I know I just reviewed a book not long ago, but I thought you may need another idea of a book to read if you’re stuck inside because of FREEZING weather outside. Title and Author:Swept Away (1st book in Trouble In Texas Series) by Mary Connealy (If you missed me saying it before, she is NEBRASKA born and raised and still lives in our fine state. She is also a farmer/rancher’s wife.) Published: 2013 by Bethany House Publishers – This one they did not donate to me to review. My mom loaned it to me because we make it a point to read all of Mary Connealy’s books. Genre and Setting: Romantic Fiction, 1868 in Texas Plot: A romance between Ruthie and Luke is formed in the middle of a Luke’s plan to get his ranch back and revenge his father’s death. My Thoughts: I think every Connealy novel I’ve read would make an interesting Western movie, and this one is no different. This book the main plot is really not the romance but the conflict between Luke and the man who stole his father’s ranch. The suspense in the story is related to how Luke and his friends are going to get the ranch back and never really about if Luke and Ruthie are going to hook up. I liked it that way, especially since you get to see the couple happily together for most of the story instead of just at the end. Even though you know how the romance ends up well before the end of the book, you’ll still want to read to the end. At the climax of the plot, Connealy does an excellent job of writing the gun fight scene that happens in the middle of the small western town, and I’m not just saying that because she comments on my blog.
To give you a taste of Connealy’s witty writing style, here is an excerpt.
“Glynna had fretting down to an art form. She was sure there were Bible verses about never being afraid, and others about never worrying. Well, she was doing both and mixing that up with prayers for forgiveness, so in an unfortunate way her worry about worrying and her fears about being afraid were sins on top of just her plan worries and fears. She suspected God wasn’t impressed.” (page 212)
My Overall Rating for the book (5 point scale): 4.5
2. If you need a gift idea for a sewer or a crafter in your life, consider checking out Fabric Worm. A crafty friend recommended it when I was looking for fabric ideas for a baby quilt, and it just about makes me want to start sewing.
3. As for a gift idea for a young child in your life, look into Kiwi Crate. They are fun, educational and quality. If you’re looking more for older kids, Focus on the Family has a great deal going on right now on their Adventures in Odyssey CDs.
4. If you need an gift idea for a farmer in your life, maybe find another farmer you know to ask what they’ve gotten that they really liked. I’d be asking but we’re giving each other carpet for Christmas. If you think your farmer would like some huge wrenches, Brad found a good deal on a set of these:
I’m off to go try and find a good Cyber Monday deal. Hurry and let me know if you know of a good one.
Title and Author:The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall Published: 2012 by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers, who provided me with a copy of this book so I could review it for you Genre and Setting: Amish Fiction in Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania Plot: Sadie and Levi both have the problem of family pressuring them to find someone to marry… My Thoughts: It’s a little hard to have a fresh review of a Cindy Woodsmall novella. I’ve never been disappointed after reading one of her books, and as always a novella is the perfect length of book for a quick read. This novella is no different. In this book Woodsmall once again has enjoyable characters, an interesting plot, and a happy ending.
The only thing I would recommend is that you read this book as part of the Christmas in Apple Ridge: Three-in-One Collection. This includes three novellas: The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing, and The Dawn of Christmas. The Dawn of Christmas has characters from both of the other novellas in this collection and would be much more meaningful to you and leave you with fewer questions if you read the other two first. For example, Jonah, a minor character in The Dawn of Christmas in his 30′s, has a cane. I still wish I knew why he had a cane and know I would if I had read the other books in this three some first. My Overall Rating for the book (5 point scale): 4.0
1. Our friends who needed to find a place to live, sent a text saying they are getting to buy their dream spot that they’d never thought they’d own. All they can say is “God did it.”
One great thing about having to wait to actually see what God is doing is that when we finally get to see His work, it is often amazingly clear that He was working all along and we’re left with only being able to say, “God did it.”
2. That’s the case with another set of our friends who you may have also prayed for in the past years. The post I linked to was written a year and a half ago and in that I stated, they were “years into a trial they have to trust God with constantly.” We are now celebrating that within a month, they will get to meet their God sized answer to a God sized prayer.