Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dating, Dining, Desperation, and Melody Carlson

My review follows the CFBA info.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dating, Dining, and Desperation
B&H Books (March 1, 2014)
by
Melody Carlson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Daphne Ballinger has learned to accept her deceased, eccentric aunt’s strange request that she marry in order to inherit her estate, along with taking over her aunt’s hometown paper’s advice column. But knowing and accepting that God’s will be done becomes harder when a new neighbor, a divorced socialite, learns of Daphne’s predicament and takes on the task of finding her the perfect man, even if it includes speed dating. When God does open Daphne’s heart, it is instead to take in a young girl left parentless and in the care of her dying grandmother. It may be a temporary arrangement until the girl’s uncle returns from the Marines, but God uses Daphne to speak His heavenly love and protection into the life of the child -- whom Daphne soon discovers has a very handsome and single uncle.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dating, Dining, and Desperation, go HERE.


Pattie's Review:

I read the first book in this series, Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel, for CFBA last spring. I enjoyed it for the most part. This second book has some great story elements in it that make it a feel-good story, not so much a romance as the first book was, but a continuation of the original conflict of Daphne vs. The Will.


According to a note by the author at the end, the third and fourth book releases will be ebooks, so I look forward to seeing how the story plays out and how Daphne ends up solving the problems presented in books 1 and 2.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and I like Daphne. However, one detail: the misspelling of "y'all" (spelled "ya'll" throughout the book) really irritated me. With a Southern character who says it often, you can see why it set my teeth on edge.

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher as a participant in this blog tour.

Monday, February 10, 2014

CFBA: Once Upon a Winter's Heart

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Once Upon a Winter's Heart
Center Street (January 7, 2014)
by
Melody Carlson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Emma Burcelli has suffered over a decade of dating disasters. But she concludes that love is officially dead when her grandfather Poppi suddenly passes, leaving her grandmother Nona devastated. To help out, Emma works in the family bookstore, which Nona insists must be decked out in sweetheart d├ęcor as Poppi would have done for Valentine's Day. Although she feels like a V-Day Scrooge, Emma quickly learns to enjoy the task with the help of a handsome family friend, Lane Forester, who shows her that hanging hearts is much more fun when done to the tune of Dean Martin. As Emma and Lane share time and memories of Poppi, she reconsiders the notion that romance is alive.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Once Upon a Winter's Heart, go HERE.

Pattie's Review:

This might be the first Melody Carlson book that I didn't absolutely love. I usually enjoy her quirky point of view and unique characters. While this book had likeable and believable characters, it was just a bit too predictable for me as a novel. Very cute read for someone who is looking for a cozy Christian romance. I hold out hope for her next release which I will also be reviewing, Dating, Dining, and Desperation.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Five Minute Friday: WRITE

5 minute freewrite on the topic of the week
Five Minute Friday

Today's word: WRITE

On my new year's resolution mug I painted with glaze the following quotation by E. B. White: "Writing is an act of faith..."


To be honest, I haven't done a whole lot of writing the past few weeks. I've done more reading than writing, and copying others' words in my composition book instead of composing my own words, carving them from my mind, my heart, my soul.

The word I received for 2014 is "creative," and pursuing other avenues of creativity has gotten me into the pottery-painting store, trying to sketch with colored pencils, knitting scarves in chunky yarns on different sized needles, and reading books I would not normally choose.

But since I teach others how to write, and encourage others who write, and edit and publish for others, I should write more myself. 

I just haven't been writing.

I saw this quotation online by Lisa-Jo Baker, and it struck a chord with me: 

"Scared is the new brave. Write anyway."

So here I write, on this blank blog screen, putting letters and words and phrases into some kind of coherency, not really writing for anyone else but myself. 

I wish it were easier. More fluid. Not as painstaking.

If the easy things in life aren't as meaningful, then writing for me is the most meaningful work there is.

Write on.