad dancers? They have two left feet.

Knock, knock. Who's there? Alex. Alex who? Alex the questions around here.
What's red and goes up and down? A tomato in an elevator.

Any kid can be a comedian with a little help from Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids. This zany collection of one-liners, knock-knock jokes, riddles, puns, funny lists, and hilarious illustrations promises hours of fun. Just be careful. These are the kinds of laughs that make milk come out your nose--so don't drink and read!

Perfect for kids ages 6-12.

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My Thoughts

This cute little book will either delight you or drive you crazy as a parent or perhaps even a little of both. In our family it has been used as a secret weapon. We have a couple of reluctant readers that usually reject all efforts to get them to read. But something about a good joke book draws them in.

Mr. Silverthorne has put together a good mix of jokes, knock-knock jokes, riddles, and silly stories. They are guaranteed to make you laugh, groan, roll your eyes, and shake your head. But it also makes me so happy to have my little one following me around reading out of it to me.

Whether you have a reluctant reader or an avid bibliophile this book is a good choice for your children. The jokes are clean and clever so you don't have to worry about what they are going to come across and repeat.

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Sandy Silverthorne




Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.








A Rebel Heart (The Daughtry House Series #1) by Beth White | Historical Romance Review

A Rebel Heart (The Daughtry House Series #1) by Beth White

The Daughtry House Series #1
Historical Romance

Five years after the final shot was fired in the War Between the States, Selah Daughtry can barely manage to keep herself, her two younger sisters, and their spinster cousin fed and clothed. With their family's Mississippi plantation swamped by debt and the Big House falling down around them, the only option seems to be giving up their ancestral land--until a hotel management agent for the railroad offers her hope for the future.

If she'll turn her home into a hotel, Levi Riggins says, he can all but guarantee it will be saved. Selah isn't sure she entirely trusts the handsome Yankee. Yet what other options does she have? She'll have to stay on her guard . . . but she never expected to have to guard her heart.

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My Thoughts

The Civil War was such an ugly hard thing for our country. Families were divided. The nation was torn in two. A Rebel Heart brings us a tale of  one group of people working to repair and rebuild not only structures but relationships.

Selah Daughtry and her two sisters and cousin are barely eeking out an existance on their family's plantation. The main house is in a deplorable state of disrepair, the slaves have been set free, and all sorces of income have dwindled to nothing. Despite all of the obsticles Selahh is determined to retain her family's estate but her options are quickly narrowing to one. And that isn't the one she was hoping for.

What was intriguing about this book was the reminder that the after effects of war are nothing new. PTSD was a thing even though it wasn't called that. Former enemies had to find a way to make peace to move beyond the conflict. All that we see in our current situations were present then, maybe in a different form due to the time-frame, but present all the same.

I thought that it was easy to connect with Selah and her sisters and cousin. They each found themselves struggling to find their place between the past and the future. Relationships can be hard, but they are always worth investing in.

If you like historical fiction, especially Civil War era then I think you'll enjoy this book. There's a bit of romance to lighten the dire subject matter but it doesn't fluff the story too much. This first book focuses on Selah, but there are more books planned in the series that will focus on the other women in the story. I'm looking forward to reading them all.

Other Reviews For This Author

The Pelican Bride
The Creole Princess

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Beth White
Photo Credit: © Wendy Wilson Photography




Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.




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