March 7th, 2012
Today I’m reviewing THE IRISH HEALER by Nancy Herriman, published by Worthy Publishing. This is a historical romance set in London. Irish healer Rachel Dunne sails for London intending to leave her life as a healer–and the scandal that begins when she is unfairly accused of letting a child die in her care. She goes to work for an English physician, James Edmunds, who is haunted by secrets of his own. She intends it to be temporary employment until she can get a job as a teacher, and never to reveal her healing abilities; he intends to take up country life and leave behind what he believes are his failings as a doctor, and he certainly never wants to fall in love again. But when a cholera epidemic strikes London, both must put their intentions aside to fight it, and in the process they learn much about each other and begin to fall in love.
This is a tender, gentle love story that shows how true, lasting love can grow gradually but endures forever. I was impressed by the depth of factual research that enhances the story but never overwhelms it. I learned a lot about the state of Victorian medicine, and even more about compassion in this story, and how trust, love and God’s grace really can heal the heart. I was impressed at the lengths that the heroine went to help a fellow servant who had shown her only scorn and who had sought to return her evil for good.
I look forward to reading more by talented author Nancy Herriman. This book was provided free for review by the publisher.
Blessings, Laurie Kingery
October 23rd, 2011
Today I am reviewing LONE STAR TRAIL, by Darlene Franklin, published by Moody Publishers. It’s part of the Texas Trails series. In the story, Wande Fleisher and her family join the wave of German immigration to Texas, which has been advertised in Germany as being the land of milk and honey. Once they land in Texas, however, one of Wande’s sisters dies of a fever, and the Fleishers discover all will not be easy for them in their new home. But they are welcomed and aided by the Morgan –all but man-of-the-house Jud Morgan, who resents the wave of Germans overrunning “his” Texas.
Wande soon learns her promised marriage to a German fellow in the settlement of Neu-Braunfels is not to be, and it seems like she is doomed to be alone. She and Jud Morgan feel attracted to one another, but on Jud’s part this feeling is against his wishes.
This is a book of gradually falling in love, and Wanda and the other Fleishers adjusting to the new world of America, and specifically, Texas. I was particularly interested to read Darlene Franklin’s story contribution to the “Texas Trails” series published by Moody since in the past I had written about the German Texans when I wrote as Laurie Grant for the general market. (The book was called MIDNIGHT SATIN). In addition, my heritage is half German, and I have spent many happy hours in modern-day New Braunfels and Fredericksburg, Texas, both centers of German Texas.
Thanks, Darlene and Moody Publishers, for providing this book for me to review free of charge. It was a pleasure to read.
September 19th, 2011
Today I’m reviewing CAPTIVE TRAIL, by Susan Page Davis, book 2 in the Texas Trails series published by Moody Publishers. As the book opens, a white woman who knows herself only by her Indian name, Taabe Waipu, has escaped from her Comanche villages on a horse taken from those an Indian brave has brought as part of her bride price. After she falls from her horse, she is found along a trail by stagecoach driver Ned Bright, who is hauling a coach full on nuns who plan to start a new convent school along the Butterfield route in north central Texas. She remembers no English or anything of her previous life, not even her “white” name. Nursed back to health by the caring nuns, she grows to care for Ned Bright, and he for her, as he visits and attempts to solve the question of her identity. Not everyone wishes her well, for the Comanche who wanted to wed her wants her back and will go to any length to make that happen. And Ned wonders if reuniting the woman he is coming to love will mean he will lose her to her family in the end–if he does not lose her to the Comanches again.
This the best story of a Indian captive returning to her white world that I have ever read. Susan Page Davis has done her research and portrays the Comanches, as well as the settlers of the time, very convincingly. The hero and heroine become people whose developing romance you want to root for, and even secondary characters are given a thorough and detailed portrayal. Brava, Ms. Davis!
This book was provided free for review by Moody Publishers.
Blessings, Laurie Kingery
August 3rd, 2011
It’s my pleasure to review WOLFSBANE, the latest in the “Discarded Heroes” series by Ronie Kendig, published by Barbour.
Anyone who thinks Christian fiction is universally soft and cozy and avoids any real gritty problems hasn’t read Ronie Kendig’s books. Full of action and adventure, and Christians who make major mistakes with major consequences, WOLFSBANE features an amazing heroine and hero–Danielle Roark, an explosives expert with the Army Corps of Engineers, and Canyon Metcalf, former Army Special Forces, of the Nightshade Team. When Danielle’s captured by an evil general of the Venezuelan rebel army, she escapes from unspeakable conditions and is rescued, only to have her report of a nuclear facility met with disbelief and charges of espionage by her country. She becomes acquainted with the Metcalf family and two brothers, both Range, the Coast Guard brother who’d pulled her out of the water, and Canyon, the Nightshade team brother who testified on her behalf. Both brothers are attracted to her, but Canyon is too haunted by a tragic mistake in his past and by a secret in his present to make a move, and it is Range who shows interest. Canyon doesn’t feel he can take his brother’s lady. While Danielle appreciates Range’s kindness, it is Canyon she’s falling for.
When Danielle is forced to return to Venezuela to prove her report and clear her name, it is Canyon who goes along to protect her. They are separated from the team, make a terrible mistake in the midst of their danger, and are captured. Canyon is freed, but is furious when he finds Dani has been left behind, in violation of his promise to keep her safe. Canyon must risk it all to rescue her once again–his honor, his position with the Nightshade team, his relationship with his family, in order to save Danielle and have a life with her. Will the forces allied against them win?
Kendig doesn’t gloss over the consequences of mistakes that even devoted Christians can make, which I admire. Bravo, Ms. Kendig! Rapid-Fire Fiction for sure! I can’t wait for the next book in the series, FIRETHORN.
WOLFSBANE was provided free for review by Barbour Books.
Blessings, Laurie Kingery
July 9th, 2011
Today I’m reviewing TOO RICH FOR A BRIDE by Mona Hodgson, published by Waterbrook. This is the second book in the Cripple Creek series.
In the 1890′s, women were expected to marry, keep a fine home, and raise children. But some women have always fought against the mold and Hodgson’s heroine, Ida Sinclair, is one of those. After taking business courses, she aspires to be a successful businesswoman in the east. After a nearly disastrous false start that leaves her disillusioned about working for a man, she comes west to join her sisters in Colorado, where she lands a job with a somewhat notorious businesswoman there whose success seems based on an 1890′s version of insider trading.
Tucker Raines is a former traveling preacher who must give up his ministry to take on his family’s ice business when his father falls ill with TB. Tucker’s father has always been harsh to him because he chose the ministry, which causes Tucker hidden pain. He is taken with Ida, but hesitant because she seems to prefer material goals over marriage and family. And then there’s the too-smooth businessman wooing her.
The story of how Ida learns that love is really what is valuable in life, how she gains discernment into character, and how Tucker regains his true calling and the love and respect of his father is a tender, heartwarming story. I had not read the first book in the series, TWO BRIDES TOO MANY, but I’m thinking I need to!
This book was provided free for my review by Waterbrook Press in the Blogging for Books program.
Blessings, Laurie Kingery
June 30th, 2011
It’s Thursday and I’ve just finished getting ready for the Harlequin party at the famous Waldorf-Astoria Starlight ballroom. My top is is silver-glittery and I’m shedding the sparkling stuff everywhere. Looking forward to eating delicious desserts and dancing to “It’s Raining Men” and “Brick House.”
It’s been a good conference so far…despite no conference-provided breakfasts OR desserts. Guess NYC is too expensive for that….:( Not that I go to conference to eat, mind you! There have been good workshops, great meetings with my editors and agent, chats with old writer friends–and great ethnic restaurants (there’s food again!) with longtime writer friend Mary Jo Putney (Turkish food) and Hilary,daughter of my BFF (Peruvian cuisine).
Change is in the wind with the new Harlequin contract giving us a higher rate on ebook royalties. But it’s controversial as to whether this is better, because it’s a change from based on gross to net. Time will tell….
News–I’m on Twitter now, finally, as @LaurieKingery. Let me know your Twitter names and I’ll follow you!
Tomorrow night are the Ritas. I’m not nominated, or you would have seen that here, but I can certainly cheer on those I know who are! All for now–time to step into my dancing shoes!
June 3rd, 2011
Today I’m reviewing MAX ON LIFE: ANSWERS AND INSIGHTS TO YOUR MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS by Max Lucado, published by Thomas Nelson. I’ve long respected and admired the works of pastor Max Lucado for his simple explanations of things most important to Christians–salvation, grace, sin, redemption, and so forth. Now Max has compiled in one big volume 171 of the questions he is most asked by those searching for faith and those whose faith is being tested by doubts and difficulties in life. The questions being asked are not ethereal, cerebral ones, but as nitty-gritty and everyday as “What should I tell my kids about sex?”It also deals with the basics and the complexities of the Christian faith.
This book contains a lot of wisdom and doesn’t pull punches. Occasionally he spends a little too long on restating and expanding on the question, but this doesn’t detract from the value of his answer. Clearly, Lucado has wrestled with many of these questions himself, which is good–a man who has never doubted cannot counsel one who has. This is a valuable book for Christians and those who are searching for faith.
I received this book free for review from the Booksneeze blogging program–www.booksneeze.com–a division of Thomas Nelson publishing.
Blessings, Laurie Kingery
June 2nd, 2011
Today I’m reviewing SECRETS OF THE VINE FOR WOMEN: BREAKING THROUGH TO ABUNDANCE by Darlene Wilkinson, wife of Bruce Wilkinson, who wrote the groundbreaking SECRETS OF THE VINE. This is a short book–127 pp.–but to call it a “little” book would be totally inaccurate. This is a book full of power, a book that should be studied, savored, and read again. It would be a good book for a women’s Bible study group to read.
Repeatedly using the analogy of the vineyard and the vinedresser, who is teaching his daughter the secrets of an abundant harvest, the author’s goal is to teach women the principles of what produces spiritual fruit. Using John 15 as its text, and reminding us of Jesus’ intense love for his children, it teaches the difference between discipline and pruning by the Father. Often when we think we are being disciplined by painful experiences in life, we are being pruned to produce greater fruit. Our Lord wants us to produce fruit, and this book shares the secrets of making ourselves ready by understanding the process. A useful appendix in the back outlines the three seasons in the vineyard, the season of discipline, the season of pruning, and the season of abiding. Our goal is to get to that state of abiding in Him. There are study questions in the back of the book that help the reader to process the principles in each chapter.
This is a book I am going to read again, this time highlighting and studying it in great depth. If you’d like to download the first chapter to try this book, here is a link to copy and paste into your browser: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781601423979&view=news-videos
In accordance with FTC regulations, I am disclosing I was provided with this book by the Waterbrook Multnomah blogging for books program. This book can be obtained at Waterbrook/Multnomah.com and at Christian book stores.
May 6th, 2011
I’m signing books tomorrow at the Ohioana Library Festival near downtown Columbus, along with dozens of other Ohio authors. It’s an honor to be invited! I hope you’ll come down to meet me and others–it’s 9:30-4:30, and held at the Fr. Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, 546 Jack Gibbs Blvd., Columbus 43215. Admission is free and parking is free. There’ll be authors giving talks and readings, too. Afterwards, the authors are invited to a reception with Ohio’s first lady, Karen Kasich, at the Governor’s Mansion. I’m thrilled to be able to meet the wife of the man I supported for governor.
In other news, I’m no longer on Storkwatch–beautiful little Sadie Isabella arrived on 4/27, quite upstaging the royal wedding. She’s just as cute as she can be!
Kudos to our brave American military in taking down OBL in Pakistan, and shame on our so called Pakistani “allies…”
A certain publisher is making their Blogging for Books program more trouble than it’s worth. Now it’s all about getting our reviews ranked, for crying out loud. I suppose I won’t be doing it much longer, because I have books to write, not just others’ books to read, and I’ll be durned if I’ll go beg other people to praise my reviews! It used to be more enjoyable before they started micromanaging it. And now I’ll get back to Faith’s story in the Brides of Simpson Creek series, and hope it will soon be given the green light by my editor….
April 26th, 2011
We have a baby due in the family any time now, so I’m officially on Storkwatch. The due date’s actually not for 2 weeks, but based on past performance, my new granddaughter won’t wait that long. We’re eager to meet and greet her, so hurry, baby! This will be grandchild #7 for me, #9 for my husband and me together. Aren’t babies wonderful?
In other news, I’ve finished revisions on THE RANCHER’S COURTSHIP, out in mid-November this year. As always when I work with Love Associate Editor Elizabeth Mazer, it was a pleasure and an encouragement, a true partnership of editor and author. Both times that she’s worked on my manuscripts, I’ve felt that the final product was stronger for her efforts. Sometimes an author is just too close to her own work to see how something can be set better, more succinctly, or reworded to make the meaning clearer. Thanks, Elizabeth!
Now it’s back to FAITH, the manuscript I’m working on now, and the books I’m reading for the ACFW Carol Awards. I’ve found some great ones! And on May 7 I will be signing MAIL ORDER COWBOY at the Ohioana Library festival–a celebration of Ohio authors, at Ft. Hayes, near downtown Columbus Ohio. Please come and stop by my table! That evening there will be a reception for the Ohio authors at the Governors’ Mansion, where I look forward to meeting Goveror Kasich’s wife Karen Kasich and talking to the other authors.
Belated Easter Blessings, Laurie