Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays

I love how my dog and cat are almost morphed into one. Plus - look how Thomas is twisted. How can cats do that without needing a chiropractor? ;o)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving - filled with lots of food, family, and blessings.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Lasting Impression

Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee her home, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe, who shows her kindness by not turning her in to authorities. But when he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged him. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville society, Claire believes her dream of creating a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach—but only if her past remains hidden.
The Federal Army destroyed Sutton's home, confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined—as well as the woman he loves.
Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves—and each other—for who they really are.

My Take: Sigh ... From the breathtaking cover (I imagined what it would be like to wear that dress - didn't you?) to the last page, I was totally immersed in the world she created. I felt totally satisfied at the end, like I'd been seated at a Thanksgiving meal -- every dish special and created with love.

Nothing went to waste in this story either. The plot moves like a southern dance. It never drags or goes so fast you can't keep up. It's as beautiful to watch (read) as it is to participate. The beginning of the story is bittersweet. There is hardship and sadness, but you feel and see the promise of a new future ahead.

The setting is gorgeous. I loved the details that went into telling us about Belmont and the art. The true life details only made the story more fascinating.

Then there are the characters. They are both determined and have integrity. They both want to rebuild their lives in one way or another. They also are private people and keep things to themselves. What is really wonderful about this book is watching not just their love grow - but their respect for each other. There is a real relationship for these two. They admire each other -- and they share some pretty nice kisses too. ;o)

I want to thank Bethany House publishers for providing me my copy in exchange for my honest review. This one is going on my list to pick favorites from. I hope you'll put it on your reading pile.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays

Today I thought I'd share a bit of what I'm thinking about a possible book cover for the fibro book I'm working on. This gorgeous creature is a Ulysses butterfly. It comes in everything from that bright blue to the beautiful turquoise below - and varying amounts of black on the edges of the wings. I thought with a sort of misty, "foggy" cover -- and then one or two of these guys bursting through ... It would be so pretty. Right now I'm just enjoying them in the midst of the cloudy and cool weather.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Summary: In a clash of light and darkness, the tenacity of love is illuminated.
When Trevor MacDaniel, a high country outfitter, rescues a toddler from the jaws of a mountain lion, he can’t foresee the far-reaching consequences of his action, how it will entwine his life with gifted sculptor, Natalie Reeve—and attract a grim admirer.

Trevor’s need to guard and protect is born of tragedy, prompting his decision to become a search and rescue volunteer. Natalie’s gift of sculpting comes from an unusual disability that seeks release through her creative hands. In each other they see strength and courage as they face an incomprehensible foe.

Drawn by the heroic story of the child’s rescue, a twisted soul sees Trevor as archangel and adversary, and threatens their peaceful mountain community—testing Trevor’s limits by targeting their most helpless and innocent.

My Take: Kristen Heitzmann knows how to write in a way that is ... eerily beautiful. She manages to totally creep you out and draw you in at the same time. I don't know how --- but this book shows it more than any other of hers I've read. 

I'm pretty good at guessing the clues and figuring out plot lines but she had me baffled until she wanted me to know something. This was one of those books that pulls you along -- almost daring you to flip the next page to see what she's going to come up with next.

The action in the plot was fabulous. The characters were very well written. The romance was sweet with sparks. I loved the way all these ... special people with different gifts and challenges all came together and complimented each other. 

I got this book through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings - We Want A Hero

I have two sons. Add in my husband and I am most definitely outnumbered by testosterone in my house. So we always go see the action and hero flicks. Truthfully I don't mind very much. I'm a romance fan after all - and what's more romantic than the notion of someone heroic coming in, risking life and limb to save all of us?

Has anyone else noticed that there seem to be a lot of these kinds of movies releasing lately? I'm not complaining, just making an observation. 

I have a theory (and I could be way off track) but I wonder if it has something to do with the state of the nation. Our economy is horrible, jobs are hard to find, gas and food prices are up ...

Maybe these stories hold such appeal because we want a hero to fix the real problems we face in life.

 It could also be that we remember these heroes from when we were younger - and life at least seemed simpler to us. Maybe it just makes us feel good to see them conquer evil just like they did not so many years ago. ;o)

Whatever the reason, I know my family is enjoying the trend. Is yours? Do you have a favorite? A least favorite? Are you looking forward to the new movie coming out with a lot of them together, The Avengers? Share about your favorite heroes/hero movies.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

His Steadfast Love

Summary: In one of the most heartbreaking times in American history, a Southern preacher's daughter makes a tragic error that pits her against the very people she loves most.
It's the spring of 1861 on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Although Amanda Belle never thought she would marry, her attraction to Captain Kent Littlefield is undeniable.
When Texas secedes from the Union, her brother Daniel marches off to war to fight for the Confederate States and Kent remains with the Union troops.
Her heart is torn between the two men she loves and the two sides of the conflict. When she turns to God for help, Amanda expects direction and support, but hears nothing. Is God listening to her anymore? Does He not care about the atrocities of war-and whose side is He on?
The war is dragging on for much longer than expected, and Amanda struggles between the opposing philosophies of slavery. But after the death of her pastor father, she learns some hard truths about love, the human condition, and God's role in her life.
Amanda must trust God to bring her family through the chaos that threatens her home, her family, and the beloved state of Texas.

My Take: I think I've shared before that I find books about war difficult to read. I like this author so I chose it anyway. She did a fantastic job researching the era and allowing the reader to see through the eyes of characters on both sides of the conflict.

There is plenty going on to keep the plot from dragging. Whether you're with the families left behind and struggling to deal with how to survive on less, trying to get supplies past enemy troop lines and waiting to hear from loved ones or you're the soldiers dealing with fighting and even capture, it's not boring.

The characters feel authentic as well. They all seem true to their own roles. Amanda's family is Southern through and through. Her brother, Daniel, can't wait to fight for their way of life. Her father is a man of deep faith and convictions.

Before the war she meets Captain Kent Littlefield. He attends their church and talks about settling in the area. The rumors of war have already started though, and her father forbids the blooming romance. Kent's family also discourages him.

I liked the strength of the two characters individually. I already mentioned how much I appreciated the approach to the story. No one side contained all the heroes or all the villains. The romance didn't feel as strong to me though. Maybe because of their limited time together. Some of the other relationships were much stronger and interesting.

I want to thank Thomas Nelson for providing my copy in exchange for this honest review.