Archive for May, 2011


Book Review: ‘An Unlikely Suitor’

   Posted by: Faith    in Tasty Tomes

An Unlikely Suitor

by Nancy Moser

Historical Fiction / Inspirational

Release Date: May 2011



AnUnlikeySuitor_cover.indd Spend a season in glamorous 1895 Newport in this compelling tale of friendship, devotion, and sacrificial love.

New York dressmaker Lucy Scarpelli befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she’s designing her 1895 summer wardrobe. Grateful for Lucy’s skill in creating fashions that hide her physical injury, Rowena invites Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, encouraging the unusual friendship.

One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what Newport man would want to marry an Italian dressmaker working to support her family?

Rowena faces an arranged marriage to a wealthy heir she doesn’t love, but dare a crippled girl hope for anything better?

And Lucy’s teenage sister, Sofia, falls for a man well above her social class–but is he willing to give up everything to marry a woman below his station?

As the lives of three young woman–and their unlikely suitors–become entangled in a web of secrets and sacrifice, will the season end with any of them finding true happiness?

My Thoughts:

Yeah… you want to read this one. If you like Christian historical fiction, or just plain old historical fiction for that matter (with a touch of romance), this one is worth the read.

When the twist came, I sat up on the couch and gasped audibly, then shouted “NO! No WAY!”… and you know, it takes a lot to surprise me in inspirational fiction. I’ve been reading & reviewing these kinds of books for awhile now, and usually these kinds of stories are incredibly predictable (though that doesn’t make them any less entertaining, most of the time).

This one? Definitely didn’t see THAT twist coming.

I also liked the characters, the atmosphere, the setting, and the amount of historical detail that Moser included AFTER the story ended. There are pages and pages of annotations about real historical elements she included (or took liberties with), and she also provides old catalogue illustrations that show some of the dresses she had her characters wear throughout the novel.

There was one little thing I didn’t like… a secondary character who was mentioned just a few times suddenly becoming a big deal almost out of nowhere… but I could easily look past that for how much I loved the historical detail and the twist. It’s rare for me to love an inspirational historical fiction novel these days, but this one definitely fits the bill.

About the Author

mosernancy Nancy Moser is the author of three inspirational humor books and a eighteen novels, including Mozart’s Sister, Just Jane, and Time Lottery, a Christy Award winner. She is an inspirational speaker, giving seminars around the country. She has earned a degree in architecture; run a business with her husband; traveled extensively in Europe; and has performed in various theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She and her husband have three grown children and make their home in the Midwest. Read more about her books at

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.


Book Review: ‘To Win Her Heart’

   Posted by: Faith    in Tasty Tomes

To Win Her Heart

by Karen Witemeyer

Historical Romance / Inspirational

Release Date: May 2011



ToWinHerHeart-TP_Cover.inddDo They Have a Fighting Chance at Love?

After completing his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father’s knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past.

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs in the town her father founded. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she’s reluctant to trust him. Yet as the mysteries of the town’s new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Eden believes she’s finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when the truth about Levi’s prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian’s affections?


My Thoughts:

I’ve enjoyed Witemeyer’s books before, and this historical romance is a well-crafted addition to the author’s bibliography. I much preferred To Win Her Heart over Witemeyer’s previous offering, and many of the things I liked about this book were similar to what I liked in her debut novel, so I’ll try not to repeat myself too much.

The heroine is, of course, a seemingly flawless heroine with a secret in her past, and the hero is a physically attractive man with an even bigger secret. The villain is relentless and clueless, and you know from the beginning how the story is going to pan out. Read the synopsis again—tell me you don’t know what’s going to happen (but I won’t believe you!).

Still, the characters are interesting, the setting feels realistic, and the romance is slow and sweet. Plus, I like the idea of the heroine running a lending library from home. This makes for some easily-relatable discussion about books, which adds a nice dimension to the plot.

I should also mention that Witemeyer changed her tactic for this novel—instead of a young woman coming into town/the area and meeting the geographically-established hero, it’s the hero who’s the new person around. I appreciated the change.

Overall, I’d say that if you enjoy historical romances, or Witemeyer’s previous work, this one is worth the read. I might not recommend it to someone trying historical romance for the first time, but on the whole it’s a nice diversion with good characters, and the kind of story that can be easily shared with friends, mothers, and grandmothers, and chatted about afterward.

About the Author 

Witemeyer_Karen1 Karen Witemeyer holds a master’s degree in psychology from Abilene Christian University and is a member of ACFW, RWA, and the Abilene Writers Guild. She has published fiction in Focus on the Family’s children’s magazine, and has written several articles for online publications and anthologies. A Tailor-Made Bride is her first novel. Karen lives in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children.Visit Karen’s Web site

"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".


Book Review: ‘Unsinkable’

   Posted by: Faith    in Tasty Tomes

Hello, Wonderful Readers!

Yep, I’m still on bloggy hiatus for the rest of the month, but there are a few book reviews that’ll be going up in the meantime to prove that I’m still alive… relatively speaking.

Er, anyhow… onward!


A Young Woman’s Courageous Battle on the High Seas

by Abby Sunderland and Lynn Vincent

Memoir / Inspirational

Release Date: April 2011


The stirring narrative of Unsinkable tells sixteen-year-old Abby Sunderland’s remarkable true story of attempting to become the youngest person ever to sail solo around the world. More people have flown into outer space than have sailed solo around the globe. It is a challenge so immense that many have died trying, and all have been pushed beyond every physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual limit.

In Unsinkable, readers follow Abby Sunderland into those depths. This biography delivers a gripping and evocative firsthand account that starts prior to her departure, travels through her daring (and sometimes near-death) encounters on the open sea, to her dramatic rescue in the remotest corner of the Indian Ocean, and the media explosion that happened upon her safe return to dry land. Along the way, readers discover what it means to boldly face any challenge, to strive after something great, and to plumb the depths of faith, fear, and desperation only to emerge changed, renewed, and emboldened.

In this day and age, when the most productive thing a teenager may do is play videogames, Abby’s ambition and tenacity is a real-life parable of what can happen when we choose to exceed our own limits, embrace faith, and strive after what all the naysayers say is impossible.

My Thoughts:

First of all, I resent the videogames comment in the synopsis. Just sayin’. I’m no teenager, but why not say “play Boggle” or “play soccer”? Videogames get a bad rap, despite all the studies on their benefits. Grrr… sorry, this is a sore spot for me.

But anyway. Back to the book.

I’ll be first in line to admit that I thought Abby’s parents were crazy to allow their 16-year-old daughter to sail around the world, alone. I remember reading about this in the paper, as well as reports about another girl attempting it at the same time, and wondering… what are their parents on? What kind of adult lets their teenage daughter sail solo around the world??? Do they want her to die or get kidnapped by pirates?

Well, after reading this book… I still think her parents are a bit nuts to allow it. But at the same time, Abby seems like a capable young woman, and she definitely knew/knows her way around a boat. Heck, I didn’t even understand what was going on half the time, because she explains getting out of tricky or dangerous situations by recounting exactly what she did on board the boat and, uh, marine terminology is not my strong suit.

Fortunately, there’s a detailed glossary and labeled boat diagram at the back of the book for those of us who need it.

After reading the book, I understand why her parents let her make the journey, and I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like out in the ocean during things like 30-foot swells, or going for days without being dry, or having the engine fail and communications die at the worst possible time.

It’s a pretty incredible story, and Abby and her family’s faith is clear and strong throughout. If you’re not all that familiar with boats and marine terminology, parts of the story will be a struggle to get through, but either way, by the last page you’ll have to admit that this young woman was—and is—a capable, strong, and courageous sailor.

About the Author

abbysunderland Abby Sunderland is among the third generation in a family of sailors and adventurers. In 2007, at age 13, Abby discovered her dream of sailing solo around the world and was inspired by her brother Zac’s successful circumnavigation in 2009. Her own journey, in 2010, ended in the Indian Ocean when a rogue wave rolled her sailboat, Wild Eyes. Abby now shares her story of tenacity and courage with audiences everywhere. Lynn Vincent is the New York Times best-selling writer of Heaven Is for Real, Same Kind of Different as Me, and Going Rogue: An American Life. The author or coauthor of ten books, Lynn worked for eleven years as a writer and editor at the national news biweekly WORLD Magazine covering politics, culture, and current events. A U.S. Navy veteran, she teaches writing at colleges and conferences around the country. Lynn lives in San Diego, California.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson”.