Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A HONEY OF A CHRISTMAS

•°o•:*:•.ALL THE CHRISTMASSY FEELS.•:*:• o°•
If you want a book you can squeeze into the busy holiday season, I recommend this one.  At just ninety-nine cents, it ticked all the boxes for me, even though I don’t generally reach for contemporary stories. 

“Agnes, did you know,” Agnes Piercy sang out as she dug through the trunk of her Ford Focus for her event binder, “that your Christmas plans, would one day sink in water? Did you know, that your great ideas will tank all sons and daughters? Did you know that your childhood dreams would come to make you puke… this idea that you delivered, would soon come to sever you?”
“Agnes, did you know, that your voice sounds like nails across a chalkboard?” Tuck’s tenor voice belted out, and she almost jumped out of her skin.
This amusing scene is reminiscent of ones that happen often between 28-year-old Agnes and Tuck and had me laughing out loud a lot!  Agnes dreams of growing a new business and the Honeyhaven Winter Wonderland is her opportunity to shine.  But, she will need some serious help from her sort-of-friend Tuck.  He is extremely busy taking over his father’s construction business, but the pleading in her eyes tugs at his heartstrings, despite her bossy attitude.
These two are forced together often in order to pull off the Christmas festivities but each has some family drama they are dealing with.  Her parents are rich and want more for her life. His dad wants to retire, but can’t quite let go and let him run the company.  Some judgy busy-bodies in the town also add to the drama.  I cried a couple of times and laughed a lot! 

There are plenty of cultural references as well:  “Demo Day. Tuck and Chip Gaines’s favorite day.”
“Tuck turned on the radio as K-LOVE played Steven Curtis Chapman’s newest Christmas tune.”
“I can’t believe it either. Agnes Piercy at a loss for words. It’s a Christmas miracle. God bless us all. An angel just got his wings. So much for a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.”



Tea Quote: She sat in her robe drinking a cup of tea. “Can we talk?” “Of course,” she said quietly. “Kettle’s hot if you want tea.” Agnes poured a cup of Christmas Tea, the scent of cloves and cinnamon filling her senses.

{I generally find Twining Christmas Tea at Cost Plus World Market for around $4. The first box is what I have from last year, but it looks like they have changed to a green box this year, and added a couple of more holiday flavors as well.  I think I like the look of the first box best!}

I purchased a copy of the eBook on Amazon (due to Kim on Inspirational Fiction Reader posting about it on IG) and am sharing my honest opinion with no further compensation. This is a clean, contemporary read with a sprinkling of faith as well. The cute cover caught my eye, especially the sweet, smiling snowman!
Connect with the author at Jessica Patch dot com.
Jessica is the author of the
contemporary romance series 
Seasons of Hope and 8
Love Inspired Suspense novels. 
No matter what genre she’s 
writing in, you’ll always find romance, 
adventure, lots of laughs, and a 
heap of hope. Check out her 
book club page for bonus 
features and extras, and don’t 
forget to sign up for her newsletter 
to stay “Patched In.”
Jessica lives in the Mid-south 
with her handsome husband 
and 2 kiddos.

The Honeyhaven Series
Under the Honey Moon, Novella 1, “a novella in the Once Upon a Laugh Collection along with 7 other romantic comedies by an array of talented and award-winning authors! Only .99 cents [for entire eCollection]” 07/23/2018 {I have not read it}

A Honey of a Christmas, Novella 2, 11/1/2018 
© 2018 Bales Publishing 5 stars

I hope you find time to slow down,
sip a cup of Christmas tea
& read a great book!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Bride of Ivy Green by Julie Klassen



*** VILLAGE LIFE REMINISCENT OF LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD***

If you have ever watched the BBC series Lark Rise to Candleford, these books very much remind me of that TV show, with its many different characters, points of view, and various village locations.

Ivy Hill, Wiltshire, England, Feb 1821.

The third installment of Tales from Ivy Cottage finds spinster Mercy Grove and her Aunt Matilda preparing for the arrival of her brother George and his new wife to return from their wedding trip and move into their home, effectively taking over the cottage.  She has already closed her school and her future seems uncertain.  Her new sister-in-law seems bothered at moving into an already occupied home and her disposition is rather cool toward the lower class villagers.
There are returning characters from the past two books; Jane Fairmont again taking a lead role in the story.  There are new characters whose past is a secretive mystery, but nothing of danger or intrigue.
As in the previous two novels, there is quite a lot to keep up with as this book has over 50 chapters.
If you enjoy quaint village life along with a nod to the hierarchy of the social classes, I would recommend reading all three of the books back to back.  Otherwise, it is a bit hard to recall the many storylines. The author provides many interesting tidbits found on Tales From Ivy Hill including a character directory (although book 3 is not as well represented on that list), a map of the village, some of her travels to Wiltshire, etc.

Favorite Quote: Mercy reminded herself that God did not promise ease and happiness in this life. But He did promise peace and joy, and she was determined to hold on to both, somehow.

Tea Quote: “I have a family obligation tonight, but I might wander back here tomorrow evening f you think you might be having a late-night cup of tea?”  She grinned. “Yes, I think there is every chance I shall be thirsty by then.”

Bethany House Publishing
Discussion questions at the end of each book

Tales from Ivy Hill Series:
The Bride of Ivy Green – Book 3, Dec 2018


I received an ARC of this books in exchange for my honest opinion with no further compensation. 4 Stars

Until next time,
Hugs and a cup of tea!


Monday, November 5, 2018

The Reluctant Warrior by Mary Connealy

The Reluctant Warrior – High Sierra Sweethearts Book 2 - by Mary Connealy
***Just Ok***
Sierra Nevada Mountains – Apr 1868
Cameron Scott has recently returned from the war but can’t seem to give up barking orders as if everyone is a soldier. Cam and his sister Penny have come to the home of Trace and Deb Riley to claim his daughter
Maddie Sue and nephew Ronnie.  He had only planned to be gone from his new homestead a day or two. But, the weather takes a terrible turn and an interfering woman named Gwen Harkness seems determined to keep him from children. In addition to that, Raddo Landauer, the vile outlaw who led the massacre on the wagon train that killed everyone but Gwen, Deb and the children (book one) seems determined to leave no witness behind.  Gwen is trying to figure out her place in a new world but has become bonded to the children she helped save and will do anything to protect them. Cam is not the only one with a claim on the children.  Some not-so-nice grandparents also have an interest and hire a Pinkerton Agent to fetch him. This story is fast paced as pioneer life was hard and dangerous.  I found some details overly long for inconsequential scenes. It was also a bit odd to have the story switch to the outlaw’s point of view, particularly when he is quite evil. It’s natural for people to become drawn together in snowed in with cramped quarters over a long winter and the romance was sweet as each person fumbled through the practicality of a future together. The book was not my favorite, and I certainly enjoyed the first one more.  I would recommend it for someone wanting to know what happens next in the series.

Positive Faith Quote: "Think about it, Cam. Whatever happens, God promises to be with us. So, Be not afraid. He goes before us in this life and the next. I'd say that sounds exactly right."

eCopy provided by Bethany House Publishing via NetGalley with no other compensation.  I am not required to provide a favorable review and my opinion is my own. Please read other reviews for a more well-rounded purchasing decision.

High Sierra Sweethearts Series:
1 – The Accidental Guardian – April 2018
2 – The Reluctant Warrior – October 2018
3 – The Unexpected Champion – coming in 2019