Thank you for stopping by my blog. Lately I have been reviewing books and haven't had as much time to scrap. Hopefully soon I'll get back to scrapping and creating some new files. Thank you for your patience.

I have made files available at absolutely no charge. I do this for fun. I am learning the wonderful Make The Cut (MTC) program and trying to improve my skills. Most of the files have been created from free coloring sheets online. You will need MTC software in order to cut these files. Please use these files for your personal use only and if you want to share them with others please direct others to my blog. I hope you enjoy these files. Comments are always appreciated. If you are not a follower please consider doing so. I have lots of new files that I want to add over the next few months.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Bride for All Seasons

A Bride for All Seasons: The Mail-Order Bride Collection is a collection of four short novellas by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, and Robin Lee Hatcher. It is basically four books in one and each could stand alone and are around 100 pages or less each.
The first is And Then Came Spring by Margaret Brownley. The second is And Ever-After Summer by Debra Clopton next comes Autumn’s Angel by Robin Lee Hatcher and lastly is Mary Connealy’s Winter Wedding Bells. I will not go into the description of each story in this review because of the different story lines. I will say that the common thread for each story is only “The Hitching Post, Mail Order Bride Catalogue.” Each is a different tale of the experiences of four different potential brides and grooms.
I really enjoyed the mini books and read through them very quickly finishing in just a few nights. They are typical, historic, romance novels or novellas in that they are pretty predictable but still very enjoyable to read. Each leading character has their own personality and is fun to get to know. The time is set just after the Civil War when a lot of women want to get married but there aren’t enough men out there so they turn to the catalogue. At the beginning of each story there is a short prologue that helps you get to know who the people are and what they are looking for. Three of the four stories explain the mail order letters the other explains more of the predicament that the parties are in and why they are looking at mail order marriages. I find the owner of the Hitching Post, Melvin Hitchcock, a funny character kind of playing God with these people’s lives. If he doesn’t approve of the way a letter is written he tweaks them so they will be more appealing to the potential spouse on the other end.  Sometimes more than not the letters are completely different than what they started as and make for awkward meetings for the couples.
There is a spiritual side to each of the meetings usually one or the other feels that it is God’s will that things happen the way they do. I can’t imagine ever being a mail order bride but I’m assuming that it may have been pretty common place in the early history of our country. This book is fun and gives a good picture of the time. I can imagine myself being there seeing the sights and sounds of each of the small towns. If you enjoy light historical romances you will love this book. I would recommend this to others. Each author has done a great job and even though every story is completely different and set in different areas of country there is still cohesiveness between them.
I received this book at no charge from in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bending Toward the Sun and Ripples Along the Shore

This review will be a little different. I’m going to review 2 books at one time. I recently reviewed Mona Hodgsons’ book Dandelions on the Wind: The Quilted Heart series. I really enjoyed the novella and had the opportunity to review the third one in the series but I didn’t want to skip the 2nd one. I purchased Bending Toward the Sun from Amazon and then received Ripples Along the Shore to review from the publisher.
I really enjoyed these two books just as much as the first one. The characters continued and new stories developed. The second book focused on Emily Heinrich the storekeeper’s daughter.  It also continued with the previous story of Maren.
Divided between the love of her father and the desires of her heart, Emilie Heinrich must rely on the love and wisdom of the women in her quilting circle for support. Since Emilie is dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, she is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart.”
I really loved the stories behind the quilts in the quilting circle. The first novella didn’t mention a lot about the quilting portion of the books but the author seemed to incorporate more in the second and third books. Emily struggles with wanting to please her father and go to school but she also wants to follow her heart.
In book three Ripples Along the Shore once again continues with Maren and Emily and their new lives and adds another character: Caroline.
“When Caroline Milburn steps off the boat and back into her hometown of St. Charles, MO, part of her wishes she could step right back on board and sail away. St. Charles, though home to her beloved friends and quilting circle, hasn’t felt like home since the death of her husband. And living with her sister, Jewell’s family hasn’t provided much balm for her grieving heart. Caroline knows something needs to change—but for now she’s stuck sharing her sister’s home, and enduring the anger and bitterness of her brother-in-law.”
Also, it this book a lot of it centered around the ladies and their quilting circle, but this time the circle is going to be broken. Some of the ladies and their families will be leaving to go west and others will be staying. They decide to make 2 different quilts. Caroline is determined to go west but it wouldn’t be proper for a widowed lady to travel alone. She’s very disappointed when she thinks she isn’t going to get to go.
With each book new characters are introduced and old characters remain. I assume there will be more novellas in this series. I believe you should start with the 1st one and move through. They are very short around 100 pages and are quick reads. There aren’t a lot of surprises but the storylines are fun to read and I really feel like I could be right there with them. If you are looking for a quick and easy read this is the series for you.
 I received Ripples Along the Shore from Waterbrook Publishing at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

Please rank my review for Bending Toward the Sun

Please rank my review for Ripples Along the Shore