Book Review: Waiting for Morning by Margaret Brownley


Book blurb: 

Molly Hatfield comes to Arizona Territory seeking stability and security. But living in Cactus Patch provides her with more than she ever dreamed.

There is nothing Molly wouldn’t do for her teenaged brother, Donny. Blaming herself for the accident that left him wheelchair bound, Molly has dedicated her life to his care. But in 1896, gainful employment for a woman is hard to come by. So when Molly learns that an eccentric rancher in Cactus Patch, Arizona, is looking for an heiress—someone to take over management of the ranch in exchange for future ownership—she jumps at the chance to provide a real home for her brother.

However, Molly didn’t bank on meeting Dr. Caleb Fairbanks, the town’s charming unmarried doctor. Caleb has a way with Molly that makes her nervous. But it’s how he is with her brother that really alarms her. Caleb sees past the wheelchair and genuinely likes Donny, but Molly fears he’s putting unrealistic ideas into her brother’s head. Falling in love with Caleb would threaten everything she’s worked for, even her brother’s future happiness.

But it could be the very reason God brought her to Last Chance Ranch. Continue reading

Book review: Not This Time by Vicki Hinze

Blurb:

Small town scandal. International terrorist attack. Who among them is the traitor?
Sara and Beth have built a multi-million dollar business together, but their once solid friendship is now strained. Beth is leery of Sara’s husband, and when he is kidnapped, authorities consider Beth their prime suspect.

Then, their small town of Seagrove Village is rocked by an act of terrorism, and Beth doesn’t know who to trust. Someone she knows is linked to the attack, but who? Is there a connection to Crossroads Crisis Center? In the midst of the confusion and fear, Beth finds herself attracted to a man from her past. She knows she shouldn’t fall in love with him, but she can’t resist or even explain their bond. As her world unravels around her, she wonders, is it possible to be beyond redemption? Continue reading

Book Review: Retreat to Folly by Missy Fillion

Amazon summary
What if you met Jesus on the beach? Susan, an exhausted mother of three, wonders if sleep deprivation has finally made her crazy after a beach walk turns into an encounter with Jesus. She thought coming on this retreat on Folly Beach, South Carolina would give her some rest and renewal from her hectic life and maybe an attitude adjustment which she badly needs. The retreat and a series of life-changing encounters with Jesus challenge Susan to leave behind her narrow view of herself and mothering. The retreat sessions teach her to put her past in the past and embrace her present. Her time with Jesus magnifies these lessons with spiritual healings. Can Susan accept that Jesus is interested in the state of her soul and the state of her motherhood, and they are more closely intertwined than she could possibly imagine?
Continue reading

Book Review: Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley

Amazon summary
Looking for a woman of good character and pleasant disposition willing to learn the ranching business in Arizona territory. Must be SINGLE and prepared to remain so now and forever more. Will be given ownership of ranch. -Eleanor Walker

Disgraced dime novelist Kate Tenney fled the city that banned her latest book for a fresh start at a cattle ranch in the Arizona Territory. She hopes ranching turns out to be as romantic as she portrayed it in her novels. Continue reading

Book Review: Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Webb Hart

Amazon summary
Now that she’s arrived at her ultimate address, will Mary Lynn’s longed-for view of the harbor satisfy the craving of her heart?

At last, Mary Lynn and Jackson Scoville are living the life they’ve dreamed of. Two self-described “small town bumpkins” from Round O, South Carolina, they made a small fortune selling the little gems of lowcountry real estate Jackson inherited and now they are living in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, carefully working their way up the social ladder in hopes of meeting their ultimate goal: to give their three daughters the life they themselves never had.

But the long-forgotten God of Mary Lynn’s childhood seems to be trying to get her attention in clear and unusual ways. So clear and strange she can no longer deny it. When Mary Lynn prays for Jackson to open his mind and heart to God, her prayers are answered beyond her wildest imaginings. Now Jackson’s dramatic conversion (which includes street witnessing, giving away a lot of money, and inviting poor, desperate and marginalized people into their home) is threatening their social status as well as their family mission statement. Is she willing to go along with him?

What would it be like to go “all out” for God? Jackson, a sharp and focused Type A man, is unafraid and willing to go all the way. Mary Lynn has her doubts.

My review
Mary Lynn and Jackson have worked hard to give their daughters all the culture and education they didn’t have access to growing up. Sometimes, Mary Lynn worries that they’re working a little too hard and pushing the girls too hard, but Jackson never does anything halfway and he won’t back down. He loves his children, but they always have to do more, and better, speaking several languages, playing instruments, making the highest test scores.

One morning, during her daily run, Mary Lynn experiences a miracle and starts thinking more about the God who has been relegated to the edges of her life. When she prays for Jackson to know God, the results are unexpected and not entirely welcome.

When Jackson decides to do something, he goes all the way, and doesn’t let anything stand in his way. But when he ruins in one instant what they’ve all worked toward for ten years, will his family forgive him? When Mary Lynn realizes she isn’t as into the whole “God thing” as she first thought and that she has other options, will she turn back to God and Jackson or have her answered prayers ended her marriage and her dreams?

This wasn’t a favorite book, but it was a quick read and “good enough” to take the time to read.

About the book
Title: Sunrise on the Battery
Author: Beth Webb Hart
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release date: October 11, 2011
Pages: 304
Where I got the book: Free from the Booksneeze review program in exchange for an honest review

Book Review: The Crossing by Serita Jakes

Amazon summary
Imprisoned by memories, Claudia Campbell lives each day in the shadow of a ten-year-old murder. Who can set her free?

On the way home from a football game, a decade earlier, a masked gunman opened fire on a Texas school bus. Cheerleading coach B.J. Remington was killed, but her murderer was never found. Claudia, who had a close friendship with the young, spirited teacher, constantly relives the anguish of that day, caught in one moment in time. When her husband, the assistant district attorney, becomes determined to uncover the mystery of that tragedy, the secrets buried over the years threaten to tear their family apart.


Officer Casio Hightower will never forget the day his dreams were destroyed. A star quarterback with a promising future, Casio was on top of the world—until one bullet changed everything. He is eager to help Victor Campbell find B.J.’s killer, the man who shot him. Maybe solving the case will help silence the demons driving Casio to hurt the woman he loves.

As the Campbells and Casio teeter on the brink of losing everything, will they be able to discover that what begins at the crossing ends at the cross?

My review
For ten years, Claudia Campbell has lived with the memories of her best friend dying in her arms. Claudia’s husband, who just happens to be the assistant D.A., is tired of watching his wife hurting and decides that solving the murder might bring the closure that she needs to heal. In the meantime, Casio Hightower, Claudia’s high school boyfriend, is having problems of his own that he blames on the trauma of that night. While it’s obvious that there are deeper issues involved, Casio thinks worming his way into (and helping solve) the new investigation will help him win back his current love.

We not only read the story from those involved in the modern-day story, but we are also privy to the thoughts of B.J. Remington during her last few minutes of life. It’s a interesting way to tell the story, and it makes B.J. a person, a part of the story, rather than just “the teacher who died”, as she might have been if we didn’t learn about her thought and feelings.

This is not a light-hearted book. There is a little bit of humor in the relationship between Casio and Victor Campbell, but this is a book about domestic abuse, betrayal, adultery, and murder. It’s also a book about forgiveness, love, and hope, but most of that comes at the end of the book. Speaking of which, I have to say that the ending was shocking and completely unexpected. (No peeking. It really will ruin the book for you.)

You can read an excerpt here.

About the book
Title: The Crossing: A Novel
Author: Serita Jakes
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Release date: Sept 6, 2011
Pages: 304
Where I got the book: Free from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review

Rate this review for a chance to win your own copy of The Crossing.