Saturday, August 29, 2015

E-book sale: $1.99 for Anna's Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Be sure to take advantage of this fabulous deal! Only $1.99 for the e-book of Anna's Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher. I absolutely loved this book and gave it 5 stars- read my review here.
(Check the price before buying since e-book sales are for a limited time)


When Anna Konig first meets Bairn, the Scottish ship carpenter of the "Charming Nancy," their encounter is anything but pleasant. Anna is on the ship only to ensure the safe arrival of her loved ones to the New World. Hardened by years of living at sea, Bairn resents toting these naive farmers--dubbed "Peculiars" by deckhands--across the ocean. As delays, storms, illness, and diminishing provisions afflict crew and passengers alike, Bairn finds himself drawn to Anna's serene nature. For her part, Anna can't seem to stay below deck and far away from the aloof ship's carpenter, despite warnings.  When an act of sacrifice leaves Anna in a perilous situation, Bairn discovers he may not have left his faith as firmly in the past as he thought. But has the revelation come too late?
Amish fiction favorite Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her fans back to the beginning of Amish life in America with this fascinating glimpse into the first ocean crossing as seen through the eyes of a devout young woman and an irreverent man. Blending the worlds of Amish and historical fiction, Fisher is sure to delight her longtime fans even as she attracts new ones with her superb and always surprise-filled writing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer

Heidi Reads... A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Stone Hammond is the best tracker in Texas. He never comes home empty-handed. So when a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, Stone eagerly accepts.

Charlotte Atherton, former headmistress of Sullivan’s Academy for Exceptional Youths, will do anything to keep her charges safe, especially the little girl entrusted to her care after her mother’s death. Charlotte promised Lily’s mother she’d keep the girl away from her unscrupulous grandfather, and nothing will stop Charlotte from fulfilling that pledge. Not even the handsome bounty hunter with surprisingly honest eyes who comes looking for them.

When the teacher he’s after produces documentation that shows she’s the little girl’s legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he’s been led to believe. Is Miss Atherton villain or victim? She acts more like a loving mother than an abductress, and the children in her care clearly adore her. Should Stone break his perfect record?

Then a new danger threatens, and Charlotte is forced to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone becomes determined to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he’s ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte’s heart.

My Review

Boy, does Karen Witemeyer know how to write her heroes! I loved the strength, honor, humor, and hint of vulnerability that made Stone a man that Charlotte could finally count on. He has a soft spot for kids and the truth of the situation along with Lily's safety quickly becomes more important than his tracking record. The story is one of adventure, with some twists and plenty of action. What endeared this story to me though are the small details that subtly deepen the reader's understanding of each character and make them unique. Charlotte playing passionately on the piano to express her anxiety. Lily's obsession with dime novels of frontier heroes. The way that touch affects Stone at a deep level.

The relationship between Stone and Charlotte builds steadily as they learn to trust each other and overcome their own hesitations. Their romantic moments are heightened by the emotion of the desperate circumstances, but prove to be based on a love that each is yearning for. There are also two other couples that have roles in the mission to protect Lily who totally need novellas written about them (hint, hint Karen...)

(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Review: The Evergreen Bride by Pam Hillman

Heidi Reads... The Evergreen Bride by Pam Hillman

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Mississippian Annabelle Denson dreams of visiting cousins in Illinois and seeing a white Christmas. In the face of her excitement, Samuel Frazier hides his growing affection for her behind a quiet smile and a carpenter’s lathe. Samuel starts to worry that if she goes, Annabelle won’t return. Can he convince her to stay?

My Review

Ah, I love stories of unrequited love! You can just feel Samuel's longing for Annabelle, but he wants to wait until his fledgling business has the means to support a family before he declares his affections. Even though he'll miss her, he doesn't say anything to put a damper on her trip. The sweetness of the story comes from Annabelle's slow awareness of Samuel as an extremely attractive man with his strength, steadiness, and quiet humor. This novella was such a pleasure to read! For only 99 cents, it's a fabulous deal for a delightful story.

(I received a copy of this book from a giveaway which did not affect the honesty of my review)

Review: A Timeless Romance Anthology: Annette Lyon Collection by Annette Lyon

Heidi Reads... A Timeless Romance Anthology: Annette Lyon Collection by Annette Lyon

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


The ANNETTE LYON COLLECTION contains brand new contemporary romance novella OUR SONG, as well as five hand-picked readers’ and reviewers’ favorites of Annette’s popular Timeless Romance Anthology novellas. Readers will love this selection of three contemporary and three historical romance novellas.

In OUR SONG, a charming romance novella, Cassie and Matt have been dating in the Yellowstone area for two years, and things are, well, average. When Cassie meets up with two college friends who are visiting, their love lives like sound like fairy tales: rose petals, chocolates, candles on the beach… Cassie goes home feeling like she’s missing out. After all, repeatedly watching Old Faithful erupt and walking through sulfur-smelling gases at Fountain Paint Pot don’t exactly say “romance.” Maybe things with Matt aren’t going anywhere, and it’s time to move on. Then she discovers that perception and reality are completely different things. Now she can only hope it isn’t too late to show Matt how much she really cares.

In the sweet novella GOLDEN SUNRISE, Natalie takes time out of her crazy schedule to fly to Vegas for her best friend’s wedding. Sierra and Jason, high-school sweethearts, are finally getting married. Fortunately for Natalie, her old high-school flame, Adam, has a work commitment and can’t be there as best man. But when she arrives at the wedding rehearsal—late and ragged—Adam is there. When Adam makes a wild suggestion, Natalie just may take him up on it, even though she knows he’s moved on. A single choice may mean Natalie is taking a shot at reclaiming the past—or that she's putting her heart in harm’s way a second time.

FIRSTS AND LASTS, an enchanting novella, begins with Dani’s last week in New York. She’s failed in her dreams to catch a break as an actress and is now ready to return home and dust herself off. As she visits the places on her final to-see list, she meets Mark, another New York City transplant with big dreams. Except Mark hasn’t given up on his. As they spend the day together, Dani realizes that even though she hasn’t hit the “big time” she might be living her dream after all. Only problem: she has a one-way ticket back home.

In the compelling novella WAR OF HEARTS, Anna, a journalist, is desperate to escape the magazine where Pete, her now-former boyfriend, also works. Heartbroken and still in love with him, Anna snags an assignment to cover the Winter War in Finland. She arrives at a snowy Finnish battlefront only to discover that Pete is already there—as her photographer. She’s determined to be professional about the situation until a battle breaks out in camp, putting her and Pete in harm’s way and putting their love to the test.

The captivating novella BETWEEN THE LINES follows Jane Martin, who is intelligent but extremely shy, especially around men. When the Aid and Cultural Society proposes a letter-writing program, Jane signs up, hoping she can find true friendship. The program doesn’t run as smoothly as expected, and unknown to Jane, one of the men in her city becomes her writing friend. Thomas Allred has always known shy and quiet Jane, but reading her letters written to his secret persona, opens his eyes to what an amazing woman she is. The only trouble is, Jane doesn’t know that the man who she is falling in love with through letters is also Thomas, the man who is falling in love with her in person.

In the charming novella A TASTE OF HOME, we meet Claire Jennings, who’s on her way to spend Christmas with her family. As she rides the train with William Rhodes, who grew up across the street, memories of Christmases past flood her mind. He may be twenty-one now, but she can’t forget his torturous teasing from their school years. At the rail station, Claire discovers that her home is under quarantine because her little brother has measles. She's stuck in town, away from her family, on her favorite holiday. William stays behind with her, and as Christmas Day approaches and her homesickness deepens, she discovers that perhaps he has changed in more ways than one.

My Review

So many great stories in this collection! My favorite one was the new novella, Our Song, since it made me cry just a little bit from the emotion of the story. It really kind of caught me off guard that I connected with the characters so much, but it was wonderfully written. I had read the other two contemporary stories in the collections they were published in, and it was fun to read them again since they take place in destination cities- New York and Las Vegas. The settings are definitely part of the action in each story. The historical novellas were just as enjoyable, each with a unique setting and situation. I love that the emotions of the characters are central to the plot since it makes me relate to them quickly, which is necessary due to the brevity of a novella. Each story is well-rounded and feels complete as the happy ending isn't really an ending, but a beginning in love for the couples.

(Thank you to Ebooks for Review for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review: Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

Heidi Reads... Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Irish immigrant James O’Leary has spent his life building Irish Meadows into a thriving horse farm and is not about to let hard economic times threaten its success. He intends for his daughters to marry prosperous men–ones who will secure the family’s rightful place in society, and at the same time, guarantee the future of Irish Meadows. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their father expects them to marry well. Yet despite his wishes, Brianna, the quieter sister, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry– as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards. When stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from college and distant family member Rylan Montgomery stops in on his way to the seminary in Boston, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

My Review

The overall feeling I got from this book was desperation. The patriarch of the O'Leary family has a financial and social agenda and expects his loved ones to do his bidding without question. He is quite the bully and creates quandaries for the members of his family who are caught between  loyalty to James and following their dreams. There is plenty of angst as matters of the heart are involved and passions are repressed. I enjoyed the characters and read anxiously as each made choices that created a ripple effect throughout the story. I appreciated that the relationships were realistic- Gilbert and Brianna in particular had issues of trust, communication and expectations to work through, and the path was not smooth. The overriding theme was for each member of the family to learn to follow God's will for their life, not their father's.

(Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Review: Mercy's Rescue by Debra Holt

Heidi Reads... Mercy's Rescue by Debra Holt

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Fighting for his life after an ambush, Sheriff Josh Wellman awakes to find himself looking into the eyes of a real-life angel of mercy. Despite his groggy condition, he knows his life has changed the instant their hands touch.

Devastating heartbreak has left Mercy Smith's faith in tatters, her heart guarded against more loss. Her dedication to the air evac trauma team she leads has insulated her from the realities of the earth below, so now Josh faces the biggest challenge of his life.

Can he find a way around the walls that fortify her heart and convince this angel to stay on the ground with him? Can Mercy open herself to life again and find a way to restore her faith in God ... as well as love?

My Review

The plot of this book was solid and I especially enjoyed the perspective of a med-evac nurse. I didn't mind the love at first sight angle, but the romance didn't feel fully developed. The cockiness of the sheriff was charming... most of the time. His perspective was introduced midway through the story- I think it would have felt more balanced to have been earlier on. Mercy is a strong and independent character who has hidden vulnerabilities that rise to the surface when Josh stirs up feelings that she is not ready to face. She seemed to constantly deal with him in fight-or-flight mode which became frustrating as it repeatedly inhibited the progression of their relationship to any deeper level.

The story line of her mother's unexpected relationship with Josh's stepfather resonated with me since it echoes my own life- my widowed mother has also found a second chance at love which brings thoughts and emotions similar to what Mercy was feeling. Overall I'm glad I read this book despite some cliches and alcoholic consumption.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review: The Lone Star Romance Collection by Cathy Marie Hake and Kimberly Comeaux

Heidi Reads... The Lone Star Romance Collection by Cathy Marie Hake and Kimberly Comeaux

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Enjoy two series of romances under one cover from authors Kimberley Comeaux and Cathy Marie Hake. First head to Springton, Texas, where two Texas belles—a pretty outcast and a shy nurse—find rattlesnakes easier to lasso than the hearts of the men they desire. Then join the Gregor brothers from Scotland—doctor, cobbler, lawman—as they settle in the Wild West, seeking wives to help them live out a legacy of faith that their father rooted in them. Watch as God’s love unfolds a grand design into each life.

My Review

I enjoyed these novellas overall, although I discovered that I preferred the writing style of Cathy Marie Hake over Kimberly Comeaux which came off as a little cheesy. Despite the fact that the majority of the stories involve either a rape, attempted rape, unwed pregnancy, or prostitution, they are full of hope, redemption, forgiveness, and unconditional love. The connection between the tales of the Gregor brothers was nice since they wove together and made me feel like I was reading a whole book instead of three separate stories. I appreciated that each brother was unique as an individual but shared a heritage of strong family values and loyalty.

(Thank you to Barbour Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Review: Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton

Heidi Reads... Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


After losing everything dear to her, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy spurs her to wonder if maybe love is worth the risk. Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the homey town of Wishing Springs, Texas, after her favorite advice columnist found love and a home there. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby too . . . if she's brave enough to reach out and take it. Bo Monahan isn't interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become--or the women who might be looking at him like he's their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn't looking for serious romantic commitments. But unexpectedly the young child he never knew about appears on his doorstep and Bo's world is turned upside down. This confirmed bachelor might not need a wife, but he sure needs a woman . . . and newcomer Abby Knightly is definitely a woman. When she comes to his rescue to help him navigate fatherhood, he slowly uncovers her own history. And suddenly Bo's thinking maybe, just maybe, together they can help each other work through the problems of the past to create a future of their own.

My Review

I was fully engaged in the story the entire time I was reading this book. Abby portrays a wide range of emotions as she daily struggles with her feelings of guilt, grief and ultimate desire to feel happy again. She is a perfect example of how our perceptions of self and situation can be distorted while we are weighed down with heavy emotional burdens. Abby experiences unconditional love for Bo's son Levi and that love works to heal her deep hurts. Allowing herself to love the baby opened her heart to be able to allow romantic love then blossom. Bo is adorable in his adoration of Abby which was unexpected since he seemed pretty gruff in the previous book in the series. His devotion to Pops, his grandfather with Alzheimer's, shows how both hope and acceptance of the hand life deals you help to still celebrate the good memories and daily joys however small. I loved the cast of family and community members who emphasize the importance of reaching out, connecting with others, and surrounding yourself with positive friends and people. The message I took from the book is that we can't do it alone- we need each other and we need God. This story is full of heart in an idyllic setting with realistically flawed characters reaching out and supporting and trying their best. 

(Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing and BookLook Bloggers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

E-book sale: 99 cents for the Daring Hearts:Fearless Fourteen Boxed Set

DON'T MISS THIS SALE! On Sunday it's gone. **More than 2000 adventurous and romantic pages. CLEAN ROMANCE AT ITS FINEST- Let's propel it to the NY Times Bestseller list. To see clean make it to the top would be Awesome.
daring hearts
Daring Hearts: Fearless Fourteen Boxed Set ~ Nine All New Novels Plus Five Bonus Books for the Adventurous and the Romantic
ALL For One Low Price of .99Cents!

From gorgeous heroes that make us swoon to the super sleuths and feisty heroines that make us cheer, this exclusive collection has something for everyone. Nine clean, sassy and BRAND NEW novels--a delicious mixture of fun, addictively romantic, action-adventure stories -- each handpicked by an award-winning gathering of some of today's most popular YA/NA authors. PLUS five bonus books from Elana Johnson, Leigh Talbert Moore, Rachel Morgan, Katrina Abbott, and C.L. Stone!
Over 98% off retail for the individual books sold separately (a thirty dollar savings!) Hurry! Only available until September (so get your copy today).
REBECCA ETHINGTON ~ Monsters are real... Through Glass RASHELLE WORKMAN ~ Alice is half demon and totally kick ass! Blood and Snow 10.1 ~ The Dark Moth Society CINDY M. HOGAN ~ Some secrets are better left dead and buried. Kate Unmasked ELLE STRAUSS ~ Time traveling is wonky enough... and this time it's worse than ever. Counter Clockwise CHRISTINE KERSEY ~ College is murder... Witness JULI ALEXANDER ~ Solving mysteries is in her blood, but it might just get her killed. Paxton Private Investigations AMBER ARGYLE ~ A storm is raging and not everyone will survive. Of Ice And Snow WENDY KNIGHT ~ Her army of lost souls stand between us. The Soul's Agent LILA FELIX ~ Fasta is an artist, not by choice, but by force. Sketchy Love
C.L. STONE ~ Meet Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North in a story about differences and loyalty, truth and mystery, friendships and heart-throbbing intimacy. The Academy, ever vigilant. Introductions
ELANA JOHNSON ~ If a picture is worth a thousand words then Olivia's captured Trevor's whole story. Something About Love
LEIGH TALBERT MOORE ~ She did not expect to be kidnapped walking to work. And she never expected to be a hero. Behind the Stars RACHEL MORGAN ~ Stolen magical object? Check. Villainous faerie bad guys? Check. Complicated feelings for super hot, pain-in-the-ass assignment partner? Check. Not winding up dead? Working on that one. The Faerie Prince KATRINA ABBOTT ~ Brooklyn's new celebutante boarding school is missing one thing: boys! Taking the Reins

Review & Giveaway! Legally and Lawfully Yours by Anita Stansfield

Heidi Reads... Legally and Lawfully Yours by Anita Stansfield

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Following the revelation of her fiancĂ©’s philandering ways, high-powered New York attorney Shannon Turney’s wedding is off. At a time like this, the last thing she can handle is family drama. But when she learns how far her brother and sister-in-law’s lives have spiraled out of control, the only thought in her mind is the safety of her young niece and nephew. After Shannon is granted custody, she and the children are eager to run long and far from their problems. The end of the road is Sugar City, a place as delightful as its name implies. In the tiny town, Shannon gets much more of a change than she bargained for. Welcomed with open arms by the townspeople, including the handsome local veterinarian, Shannon and the children slowly begin to heal. But when their idyllic existence is threatened by the return of the children’s mother, Shannon has no choice but to return to the courtroom she left behind. She has one last legal battle to fight, and the outcome may mean losing everything she loves . . .

My Review

My favorite thing about this thoughtful book is the theme of family loyalty and devotion. Both Shannon with her traumatic background and Phillip with his idyllic childhood exemplify unconditional love and sacrifice for their family members. I loved their "meet-cute" and the steadily growing friendship and romance. Shannon was an interesting character to read since she is in a state of transition at the beginning of the book, not only in career and location, but emotionally as well. Her self-evaluation throughout the book is open and honest as it shows her growth in connecting to those around her and exercising faith in God.

(Thank you to Covenant Communications for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop! Enter to win When Mercy Rains by Kim Vogel Sawyer!

It's giveaway time! Enter below for a chance to win a print copy of When Mercy Rains by Kim Vogel Sawyer! Be sure to check out the other giveaways on the hop...


She left, heavily weighted with secrets.
But God reveals all things, in His timing.
And He redeems them.
Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own.
Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love.
Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne's prolonged secret--one that changes everything.
Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercy-and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?

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E-book sale: $1.99 for Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay is on sale for $1.99!
(Be sure to check the price since e-book sales are for a limited time)


Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen.

Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fictional friends give her an identity, albeit a borrowed one. But most importantly, they protect her from revealing her true self and encountering more pain.

After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.

As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally begins to trust, she learns that Alex has secrets of his own—secrets that, for better or for worse, make it impossible for Sam to hide behind either her characters or her letters.