Dec 302013

AFamilyForChristmas A Family for Christmas (Texas Grooms #3)

Author: Winnie Griggs

Publisher: Love Inspired

Published Date: October 2013

Paperback/ebook: 288 pages

Genre: Christian Historical Romance/Holiday Romance

ISBN# 9780373829835

Reviewed by: Shanda

FTC FYI: received a free digital galley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


Eve Pickering knows what it’s like to be judged for your past. So she’s not about to leave the orphaned boy she’s befriended alone in this unfamiliar Texas town. Since Chance Dawson’s offer of shelter is the only way to look after Leo, Eve is determined they’ll have a warm, welcoming home for the holidays.

Chance came from the big city to make it on his own despite a painful secret. But Eve’s strength is giving him a confidence he never expected—and a new direction for his dream. With a little Christmas blessing, he’ll dare to win her heart—and make their family one for a lifetime.


A Family for Christmas is a quick, Christmas-themed Christian historical romance that can satisfy the need for a light, clean love story. The book started pretty slow for me, though it picked up a bit more toward the middle to end. I found Chance interesting, but felt Eve’s character was kind of all over the place. Dotty (aka Mrs. Epps) was the most intriguing character to me, with depth and history alluded to in this story. I would consider reading the first two in the series to learn more about her and the events of “recent history” in the book.

I didn’t realize this was part of a series until I was into the book, so obviously it can stand alone. I am curious about the purpose that brought these men to Turnabout, Texas. There’s only the vaguest of information in this book, so I may search out the first book to find an answer. There is one more book in the series, and while I found A Family for Christmas enjoyable enough to finish, I probably won’t rush out to read the next one.

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Dec 252013


***Merry Christmas!***


We hope you had a great morning with your loved ones. Oh, and that you all got books (or Kindles/Nooks/iPads – anything you can read on!) for Christmas.

Tell us what you got for Christmas in the comments!

We appreciate every one of you. Thanks for participating in the Countdown to Christmas 2013. Don’t forget to comment on each Countdown post before Midnight MT tonight. Every comment is another chance to win!

Enjoy this special day as you celebrate the birth of the best Gift any of us could ever receive.

Best wishes-

Shanda, Sheila, and Mindy

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Nov 072013

CarlaKellyChristmasCollection Carla Kelly’s Christmas Collection

Author: Carla Kelly

Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.

Published Date: October 2013

Paperback/Kindle: 240 pages

Genre: Holiday Regency Romance

ISBN# 978-1462112272

Reviewed by: Shanda

FTC FYI: received a free digital ARC in exchange for an honest review

Summary (Goodreads)

Come explore Regency London with Carla Kelly! This collection features four stories that will warm your heart with Christmas cheer: “The Christmas Ornament,” “Make a Joyful Noise,” “An Object of Charity,” and “The Three Kings.” Filled with romance and a touch of humor, these stories are sure to find a place in your heart and remind you that Christmas is a time for love.


This past year I have been delighted to discover many enjoyable short-story romance collections. I really liked Carla Kelly’s Borrowed Light series, and am happy to be able to review this Christmas Collection.

The stories in this collection are conveniently arranged in order of my favorites, starting with “The Christmas Ornament.” I got a kick out of two fathers playing matchmaker with their children, as well as the two main characters, James and Olivia, who were both too intellectual to fit in with the ton. I related to their love of learning and education, and found James’s occasional bumbling to be kind of charming. Suffice it to say, apologizing is something he quickly became skilled at doing.

Peter Chard in “Make a Joyful Noise” is a character I really liked. He is a good father, a hard worker, and even takes over his mother’s duty to find singers for the annual choir competition when she is called away to help care for sick grandchildren. When the woman he has seen walking across his property from time to time sits in front of them at church one Sunday, he hears her voice and knows she must be a part of their choir. Rosie finds herself in unfortunate circumstances when her father, whom she travels with in the army, is killed. She has no protection and no choice but to marry a selfish cad of a man, the son of Peter’s neighbors who nobody cares for much at all. When he falls out of a window while drinking with friends and dies, she appears at his family’s home, a surprise to everyone. They consider Rosie a burden and treat her as such. Peter, however, is soon smitten by more than her lovely voice.

In “An Object of Charity,” Captain Michael Lynch finds himself on shore while his ship is in dry dock for repairs after a harrowing skirmish in the blockade. He is unhappy about the situation, much preferring to remain at sea. While staying in his favorite boarding house, he is approached by a young woman, Sally, and her little brother, Thomas, who are looking for their uncle, the man who had served as Captain Lynch’s first mate until his recent death in battle. He is the one to break this unfortunate news to them. When he discovers the two siblings later, shivering in the dark by the docks, he realizes their situation is much worse than he suspected. He takes them into his care, deciding to go home for Christmas for the first time since a falling out with his father and older brother 22 years earlier. Things at home are both better and worse than he expected, yet Sally brings a long-absent peace back into his life.

I learned something new about the Christmas traditions of Regency era Spain in “The Three Kings.” Sarah and her brother James are caught in a predicament while doing research in France and James is shot and killed. Sarah is determined to get their research back to England, but there are French troops everywhere and she is basically on her own to find refuge across the front lines of the English army. She is placed in the charge of a Spanish colonel who will escort her to Ciudad Rodrigo so she can continue on to England. Before they can depart, the encampment is attacked and she is swept to safety by Colonel Luis Sotomayor. They make their way across the countryside, managing to stay ahead of the French troops, until events escalate near a village where Sarah learns more about the colonel than she or her heart could have expected.

All in all I enjoyed all of the stories, though the first two were my favorites. If you are in the mood for a little romance as the Christmas holiday approaches, this collection from Carla Kelly may be just the thing for you.

Find Carla Kelly’s Christmas Collection:



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Dec 132012

LDSWBR Holiday Gift Guide Part 2

In this epsiode, Shanda, Sheila and Mindy share their recommendations for books as gifts in the speculative, historical, general, middle grade and young adult categories. There are so many books that would make great gifts that it is impossible to list them all, but we hope you will be able to find some good ideas for the loved ones in your life. Enjoy! (Note: Apologies for the sound quality. This is what happens when you update Audacity and forget to double check to make sure it’s set to use your nice microphones rather than the built-in microphone on your Macbook Pro.)

Music: Seeing The Future (Dexter Britain) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Listen to the podcast here:


(click here to download, or right-click and select "Save as")

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Dec 062012

LDSWBR Holiday Gift Guide Part 1

In this epsiode, Shanda, Sheila and Mindy share their recommendations for books as gifts in the non-fiction, romance, and mystery-suspense categories. There are so many books that would make great gifts that it is impossible to list them all, but we hope you will be able to find some good ideas for the loved ones in your life. Enjoy! (Note: Apologies for the sound quality. This is what happens when you update Audacity and forget to double check to make sure it’s set to use your nice microphones rather than the built-in microphone on your Macbook Pro.)

Music: Seeing The Future (Dexter Britain) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Listen to the podcast here:


(click here to download, or right-click and select "Save as")


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Dec 032012

All I Want: Three couples. Three stories. One Holiday.

Authors: Jolene Perry, Kaylee Baldwin, Rachael Anderson

Publisher: HEA Publishing

Published Date: October 2012

Paperback/Kindle; 225 pages

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

ISBN# 978-1480115231

Reviewed by: Shanda

FTC FYI: free Kindle copy in exchange for an honest review

***See below for summaries of each story and giveaway details.***


I love Christmas romances. As soon as Thanksgiving is over I start looking forward to all of the holiday romance movies on the Hallmark channel. I know, but I can’t help myself.

I was so excited to take part in the All I Want blog tour. Three Christmas romances written by three authors whose past books I’ve read and loved? Count me in!

I read All I Want straight through. All three stories are enjoyable and well-written. It was fun reading and recognizing the style of each author. These women are talented storytellers and I appreciated the toe-curling yet clean romance in each story.

I loved each hero. I couldn’t begin to pick a favorite. I really liked the heroines, too. While Pretty Near Perfect, Six Days of Christmas, and Twist of Fate are all novellas, they were so well done that at the end of each I felt as if I’d read a full-length novel.

I highly recommend All I Want to anyone who enjoys a good romance. It’s a bargain at $2.99 on Kindle. I am adding All I Want to my list of Favorite Christmas Reads, though I’m definitely not waiting until next Christmas to read them again.

Tour Schedule




Pretty Near Perfect

by Jolene Perry

The last thing Norah needs is to be attracted to anyone – especially in her deceased fiancé’s parents’ home. Collin’s starting a new career, and has no business getting involved – especially while staying with his roommate’s family, who very kindly offered to take him in for the holidays. Unfortunately, you just don’t always pick the most convenient time and place to fall for someone.

Six Days of Christmas

by Kaylee Baldwin

When Natalie goes home with her best friend for Christmas, she expects plenty of quiet time to work on a winning ad so she can turn her dream internship into her dream job. Instead, she gets time-consuming Christmas festivities, a house full of children, and Jimmy, her best friend’s brother – someone who makes her question everything she’s always thought she wanted.

Twist of Fate

by Rachael Anderson

When a postcard meant for Kenzie winds up in Ty’s mailbox, Ty’s faced with a decision. Should he tell her that her fiancé is breaking up with her and let it ruin her favorite holiday, or should he do what he’s wanted to do since he met her – make a move and hope that he can win her over before she discovers there won’t be a wedding after all.

Purchase All I Want

 Kindle Ebook * Paperback


Author Jolene Perry

Jolene Perry is an enigmatic figure. She is most often seen behind her laptop, staring at the words flying onto the screen with reckless abandon.

She survived growing up in rural Alaska, driving like a lunatic, and her husband’s careers in the military, as a perpetual student, and an Alaska State Prosecutor. She also survived as a middle school math teacher using her degree of Political Science and French.

One day Jolene was playing her guitar (probably some-thing juvenile for her kids) when she wondered what it would be like to write a song for a rockstar, and her first book was born. (that book is shelved)

She now lives a very glamorous life as a stay at home mom, elbow deep in dirty dishes and peanut butter sandwiches. She doesn’t even attempt to keep up with the laundry because non-writing time is precious, and her family is sorta awesome.


Website * Twitter * Blog * Facebook


Author Rachael Anderson

Rachael Anderson is the author of four contemporary romances: Divinely Designed, Luck of the Draw, Minor Adjustments, and The Reluctant Bachelorette. She’s the mother of four, can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.


Facebook * Website * Twitter


Author Kaylee Baldwin

I grew up in Mesa, Arizona, and graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in English literature.

I currently live in southern Arizona with my husband, Jeremy, and our three children. When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, starting new craft projects, and spending time with my family.


Facebook * Website * Twitter


Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card

Ends 12/24/12

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an
Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase
necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent’s permission. The winner will be chosen
by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new
winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any
other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Official All I Want Blog Tour Schedule

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