Friday, December 3, 2010

Highland Blessings by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Highland Blessings is a novel set in Scotland during the late 1400’s. From the very first page the characters came alive and real. You are drawn to the characters and into their stories as they are woven together.

Birk MacKenzie signs a peace settlement with Cedric MacPhearson to end the half-century old feud between the clans. It states that the MacKenzie daughter will marry the MacPhearson son to bond the two clans together. Cedric MacPhearson is attacked on the way home from that signing. One of his sons finds him before he dies and Cedric tells him of that settlement and his desire that it be kept despite the fact that a MacKenzie warrior is the one who dealt the mortal wound.

Akira MacKenzie is the only daughter to the Laird of the MacKenzie clan. She has a strong personality. She relies on the Lord to guide her. Fear does not stop her from acting or speaking when she feels she should. She understands doing something for the greater good around her and yet is not immune to her need for love. She struggles with wanting to escape and doing what she knows she must.

Bryce MacPhearson is the second son to the MacPhearson Laird. He is honorable and kind. While he leads his men with a strong hand he can also be seen as compassionate. He didn’t grow up under a mother’s attention so he is unsure of how to react to Akira on many levels. He starts out trying to make sure his older brother fulfills his duty to marry the MacKenzie. Things don’t quite end up the way he planned.

There are villains in the book that are unseen and some that are obvious from the start. The secondary characters in the book are as real to the reader as the main ones. Some we get to know while others we only get a glimpse of who they are.

In this book we learn how even when we think things are not for our best, God can work them out in a way that is better for everyone. We see love is a choice. We can choose to love or hate others. When we chose love it changes everything.

As someone who started reading historical romances at a very early age, I found the same adventure and excitement in this book WITHOUT the unneeded sex scenes. It is very well written and I enjoyed it greatly. I read it all in one night because I just didn’t want to put it down. (Yes, I have a habit of doing that.) The love and romance were in the story but Jennifer Hudson Taylor showed us that certain things just didn’t have to be in the book to make it good. It is appropriate for any age and something a mom wouldn't have to worry about her daughter reading.

This is another wonderful book for Christmas. It is such a joy to read these “first” novels and look forward to many more from them. God is really blessing those who want to write for Him and bring Him glory. I hope to join their ranks in the near future!

Check out her website: http://www.jenniferhudsontaylor.com.

and this book video!
 

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

The Healer's Apprentice is a novel set in Germany during the late 1300's. The dedication to detail in the story transported me to a time that became very real to me. I could picture every aspect of the story with such clarity. It was as if I were there with them as they were in the town, walking through the countryside, dancing at the ball or going through their everyday lives. The background story is that of "sleeping beauty" but has so much more added to the story.

Rose is a seventeen year old woodcutters daughter who has been taken under the wing of the local Healer. She has grown up in the area so she knows all about the Duke and his family. When Lord Hamlin and Lord Rupert ride through town Rose and Wilhelm's eyes find each other but only for a brief moment. Lord Rupert, on the other hand, makes eye contact with Rose and even winks and speaks to her as he rides by. Later when Lord Hamlin is injured he is brought to Frau Gerusha's home for healing Rose is the only one there. She must see to his wounds. Despite her fears she does what she must. She is a strong character in many ways. While you see her admit her shortcomings and fears she rarely falters when it comes to doing what she feels is right.

Lord Hamlin is a strong man with character and morals. He takes his responsibilities as a leader very seriously. He has been betrothed to another all of his life. She has been in hiding for the last 18 years because of the danger to her life from the evil villain. Lord Hamlin has devoted his time to finding Moncore so that his betrothed can come out of hiding at last. But Moncore escapes capture time and time again. While he knows his commitment to Lady Salomea and is dedicated to that end, he can no more fight his growing feelings for Rose than stop breathing. He does his best to keep his distance, but prays that somehow God will allow him to be with Rose.

The secondary characters are just as believable as the two main ones. Rose's best friend, Hildy is a dreamer and a total romantic. Frau Gerusha is the Healer and is a strong and loving woman. Lord Rupert, the scoundrel brother of Lord Hamlin, is easy to read even when he appears to be changing his ways to win Rose. The evil Moncore was very believable and at times quite scary.

In this book we are faced with many real life choices. Rose must either follow her heart or listen to wise council from someone who knows what is best for her. When someone grows up without the love they need it is easy to fall victim to someone who is not wanting their best interest but his own. We also see that timing can play a major part in life. When we rush ahead sometimes we can mess things up. It also shows in a very interesting way the power that we are given through Jesus' name. We just need to trust Him to use it when the time is right and then not be afraid to call upon that great Name!

I fell in love with the story and the characters from the very first page. I read the entire book in one night. I had stayed up cooking and everyone else was in bed (the night before Thanksgiving). So the house was quiet and I just floated away to the world created in this book. I finished at 6 in the morning. I didn't want the book to end for I had to come back to the present. I can't wait for my youngest daughter to be old enough to read it. I feel it can help her as she has to make some of the same choices in her young life. While I do think it is a wonderful YA book I would encourage anyone to read it. I really like reading a lot of the new YA books that are coming out. This would make a wonderful Christmas gift!

I look forward to Melanie Dickerson's next book, due out in 2012 (hopefully sooner!!!)


and this book video:



I hope you will take the time this holiday and get a copy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Baby Makes A Match by Arlene James

Baby Makes a Match is a great book by a sweet friend of mine, Arlene James. It takes us back to Chatam House where we met some of the characters in two other books, Anna Meets Her Match and A Match Made in Texas. In the newest book we get a closer look at Chandler Chatam. He is a strong handsome cowboy who has a heart full of compassion. Especially when it comes to Bethany Carter, a beautiful young woman who is expecting a baby. But it isn't his baby, even though everyone thinks it is. 

They meet at a truck stop where she is stranded after her car breaks down and he is grabbing a bite to eat on the way home from a rodeo. They end up heading to the same place because her brother works for his three aunts at Chatam House. The aunts mission in life is to minister to those in need and love them the way Jesus would. 

Chandler and Bethany have obstacles to overcome in each of their lives but you can tell from the beginning that there is something special between them. Find out exactly what their past has brought them through and how those things bring them together. Pick up the other two books and read them in order if you can. Plus anything else you can find by this wonderful lady. http://www.arlenejames.com/

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico by Lena Nelson Dooley

Lena Nelson Dooley is a special friend of mine that I met several months ago and have the privilege of seeing and hearing her speak often at a monthly writer's lunch. She is such a dear sweet lady and has such a gift with writing. You can find her on her blog or at DFW Ready Writers. Check out her website for more information on her and her writing at: http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com/

Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico is a wonderful book that takes place in 1890. Madeleine Mercer answers an ad for a mail order bride when her father dies suddenly and his business partner threatens he is going to marry her whether she wants to or not. Phillip Smith placed the ad for a mail order bride presumably to have someone to take care of him in his old age and illness. When Madeleine arrives there are many questions about her past. But she wins over Phillip instantly and gradually wins over his good friend, Jeremiah. The secrets of her past try to overshadow her new life in Golden. Can the friends she has made there protect her from the evil that is chasing her? Read and find out!

Becoming Lucy & Morning For Dove by Martha Rogers

Martha Rogers is an extraordinary woman. She has had many stories and articles published over the years. I had the privilage of meeting her and hearing her speak a few months ago. She is an inspiration to those like me who want to become a Christian writer. Check out her website at: http://www.marthawrogers.com/

Becoming Lucy is the first book of four inn the Winds Across the Prairie series. Lucinda Bishop is a 17 year old who is suddenly orphaned. She goes to Barton Creek, Oklahoma. The year is 1896. After growing up in a big city coming to a country town where hard work is a daily part of living is a shock. But she soon finds she enjoys the life she has learned there. She lives with her aunt and uncle and cousins. She meets Jake Starnes, a hired hand who works for her uncle. He is good looking and strong. But he has secrets from his past that keep him from the life he so desires. Can he set things right in time to win the girl of his dreams? Read and find out.



Morning for Dove is the second book in that series. Still in the same town of Barton Creek we get to know Lucy's best friend, Dove even better. She is a beautiful Native American who must live with the prejudice towards her and her family because of her heritage. When she falls in love with the store owners son and he with her, they must find a way around his mothers hatred for her and her family. Will they ever get to be together and will his mother ever understand their love and forget her past? Read it and see how.


I am so looking forward to books three and four in this series. They are all tied into that same town and those same wonderful characters are found in each book. I hope you will find time to get them and read them.

Disaster Status by Candace Calvert

Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse. She writes medical drama/inspirational fiction. If you love shows like ER and others like it, you will love her Mercy Hospital series. She is a sweet lady with a heart for the Lord and her readers. She enjoys hearing from her readers.

Disaster Status is the second in the series. Erin Quinn is a charge nurse who is tough put caring. During a hazardous material spill she meets Fire Captain Scott McKenna. While they seem at odds at the beginning they find that they really are on the same side. They find an attraction to each other but their differences get in the way. They also have to deal with some personal issues that have gone unaddressed. Will they find the peace they are each looking for? Only one way to find out. Get it today and start reading.

Check out her website at: http://www.candacecalvert.com/

Her next book in this series is Code Triage and is due out in September 2010. Can't wait to read that one! If you haven't read the first in the series, pick that one up first and read all three in order. That one is Critical Care.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Healer by Linda Windsor

"The Healer" by Linda Windsor is a wonderful book of faith and healing, both physically and spiritually. In this book, Linda takes you back to 6th century Scotland. She had done a huge amount of research for this book. The details are done in such a way it takes you back to that time as if you were living it with them.

Brenna has lived her life in hiding, learning the art of healing. She has only one companion, a white wolf. She is being hunted by another clan. Her family was killed by that very clan when she was just an infant. One day she watches as a young man is ambushed and left for dead. Being the healer that she is, she must risk her own life to get him to safety. She tends to his wounds and falls in love. But what will happen when they find out the truth?

Ronan is a brave and strong character who has been through much in his life at an early age. Things a young boy should never have to witness. His father is a man who sought revenge and has passed that along to his sons. Can Ronan and Brenna break that chain in his family? Read and find out.

You will love this book as much as I have if you enjoy going into the past and living life in a different time. I recommend it to everyone. And I can't wait to read the other two in the series. Check out her website at http://www.lindawindsor.com/ .

Where the Jewels Are by Diana Symons

"Where the Jewels Are" by Diana Symons is a sweet little book about a princess who has everything. She is so wrapped up in herself she doesn't realize a true treasure in her life is right before her eyes. The princess has a wise father who will send her on a journey of discovery.

This book is a wonderful book for a young girl. Every little girl can relate to this character and her best friend, Winifred. The King in the book is wise and kind, like Our King. He shows his daughter what she doesn't know by the journey he sends her on instead of trying to explain it to her. She must learn this lesson on her own to fully understand it and discover the true jewels in her life.

You can check out Diana Symons website for more on her writing. My 8 year old loved this book. I am sure yours will, too. Diana Symons: http://www.dianasymons.com/



Sunday, June 20, 2010

Welcome!

Welcome to my writer's blog! As I start this new adventure in my life I wanted to start out by giving God the glory in all that will come from my writing. I desire to allow Him to speak through me. I have been through many ups and downs in life, as we all have. It is my desire to help others as they go through similar things and point them in His direction.

I will be doing book reviews, too! I have met a LOT of authors and want to share their books with you! If you have a book you want me to review, let me know!

Thanks for coming along for the ride!