Review–Amanda Cabot’s In Firefly Valley

As you can tell by the cover picture for my blog, Facebook and Twitter pages, I love stories set in small towns with huge hearts, which is one of the reasons I love Amanda Cabot’s books. Dupree, Texas is the small town featured in this series, and while it has some of the problems sometimes found in small towns like a lack of job opportunities, it also shows the great qualities of small towns where everyone pitches in to solve problems and they look out for one another.  In Firefly Valley is the second book in her Texas Crossroad series. While the stories can stand alone, I suggest reading At Bluebonnet Lake first if you haven’t because the heroine of In Firefly Valley is the daughter of one of the main characters in the first book.

The second reason I love to read Amanda Cabot’s book is her characterization and descriptive skills. Although I have never visited the Hill Country of Texas, I feel like I have been there after reading her books! And her characters feel like neighbors down the street.

The most important reason I love reading Ms. Cabot’s books is that while we watch the characters go through several crises and trials, we can be assured that like God’s Word says things will work out better than we could have asked or imagined, because God is in the details. (Eph. 3: 20–my favorite verse!)

So if you are looking for a great small-town read with all the drama and twists and turns of life, plus a happy ending, then pick up this or any of Amanda Cabot’s books. You’ll be happy you did!

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Review–The Scent of Rain

I just finished listening to Kristin Billerbeck’s audio version of The Scent of Rain, and can’t begin to count the times I laughed out loud! This book is written in her signature witty style, yet also shows her spiritual depth in dealing with hard things that can happen to good people. It encourages us to still trust God and to let Him use others He places in our path to help, too.

I highly recommend this read–or you can listen to the audio book. You can laugh in your car while driving! And check out Kristin and her other books, too at

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Christian Fiction Friday

I’ve been wanting to post on this blog for weeks and even tried it last week, but wasn’t sure how it worked, so I’m trying again today. I am posting a snippet of my book set in Puerto Rico Surrender to Peace below. I’d love to receive some comments on it as it is still a WIP (work in progress) And perhaps you would like to post some writing, too–see link below. Thanks for the opportunity Hallee and Alana!

Benigno waited on the veranda. He stood as Joy approached with the setting sun at her back bronzing her copper curls. His heart pounded in his ears. He wanted so much to tell her how he loved her, but had to hold it in until she was ready.
“Last night you were beautiful. Tonight you are gorgeous! I won’t be able to take my eyes off you to eat.”
She shook her head. “Silly man. Of course you can, even if I have to feed you myself.”
His eyebrows arched. “That’s the best idea I’ve heard all day.”
“Have you been planning this ever since I fed you breakfast on the way to Icacos?”
“No, but I love the idea.” He lifted the large picnic basket. “Ready to go?”
She joined her arm with his.
Pink, purple, mauve, and golden streaks fanned out across the horizon as they approached the beach. It didn’t compare to her beauty.
Opening the basket, he pulled out a crisp white table cloth, and set real china. Next he placed several covered bowls and serving spoons. He lifted two seat cushions from some beach chairs and placed them next to each other on the sand. “Dinner is served, señorita.”
She dropped to a cushion and tucked her skirt around her legs.
Benigno sat beside her and opened two bowls. “For our soup we have Asopao.”
“My favorite.”
Next he uncovered seared loin of lamb with vegetables.
“Another favorite.”
“We aim to please.”
She glanced at another bowl, still covered. “What’s for dessert?”
“You’ll have to eat your supper to find out. Let’s thank God for our food.” He reached for her hand and prayed.
Joy lifted her head, and he spied tears in her eyes. Happy tears, he hoped.
They ate while watching the sky fade to purple and indigo. The first star appeared as he reached for the dessert. “Close your eyes. You have to guess what it is from the aroma.”
She complied, and he held it under her nose. “Ummm. Creme Bruleé.”
He laughed. “You’re a hard woman to surprise.”
“This whole vacation has been God’s surprise for me. And you’re a big part of His blessings.”
His gaze locked with hers. “I’m glad.”
Leaning over, his lips touched hers as his arm encircled her waist and pulled her closer.
She returned his kiss. Could this night get any better?

Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current Works in Progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman. – See more at:


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Book Review–When Grace Sings by Kim V. Sawyer

If you’ve been reading my blog long, you know I LOVE Kim Vogel Sawyer’s books. I think I have done more reviews of her books than any other author! In fact, I just checked and there are 18 reviews of her books on my blog so check it out with my search engine if you want to read more. And I had already read several of her books before I ever started my blog! She was one of the first authors I met at my first ACFW conference in Kansas City, MO in 2002, and we have been friends ever since!

This book was extra special. I loved the prequel to this one–When Mercy Rains which is the first book in the Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy. I bet you are happy like I am that it means there is at least one more book in this series!

Another reason it is special to  me is that some of the characters in this book tie into the character Beth Quinn McCauley in the Sommerfield trilogy, another of my favorite sets by Kim.

Now, for my review of When Grace Sings. Anna Grace Braun is the adopted daughter of a couple in Sommerfield who comes to Arborville Kansas with her fiance. She stays at the charming B and B named Grace Notes which is run by Alexa Zimmerman. They and many other have lots to learn about God’s grace and showing that grace to others.

This book is a love story on so many levels–family love, romantic love, and God’s love for us all. And there are several surprises for the reader as well as for the characters.

There is a tender salvation scene that brought tears to my eyes. God can save even the most unlikely characters–just like in real life!

Even though I received a review copy from the publisher, these comments are all my own. I hope they will encourage you to buy this book on kindle or paperback, and to check out any of Kim’s other books you haven’t read yet. Enjoy!

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World Blogger Award


Thanks to my friend MaryAnn Diorio at I have been nominated for another blog award–The Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award. This reminds me of that movie Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants!

My part is to answer the ten questions below then send 10 questions to ten other authors, so here are my answers to MaryAnn’s:

Continue reading

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Review–At Bluebonnet Lake

Book Review–At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot.

Hi everyone, hope you had a great Christmas and a good start to your new year.  I’ve read 7 books so far in January, and this one was the best so far this year! I’ve read and liked several of Amanda Cabot’s historical novels, but this is her first contemporary fiction, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

What’s not to enjoy–gorgeous descriptions of Texas scenery, well-drawn characters whom you’d love to have as friends, and a plot that culminates into something better than you could have dreamed!

The heroine Kate, and hero Greg, both have secrets in their past that don’t come out for quite a bit. Even after you can see them falling in love, you wonder if it will be enough to keep them together. And there is another romance in the story, too, like a bonus!

The book was lengthy, but after I got into it, I hated for it to end. I’m glad it is the first in a series called “Texas Crossroads.” I can’t wait for In Firefly Valley to be out this Spring so I can re-visit and catch up on some of my new friends!

This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes, but that fact did not influence my review–a truly delightful read!

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