Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Writer’s Review of Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

{About the book}   

Irish Meadows (Bethany House, July 2015)

Faced with an uncertain future, sometimes all you have left is the courage to dream.

Brianna and Colleen O'Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he's put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry---as long as her father's choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone's plans.

As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O'Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father's machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

{My Review}

I was really looking forward to reading this book, and am glad I was able to have a chance while also helping promote it through a LitFuse Blog Tour. Bethany House has a variety of genres and sub-genres, and Irish Meadows belongs very strongly in the Tracie Peterson historical romance camp of books--which is definitely not a bad thing!

Irish Meadows is a little different than most historical romances in that it involves two heroines (sisters) and two heroes, as well as an amazing setting and lots of family dynamics! For the most part, I usually enjoy books more when there are only one or two character point of views, but this book was very well-written and well-balanced for having so many. 

I really enjoyed reading Irish Meadows, getting to know the characters and seeing their relationships develop, suffer and eventually come to their happy endings. And I very much look forward to reading A Worthy Heart, the next in the series which releases in January!  

Susan Anne Mason's Irish Meadows has a rating of 4.11 out of 5 stars (from 184 ratings) on GoodReads. I was given a copy of of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This book released from Bethany House on July 7, 2015.

Purchase a copy:

{About the Author} 

 Susan Anne Mason's debut historical novel, Irish Meadows, won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA. A member of ACFW, as well, she lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children.

Find Susan online: website, Facebook, Twitter
Other books by Susan Anne Mason

Join Susan in celebrating the release of Irish Meadows by entering to win her Kindle Fire giveaway and RSVPing to her September 1st author chat party!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6
  • One copy of Irish Meadows
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 9/1. The winner will be announced at the Irish Meadows Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Susan and other readers, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!


RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 1st!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Writer’s Review of Shadows of Ladenbrooke by Melanie Dobson

{About the book}
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor 

(Howard Books, June 2015)

When Heather Toulson returns to her parents
cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.

Libby, a free spirit who can't be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver's death.

Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family
s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. Shes mourning her fathers passing but cant let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family's belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family's history.

Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.

Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.

Purchase a copy from Amazon here.

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of thirteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels. Two of her novels won Carol Awards in 2011, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010. Melanie lives with her husband Jon and two daughters near Portland, Oregon.

To keep up with Melanie Dobson, visit, become a fan on Facebook (Melanie-Dobson) or follow her on Twitter (@MelBDobson).


 {My Review}

Well, I read this in one day... so even though this book didnt turn out to be my favorite genre, thats definitely something especially considering I have a 16 month old! :) 

Melanie Dobson writes very well, and her story-lines are always emotionally moving. Shes written a few different genres over the years, and I like to see that shes trying new things. Not many authors have the ability to be successful at that.

Now, about the story. There were quite a few times that I wanted to cry while reading this heart-breakingly sad look at the lives of three generations of prodigal daughters. It was a good story with great characters, but so many of them! It was a little distracting to keep track of everyone at first, and I was surprised by there being seven character POVs
shown to the reader by the end of the book. I felt that two of them could have been easily taken out without hurting the story one bit. 

The story also has the split timeline that seems to be gaining popularity lately. Honestly, I would rather read a deeper story all about one character over a shorter period than one about so many characters over the span of sixty years. That
s just my opinion and why I gave it four stars instead of five. Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is well-written and is pulled together quite well for all the different things going on within its 333 pages.

m sure anyone looking for a good, suspenseful split-timeline contemporary/historical will love the journey this book will take them on. 


Melanie Dobsons Shadows of Ladenbrooke has a rating of 4.28 out of 5 stars (from 133 ratings) on GoodReads. I was given a copy of of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This book released June 16, 2015.


{Advance Praise}

“Dobson handles sensitive issues with tact, careful to avoid too much detail but remaining honest. Mysteries are solved, truths revealed, and loves rekindled in a book sure to draw new fans to Dobson’s already large base.” —Publishers Weekly

“How far do patterns of behavior echo through generations? Are they passed down through a family’s DNA — or through choices subtly modeled by one parent after another? ‘Armchair psychologists’ will love how Dobson tackles these intriguing questions in this past-meets-present page-turner.” 
Christian Book Distributors

“Mystery, intrigue and grace . . . these are the hallmarks of Dobson’s time-split novels. Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is meticulously researched amid England’s lovely Cotswolds. Beautifully written by this master storyteller and not to be missed.” 
Cathy Gohlke, Christy Award-winning author of Secrets She Kept and Saving Amelie 
“Dobson’s latest is a splendid combination of the past and the present, skillfully woven together with an interesting mystery. The fascinating British setting, exploration of family secrets and hopeful ending create an engaging reading experience.” 
RT Book Reviews

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Writer’s Review of “Hearts Made Whole” by Jody Hedlund

 {About Hearts Made Whole}

Hearts Made Whole (Bethany House, June 2015)
Can she forgive the hurting man who costs her the role she loves?

After her father’s death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren’t supposed to have such roles, so it’s only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper–even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.

Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He’s secured the position of lighthouse keeper mostly for the isolation–the chance to hide from his past is appealing. He’s not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who’s angry with him for taking her job and for his inability to properly run the light. When his failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he’s unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Caroline feels drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope…and possibly love?

{My Review}

Its been a long time since Ive read such an emotionally moving book as Jody Hedlunds Hearts Made Whole. Im never one to miss reading one of her books since A Noble Groom is one of my all-time favorites, but this one took me by surprise and is now also one of my favorites... though at one point I did want to throw it against the wall. Instead, I set it down for a few days so I could collect myself and dove right back in with much anticipation about how Jody would bring out the happy ending I was desperate to see between Caroline and Ryan. 

Jody writes characters very wellso well, that its like theyre right there with you. I think this is why I love her writing so much. I am never disappointed with the deep level of character development she is able to achieve. Or the way her stories, about simple, everyday people, twist and turn and are emotionally spot-on every single time.   

And in case youre not already convinced you need to read this book, I have to tell you that the kissing scenes in this book are some of the BEST Ive ever read.

5 blazing stars... if you need to ask. :)

Jody Hedlunds Hearts Made Whole has a rating of 4.45 out of 5 stars (from 206 ratings) on GoodReads. I was given a copy of of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This book released June 2, 2015.

Learn more and purchase a copy.
Leave your own Review!

{More About Jody Hedlund}


Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of nine novels, including Captured By Love, Rebellious Heart, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award and INSPYs Award. She received a bachelor’s from Taylor University and a master’s from University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Currently she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.

Find out more about Jody at


Book Buzz!

“With painterly prose that never skimps on wit and verve, Hedlund gives us vivid characters, inventive plot twists, fascinating historical detail and heartfelt faith journeys….Lovers of inspirational fiction won’t want to miss this sparkling gem of a novel.” 
RT Book Reviews Top Pick

“Hedlund’s superb and affecting story of faith and healing is set in the past, but its message about soldiers returning from battle rings just as true today.” 
Booklist starred review


Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund Afternoon at the Beach Giveaway and Facebook Party!

One grand prize winner will receive:
One second-place winner will receive:
One third-place winner will receive:
Celebrate the release of Hearts Made Whole by entering to win an Afternoon at the Beach prize pack and RSVPing to Jody’s June 23rd author chat party!

Read about Emma, Caroline and Tessa 
in the Beacons of Hope series! 

 Happy Reading!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Huge Historical Romance Giveaway from your favorite authors!

Who's ready for a book GIVEAWAY!?! Do you like historical romance? Then this is the giveaway for you! 10 authors have teamed up to bring you a fun giveaway -- just in time for your spring reading. Enter to win one of the books pictured here -- there will be 10 winners in all, each winning 1 book. You may need to log into Facebook again. This contest is not endorsed, administered, or sponsored by Facebook. Open to US residents only. GOOD LUCK!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER: Rafflecopter Giveaway

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Good News! The Hesitant Heiress is a Finalist!

My debut novel The Hesitant Heiress is a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Romance Writers of America book contest! The winners will be announced on April 1st--which is also the release date of my third book, The Captive Imposter!