Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bookmarks and PDFs

I turned in my final edits for Worth the Wait, which is a little nerve-wracking but even more exciting!
I have bookmarks to giveaway to anyone who would like a few.
Also, I'm preparing a list of reviewers. If you'd like to receive a PDF file of Worth the Wait in exchange for an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, or some place like that, please email me at laurajacksonwrites at gmail dot com. I just need your first and last name and the email address where you'd like the PDF sent.
I know I did a call for influencers earlier, and I'm thankful to those who responded. I have your emails saved and will send you a copy of the book, along with some bookmarks and pens, when the book releases.
This option is for those people who would like an electronic copy and promise to write an honest review the book.
In other news, Happy New Year's Eve. I hope it's a fun one. I have no plans and am happy with that.....I think. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

February Bride: A Review


Allie is good at running away. Just like her mother and grandmother before her, she bailed on her groom Marcus just before walking down the aisle. When they're thrown together a few minutes later for a mutual friend's wedding, Allie learns sometimes, love is worth staying for.

This novella is cute. I liked the characters although I sometimes grew frustrated with Allie's inability to commit. Sometimes it's hard to evaluate a novella for character development because they're so short, but I loved seeing Allie grow from a confused girl to a confident one, sure of her worth in Christ.

The romance is sweet, and while the ending was predictable, it was an enjoyable ride to the end.

Fans of Christian fiction should definitely check out this author's other books.

I was given this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Redeeming Love: A Review


Even though I read this book years ago, I still stayed up until 3 a.m. on Christmas morning to finish it because the story grabbed me once and again and wouldn't let go until the last page. What perfect timing---reading a fictional example of the great love Jesus has for us.

Redeeming Love is one of the all-time best Christian fiction books. A retelling of the story of Hosea, Michael and Sarah/Angel/Amanda are beautiful characters. Sarah's written so realistically that my heart hurt for her, especially as I remembered the thousands of girls just like her being sold and used today in America and around the world.

With great heartache as Sarah runs from Michael's love over and over, the story could become melancholy and a little depressing, but hope fills the story....just like our own life stories.

Fans of Christian fiction will love this book. It's an amazing story of love, redemption and hope.

I was given this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.


Monday, December 23, 2013

A December Bride

Usually when you read a marriage of convenience story, it's a historical novel. After all, why would someone have to get married these days? But Denise Hunter does a great job pulling it off.
Layla blames Seth "Murphy" for her fiancé running off with her cousin. So, when they're thrown together and Murphy says their engaged to save Layla some embarrassment, it opens the door for a huge job opportunity for Layla....if she can just pretend to be in love for a few weeks.
Murphy is a fantastic character. I wish he was the main character in a full-length novel. He's steady and calm, balancing Layla's frantic desire to build her company on her own.
Although it was short, the story didn't feel rushed or the characters un-developed. It's the perfect holiday quick read.
Fans of Denise Hunter as well as fans of contemporary Christian fiction will enjoy this novella.
I was given this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.

Dear Mr. Knightley: A Review

Over the years, I've taught several kids in foster care and mentored two seniors in foster care as part of a PAL program, so I loved the characters of Sam and Kyle. Their raw emotions were strong and pulled me into the story. Although foster care situations can be horrible, the author handled such events with realistic hope, keeping the book from being melancholy or trite.
Sam has the chance to go to college, to make a future for herself, if she'll write monthly letters to her mysterious benefactor. Needing someone to listen, she pours out her heart, never hearing a response. Through the course of letters, readers see Sam blossom as she discovers people can be trusted.

I enjoyed the characters, especially Kyle, who I pictured as so many boys I taught. I also enjoyed the set-up of the story being told through letters. The author's voice is fresh, and the book is well written.
The only disappointment is the ending. I could see it coming, and I hoped I'd be wrong. It wasn't a bad ending....just not as strong as the rest of the book. 
Overall, it's a great book with strong characters. I look forward to reading Katherine Reay's next book.
I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.


The Kindle giveaway has ended, and I'm thrilled to announce Cindi won! I feel like I've won too. :)
She choose the Amazon gift card. I hope you enjoy it.

If you didn't win, don't worry. I'm going to give away some books soon. 

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Last Chance to Win!

The HopeSprings authors are teaming up to offer some Christmas cheer. Here's your last chance to enter to win a prize and a chance to win a kindle (or 90.00 Amazon gift card).
Stop by Ginny Hamlin's blog:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Trapped: A Review

Librarian Laura (it's so weird to write that since that used to be the name of my blog) will admit adjusting to living with her half sister is harder than expected, but when Darcy runs away, Laura will stop at nothing to get her back.
Irene Hannon is one of my favorite romantic suspense authors, and this one doesn't disappoint. I loved Laura and Dev, and my heart hurt for Darcy, who had lost everyone she loved. But, it was the action and the insight into the villain's mind that intrigued me the most.
There were times I raced through the pages to see what happened next, not realizing I was holding my breath.
There were twists and turns, and the ride is fantastic. Fans of romantic suspense will enjoy this book. I'm looking forward to book three.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Congrats, Cindi!

Congrats to Cindi for winning a copy of Worth the Wait, a gift card and some lotion. Thanks for being a loyal blog reader. I'm so thankful for you!
There's still time to win a kindle. Here's the link to the Entry:

Another HopeSprings Giveaway!

The HopeSprings authors are celebrating Advent with giveaways galore. Each author is doing a giveaway and there's a grand prize giveaway for a Kindle (or Amazon gift card).
Stop by Angie's Blog to enter to win:

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Critical Pursuit: A Review


Brinna's life mission is to rescue kidnapped girls just like she was rescued. Jack is just trying to survive until the sentencing of his wife's killer. When the two are thrown together on patrol for two weeks, they have to learn to work together in order to confront the past and its secrets.

I've read Cantore's other books, and while I liked them, I loved this book. Brinna and Jack are real---full of flaws and failures, which is why I liked them so much. I also liked the fact that their relationship was more about figuring out who they were than romance although I wouldn't be sad or surprised if something develops.

The action is fast. There were several serious events that happened in a short time. They could have been more meaningful if one or two were kept for a later book. However, the suspense kept me reading and left me waiting for book two!

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for me review, and my thoughts are my own.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Another HopeSprings Giveaway!

We HopeSprings authors are continuing our Advent Celebration.
Join Sydney Avey on her blog for a chance to win the audio copy of her newly released novel.
You'll also be able to enter to win the grand prize, which is a Kindle (or Amazon gift card).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Place to Belong: A Review

Engaged to Lucas, Cassie should feel settled into her new home. She's found a family, she's able to compete again, and she finally has a home. Yet, she's still longing for more. Will she find that when her fiancé starts looking at another girl?

A Place to Belong offers a satisfying conclusion to the Wild West Wind series. Ransom, who has been my favorite character, finally finds a balance of working hard to support the family and enjoying the life he has. I also liked that Cassie finally had to face the guy who ripped off her dad with the Wild West show, leaving Cassie destitute and desperate. The character growth for both Cassie and Ransom were my favorite parts of the book.

I enjoyed the glimpse of history as well....how life was in the early 1900s from saving calves in a snowstorm to gardening with a little shooting in between.

While I enjoyed the book, I had kinda been hoping Mavis would find a happily-ever-after as well. And what about the son Jesse who was away at college to become a doctor? There are more stories for this family, and I hope the author shares them.

I was given this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.

Monday, December 9, 2013


There were 400 years between the Old Testament and the New.
400 years of silence.
400 years of waiting for the promised Messiah, the One who would set the captives free.
How they longed for Him to come. I imagine each generation talked about His coming. Who would be the chosen mother? How would they know it was Him? How would He rescue them?
I also imagine many gave up looking for Him. After centuries of hearing nothing from God, perhaps the prophets had been wrong. Perhaps the prophets had made up the coming Messiah.   
And then He came. In a manager, unknown and uncelebrated except by a few. After 400 years of silence, there He was!
The Savior had finally come, the wait was over, but they rejected Him. Surely a baby born in a manger, a man who was silent when accused, a man who rejected the spiritual leaders of the day wasn't the answer!
But He was. And He still is.
Are you in a season of silence, of expecting waiting, of nearly giving up hope that God will do what He promised to do?
How often we reject Him because He doesn't answer the way we want Him to!
If you're in a season waiting, allow this verse to encourage you as it has me.
Psalm 27:14 (ESV)
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Instead of waiting for a child, a spouse, a promotion, a new job, a new car, friends, let's wait on the Lord.
Waiting on people and circumstances will cause us to grow weary.
Waiting on the Lord will give us strength.
*I love my King James Version Touch Bible App. I can click a word, and it tells me the definition. Here in this verse, one of the meanings for the Hebrew word (Kaw-Vaw) means to bind together, perhaps by twisting.
This season, bind closer to Jesus, for He is always Worth the Wait.
I'm giving away a prize today!
Leave a comment telling me about something in your life that was worth the wait to win a copy of my February release Worth the Wait. (You'll have to wait till then to get it.)
To make the wait a little shorter, I'll send you this:
I'll pick a winner next Monday. Be sure to leave your email address. (I can only ship to the US.)
Finally, enter to win a Kindle donated by the authors of HopeSprings:


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Whispers in the Wind: A Review


I haven't read a Lauraine Snelling book in a few years, and after reading this book, I had to ask myself why it had been so long. Although I didn't read the first book in the series, I quickly caught up with Cassie's story.
When her father died and his partner in their Wild West Show went bankrupt, Cassie decided to return to the place her father had loved--a ranch in South Dakota, where the Engstrom family has lived since her father left. Will the two families be able work together as joint owners?
I loved the characters. Cassie is fun, Mavis is stable, and Ransom is mysterious. Cassie comes to town with a ragtag family of Chief, Runs Like a Deer and Micah, who I wish would have had a bigger part of the story. (Perhaps that was covered in the first book, which I didn't read.)
The characters' relationships are the main focus of the book, but the historical elements add to the story. I loved the aspects of how Native Americans were treated, the horse/shooting shows Cassie enjoys, and even how the justice system worked.
Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this series about a girl who's looking for a place to belong.
I certainly won't wait as long to read another book by Lauraine Snelling.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Another Chance to Win!

Check out my friend Mary's blog for a chance to win a prize and enter to win a Kindle.
Good luck!

Monday, December 2, 2013

First Chance to Win a Kindle

Check out Elizabeth Maddrey's blog today for a chance to win a prize and enter to win a kindle.
Good luck!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Paige Rewritten: A Review


When we last saw Paige, her ex-boyfriend and long-lost sister had both suddenly popped back into her life. In this second book in the series, Paige is dealing with broken relationships, juggling her responsibilities, and debating a job change.

While nothing huge happens in the book, Mangum does a fantastic job of telling a fun, witty story with drops of spiritual truth. I love the characters, and the minor characters are just as great as the main ones.

As with her other series, Mangum gives hints of who Paige will end up with but also creates to guys worth rooting for!

I can't wait until the third one comes out....why did this one have to end on a cliffhanger?

Fans of Christian fiction about girls in the 20s figuring out adulthood will enjoy this book.


Saturday, November 30, 2013


Am I as boring as I think I am?
Probably so. :)
Check out a little interview with me at Russell Sherrard's blog.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lonely During the Holidays? Me too.

The holidays are a time for celebrating. Jesus. Life. Love. Family. Friends.

Yet, they are some of the loneliest times of the year.

Maybe you're missing that family member who used to sit next to you at the family table.
Maybe you're mourning the loss of a loved one.
Maybe you're longing to get pregnant.
Maybe you're waiting on adoption papers to come through.
Maybe you're praying for that family member in jail.
Maybe you're forgotten by those you love.
Maybe you're like me, single and waiting for the one God has for you.

Whatever reason you're lonely, the feelings are the same. They are overwhelming floods and burning flames.

Many times, we fill that loneliness with busyness. Or food. Or shopping. Or fake smiles. (Or maybe those are just mine.)

But, I'm going to try something new this year. I'm going to walk through it. Pretending my feelings aren't there is exhausting. Hiding them is frustrating.

But, wallowing in my feelings is just as futile. 

So, I'm going to surround myself in the truth of the Word until my feelings fade and only the truth remains.

I don't normally post about my feelings. Heck, I don't even talk about them with my closest friends. But, I'm putting them out here just in case there's someone who needs to hear he/she is not alone. You never have been, and you never will be.
Here are the verses I've been reading a lot lately as I have felt those feelings of loneliness creep in (and get worse with each Kay Jewelers commercial I see).

Isaiah 43:2 ESV
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
Isaiah 49:16 ESV
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.
Philippians 4:11 ESV
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

So, if you're lonely this holiday season, please know there's a gal in Houston who feels the same way you do. If there's something I can pray for you about, leave me a comment or shoot me an email at laurajacksonwrites at gmail dot com.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Unspoken: A Review

A few friends told me that they didn't really enjoy this book, so I went into with low expectations. However, I really enjoyed it. It's different than Dee's normal books. There's not a lot of suspense, but there's plenty of character development.
Charlotte was the victim of one of a nationally known kidnapping. After her rescue, she forged a new identity for herself and refuses to speak about her ordeal. When her grandfather leaves her a fortune, she's determined to give it away. Bryce is a coins dealer who takes on part of Charlotte's inheritance of coins. When a term of the will requires they work closely, more closely than they expected, they are thrown together. Will Charlotte trust him with her past so that they can find the last kidnapper who has been on the loose for twenty years?
It took me a little while to get to like Charlotte, but I liked Bryce from the beginning. I loved his strength and patience with Charlotte's quirks. They both grew as characters and were sweet with each other.
I also liked the coins aspect. I learned a lot about coins and thought it was an interesting addition to the solving an old kidnapping storyline.
I think what confused some readers was that the back cover mentions a reporter doing a story on Charlotte, and that storyline is very minor in the book.
So, ignore the back cover and just enjoy the storyline!
I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.


Want to Win a Kindle?

This Advent season, the HopeSprings Books authors cordially invite you to celebrate along with us - and as it's the season of giving as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, there will be lots of fun giveaways for you!

Since HopeSprings is a small press who will celebrate their first complete year in business in January of 2014, there aren't enough of us to do something every day, so we'll have two posts each of the three weeks leading up to Christmas. Each author will have something fun posted on their day, along with a giveaway that you can enter by commenting. There will also be a link to a Rafflecopter giveaway for our Grand Prize - a Kindle!

So mark your calendars and plan to join us as we count down the days to Christmas!

The schedule is:
December 2 - Elizabeth Maddrey
December 6 - Mary Hamilton
December 9 - Laura Jackson
December 13 - Sydney Avey
December 16 - Angie Brashear
December 20 - Ginny Hamlin

Winners for the author prizes will be announced one week after the post (e.g. Elizabeth's winner will be announced and notified on 12/9. Mary's winner on 12/13.) The grand prize winner will be announced on all the participating blogs (and notified via email) on December 23rd.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Looking for a Few Good Influencers!


Worth the Wait releases in February, and I'm beginning to get my marketing plan together. I'd love for you to be a part of it.

I've heard it called several different names: Influencer, Street Team, or even special names reflecting the author's genre or name.

Since I'm a new author, I'm looking for some readers, who are passionate about books, particularly Christian YA fiction, to help me spread the word about Worth the Wait.

What does that mean? You'd get a copy of the book to review and promote. I would also share any other promotional items (pens, bookmarks, interviews, etc.) I get. Please let me know if you accept an electronic copy of the book, which you'd receive before the release, or if you prefer a paper copy. (Keep in mind, paper copies are much more limited, and their availability will depend on the number of requests.)

In return, you'd tell people about the book in a way you enjoy. I'd love to have people who enjoy sharing books in different ways. Some like to post reviews on their blogs, Amazon, and Goodreads. Others like to create pictures with quotes from the book or book trailers. Others prefer Twitter.

If you are interesting in helping me get the word out about Worth the Wait, please take a few minutes to answer these questions. Send your responses to laurajacksonwrites@gmail.com.


1.  Are you on any other Street Teams?

2.  What are your favorite books?

3. Are you on social media? If so, where are you active (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blog, Goodreads, etc)?

4. What ideas do YOU have to help promote Worth the Wait that you'd be willing to share?

5. Would you like to host an interview and giveaway on your blog? If so, what's your blog address?

Thanks for your interest!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Mailbox: A Giveaway


Today, I'm giving away a copy of The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen.

To enter to win, leave a comment answering this question---Do you send snail mail anymore? I love buying cards/stationery. Papyrus is my new favorite store. So, I do still send snail mail, and I love getting to too.

Be sure to leave your email address.
I can only ship to the US.
I'll pick a winner next Sunday.

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hear No Evil: Giveaway


Congrats to Jackie for winning Wisdom to Know.
Today, I'm giving away Hear No Evil, which is written Mary L. Hamilton, who is a friend of mine. We're in the same local ACFW writing group and both published with HopeSprings.

Hear No Evil is set at a summer camp, and it's for middle grades. I'm reading it now and am really enjoying it...makes me wish I had gone to a summer camp when I was a kid.

To enter to win, leave a comment about one of your summer memories....camp or no camp. I started babysitting early (like 12), so I spent most summers babysitting. So, nothing exciting. As an adult, I spent a few weeks for two summers at an orphanage in Mexico, which was amazing. I'd like to go back again one day!

Be sure to leave an email address.
I can only ship to the US.
I'll pick a winner next week.

Friday, November 1, 2013



If you didn't know, November is National Novel Writing Month. There's a whole website dedicated for it. The goal is to write 50k in one month! 50k isn't a complete novel, but it's a great start. And then December can be your month to fill in scenes and add layers to the characters and the conflict.

So, I did it last year. I even finished a couple days early! In December and January, I added to the 50k I wrote and finished with a 71k word novel that will release in February.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started.....and by that, I'm speaking to myself.

Good luck to everyone writing, and if you want to be buddies on Nanowrimo.org, I'm Librarian Laura. See you there.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Giveaway: Wisdom to Know

Today, I'm giving away a copy of Wisdom to Know by Elizabeth Maddrey. To enter to win, leave a comment with some words of wisdom you've received over the years.

Once when I was trying to lose weight, my dad said, "Get your mind right, and everything else falls into place." He was right.
He used to also say that whoever did the paying did the saying. I use both of those often.

I'll pick a winner next week.
I can only ship to the US.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Never Say Never: A Review


When senior citizen Donetta's cruise is threatened by a sudden shift in a hurricane's course, she is thrown together with twenty-something Kai, who is also trying to escape the storm's arrival. What happens next is two women's journey from survival to healing.
I love Lisa Wingate's books, especially the small town flair and character. Being a Texan, some of the dialect seems a bit exaggerated, but that's what makes it fun. Never Say Never reunites readers with the characters they already know and love in Daily, Texas. Wingate does such a great job creating characters who are real---flaws included. I also love that the story is told from two women's point of view. Their differences in age and experience didn't matter as much as their similar desire to belong and to be loved.
It took me a little bit to get into the plot although I liked the characters from the beginning, but after the backstory was finished, the storm was enough to carry the novel to a fantastic finish.
Fans of Lisa Wingate will enjoy this book, and those who like Christian fiction with strong characters will want to pick up this series too.