Archive for June, 2011

30
Jun

Book Review: ‘A Great Catch’

   Posted by: Faith    in Tasty Tomes

A Great Catch

by Lorna Seilstad

Historical Romance / Inspirational

Release Date: May 2011

Synopsis:greatcatch

She wants to change the world.
He wants to change her mind.

It’s the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When Emily Graham’s meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.

When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could have guessed what would come next. Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

My Thoughts:

If you recall my review of this author’s debut novel, you’ll remember that initially, the cover image threw me off and I read the book expecting to hate it—and was pleasantly surprised to find it was one of the best Christian fiction books I’d read in a long time.

I had a similar negative reaction when I heard about the topic of this novel: baseball. Baseball?! Really?! I mean, I like sports, but if there’s one sport I’d pass up free tickets to—heck, I don’t know if you could pay me to sit through a game—it’s baseball. *hurk*

But, since I enjoyed the previous book she’d written, I gave this one a go.

I’m glad I did! Once again, Seilstad has created memorable characters with unique goals, and placed them back in the same very different setting as her first novel. In fact, without giving any spoilers, I’ll mention that since it’s set in the same place, a number of characters from Making Waves show up here in a very natural way.

As for the negatives, I did find that the main character’s aunts grated on me after a little while, and though I realize they were supposed to be frustrating, there were moments when it seemed to go beyond my ability to suspend disbelief. But that’s a very minor thing over the course of a whole novel.

It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly good reading! I’ll be sharing this one with others and recommending it to library patrons. I hope Seilstad brings us back to Lake Manawa next summer too.

About the Author

Seilstad_Lorna A history buff, antique collector, and freelance graphic designer, Lorna Seilstad is the author of Making Waves and draws her setting from her home state of Iowa. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing awards and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, IncAvailable at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

28
Jun

Book Review: ‘The Lady of Bolton Hill’

   Posted by: Faith    in Tasty Tomes

The Lady of Bolton Hill

by Elizabeth Camden

Historical Romance / Inspirational

Release Date: June 2011

 

LadyofBoltonHill_cover.inddSynopsis:

When Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain’s worlds collide after twelve years apart, the spark that was once between them immediately reignites into a romance neither of them thought possible.

But time has changed them both.

Daniel is an industrial titan with powerful enemies. Clara is an idealistic journalist determined to defend underprivileged workers.

Can they withstand the cost of their convictions while their hearts–and lives–hang in the balance?

My Thoughts:

I’m sorry, team… but I didn’t make it through this one. *sigh*

There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with the characters, or plot, or setting… in fact, the time period seemed well-researched, and the dialogue and characters authentic.

My problem? I just didn’t care. I got bored… it felt, well, bland. There was nothing about this story that set it apart from other historical romances for me, so by the time I got halfway through the story, I realized that I’d rather do just about anything than continue reading, and that I was probably the wrong target audience for this novel.

So I’ll say this: If you like historical romances that are traditional, with typical characters and black-and-white issues of right & wrong, this book is probably for you. I can think of a number of church library patrons who would enjoy this story, and I’ll recommend the book to them. It feels “safe”, if that makes any sense, and that’s not really the kind of inspirational fiction I enjoy.

To be fair to the author, I recommend that if this is in your reading genre of choice, head to this page and read an excerpt from the novel. See if it’s something you’d enjoy before giving it a complete pass. It’s also worth keeping in mind that this is a debut novel, and I imagine Camden’s writing and ability to develop complex characters and plot will only improve with each book.

About the Author

CAMDEN_Elizabeth A research librarian and associate professor,Elizabeth Camden has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in Orlando, Florida. Visit her website at ElizabethCamden.com

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

9
Jun

Hiatus… Extended

   Posted by: Faith    in Rye Thoughts

notebooksSo… I’m still alive… the May blogging break just somehow morphed into June, and now we’re almost halfway through the month without any new posts from me. Sorry!

Not intentional. Rather, I started heavily rewriting my YA Paranormal novel from NaNoWriMo 2009, with the goal of having it completely rewritten and off to betas by the end of August. I’d like to be querying sometime in September.

I don’t know how realistic that is, but it feels good to be making solid progress again. I’m finding that I actually believe in this story again, and I can see the way around some of the roadblocks I hit back in 2009 while writing it.

This comes with a shift in focus and a real, solid attempt to get me on a regular schedule. I have a new laptop on the way, some new tools to make it easier to write around the house, and the realistic threat of finding a “real” job if I don’t start accomplishing more than what I have been.

I love writing short stories, but being a short story writer ISN’T my goal. I love writing novels, and I want to be a novelist… so as sad as I am that I have to put short story writing to the side for awhile, I’m glad to be making headway with what’s most important to me.

Hopefully I’ll get a few more posts up this month explaining some fun things like the business side of writing (which I recently took a webinar on), marketing yourself as a freelancer, and editing through a world of distractions.

So I’m still here… just working on other things. I’ve noticed a lot of people in the writing/blog sphere are taking things easy or taking time off from blogging this summer, so I guess I’m in good company.

See you around. :)