Monday, February 1, 2016

What I'm Reading: With This Ring

Excuse me while I gush a bit. I thought this was going to be four novellas from some of my favorite authors. I had no clue that each story is connected to other series/books that I loved! It's officially my second five-star rating of the year.

Karen Witemeyer's comes first. For those of you who loved her latest, "A Worthy Pursuit," this is the tale of "Dead-Eye Dan" Daniel Barrett of one-time dime-novel notoriety and his boss's daughter Marietta. She is thoroughly smitten with him and is certain that she'll lose him forever if he leaves for his new ranch without her winning his heart. If you've read the book, you have a pretty good inkling of what he thinks of her, but there's a reason he can't speak of it. This short story tells their tale and is interspersed with hilarious excerpts from the Dead-Eye Dan dime novel.

Second comes Regina Jennings's. It's connected to the Ozark Mountain series and focuses on Josiah Huckabee, now all grown up and no longer quite so much a daredevil. I've devoured both books in the series and have promptly shared them with my sister, so it was a delight to find these familiar scenes again and meet the spunky Katie Ellen, who is quite sure she has something to prove to the world, and will be outdone neither by the mysterious guest nor by Josiah's eagerness to protect her.

Third is Mary Connealy's. This is connected to two series, Trouble in Texas and Kincaid Brides. Big John Conroy infuriates a villain who had planned on marrying Audra Kincaid's younger sister by stealing the lady in question right out of town, and the two (John and Carrie) flee into the night with Carrie's young brother in tow. While I often have felt that Connealy's strength is not in the novella form, this one was actually quite good, and I enjoyed the tale.

Last, definitely not least, comes Melissa Jagears's. Charlotte, better known as Charlie, has to save her parents' failing ranch after her father dies, her mother loses her grip on reality, and a ruthless neighbor sabotages her ranch in an attempt to get her land. She is ready to make a deal with the devil's family to save her home for her mother...until Harrison Gray rides back into her life just ahead of a tornado. His glasses get broken, and she ends up helping him teach until the new pair comes in...but can they understand each other in time? This story is connected to the upcoming Teaville Moral Society books, and introduces Lydia King—heroine of the first book, according to the synopsis. I definitely will be looking forward to August, when I can find out what happens to Lydia, and if she finds her Mr. Darcy!

Many thanks for my copy, provided by Melissa Jagears and Bethany House in exchange for my influence in promoting it. That is an exchange I am very happy to make!With This Ring on Goodreads

Catching up on things...

So, this year I managed to complete NaNoWriMo for the first time ever!  It was a delightful moment when I uploaded my work and got my badge.  Of course, the story is far from finished, but it is taking shape nicely.  It also is a new genre for me, so I am feeling the delights of stretching my wings a bit.  More on that later.

Christmas was quite busy, with a hurried trip to visit family out of state.  I also had the chance to meet a friend at my favorite used-bookstore, the Flagship location of Half Price Books, and take advantage of the after-Christmas sale.  I found two boxes of books, many of which are vintage novels, and some of those with the original dust jackets.  I have to add about fifteen of them to Goodreads' database on my own, so that gives you a sense of how rare they are.  And, of course, I have already read several of them.  This week's gem from the box was "A Daughter of Fife" by Amelia Huddleston Barr.

Check out each "What I'm Reading" post for favorite reads and reviews that I'm doing.  For more of what I'm reading, check out my Goodreads account at:

Last week I attended the state Evangelism conference and heard some fabulous preaching.  I intend to share some notes on what I've heard in the next few weeks.  It does my heart good to see pastors going down to the altar and praying!!