Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Secrets over Sweet Tea: A Review

Secrets rarely stay secrets. Pastor's wife Scarlett Jo, news anchor Grace, and lawyer Zach are learning that it's better to confront the past and deal with it than ignore it. After all, secrets are a little less bitter with friends and sweet tea.
I'm a Denise Hildreth Jones fan. I've loved her voice and deep characters from her Savannah series. In this book, I love that she tackles the topic of divorce. It's a tough topic, especially for Christians. Most books stick to dealing with divorce only in cases of adultery, but it's a deeper issue than just cheating.
Grace and Zach's lives intersect, and I love the balanced look at struggling marriages. Their feelings were authentic and often raw. And best of all, Jones doesn't give a pat answer for what to do when life is hard. Instead, each character wrestles with their feelings and messes up along the way to finding out what God wants from them.
Scarlett Jo is the perfect solution to a hard topic. She's funny and relentless.
Fans of Christian fiction, especially those who like books about real topics, will enjoy this book.

Undeniably Yours: A Review

When Meg's father dies unexpectedly, she's forced to take over his fortune, including a thoroughbred horse farm. Bo, the farm's manager, asks Meg for six months before shutting the farm down. Will they find more than just a farm at stake?
I loved Becky Wade's first book, and I enjoyed this one just as much. I loved Meg. I liked her style...from the great cover to her designer work out clothes. She didn't feel like a rich brat, and I think that's what made the story unique from many rich girl falls for stable boy tales. She was easy to relate to and a person worth rooting for. I liked Bo too although he didn't stand out much to me....maybe because he was basically the same person at the end as he was in the beginning whereas Meg grew a lot. 
I really enjoyed the minor characters. Mr. Son and the rest of the workers were unique. I'd love to hear more about Mr. Son. After Meg, he was my favorite.
Fans of Becky's first novel will be happy to know her second is just as good.
I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.

Saturday, June 22, 2013



Congrats to Michelle for winning Unrivaled.
This week, I'm giving away The House that Love Built. To enter to win, leave a comment about something you've built.
I'm a person who doesn't like putting things together. I don't have the patience to do things step-by-step. I'd rather pay someone to do it. Thankfully, my sister and my mom are two people who are good at following those directions and putting stuff together.
However, I did put together this little end table/night stand from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I was so proud!

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

I'm SO SORRY for the past like month. I promise to mail the books this week. Promise. Forgive me.

The Extroverted Writer: A Review

I'm an introvert by nature, yet it seems I've always worked in extrovert-type jobs. Teacher, Librarian, and now writer. Although I love talking to kids about books, I'm really nervous about the marketing side of being an author. This book is perfect for people like me--new and a little shy.
Organized by type of social media, this book shares tips and strategies for authors who haven't set up any social media to those of us who have it but need tips for how to use it. Although I have had FB, Twitter, etc for several years, I learned new ideas on how to make them work for me as an author. What I liked best was that the advice came across as if the author were sitting over coffee with you.
I've searched the Internet for advice and ideas about marketing, but this is the clearest, most concise advice I've found. If you're looking for some great tips for building a platform and using social media to reach readers, this book is for you.

Jennifer: A Review

The O'Malley series by Dee Henderson is my all-time favorite series. All-time. So, of course, I was excited to read this novella about Jennifer even though I already knew how things would turn out.
This short story gives insight into how Jennifer and Tom met and fell in love. There's no mystery, no action, no suspense. Just a sweet man meets woman and falls in love story.
I think it's a great little novella for fans of the O'Malley books. It's not a thrilling read, but having read the series so many times, I was just happy for something new with some of my favorite characters. It's definitely one to have on the shelf next to the series although I have to confess this is the only one I won't re-read.
I was given this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

The House that Love Built: A Review


Brooke still mourns the death of her beloved husband. Owen has moved to her small town to spite his ex-wife who always dreamed of living there. Will they find healing in each other's arms?

It's hard to summarize this book because while it's mainly about Brooke and Owen, there are several side characters who get chapters throughout the book. Brooke's mom gets a second chance at love. Owen's uncle moves to town. And, probably my favorite is Hunter, the young man with a horrible past who finds a future for himself while he helps remodel Owen's house that holds a secret from the past.

The characters were all complex and deserving a book of their own, so some of the book felt rushed because there were so many stories and layers to each character. Some major events were glossed over because there was so much to cover. Because I loved the characters so much, I wish this had been stretched out to two books or for Hunter to get his own book.

Overall, I enjoyed this book full of great characters. Fans of contemporary Christian fiction will enjoy this one.

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Stealing the Preacher: A Review


I loved Short-Straw Bride and had hoped Crockett would get his own story, so I was excited to read this book. The plot was fun: instead of being kidnapped for ransom, Crockett is taken because the outlaw's daughter Joanna asked for a preacher for her birthday. What happens next is a fun read as Crockett and Joanna try to revive the church that has been empty.

The romance is pretty predictable, but the supporting cast and the other relationships are what make this such a great book. I loved Jackson, the neighbor boy with a deadbeat dad and a crush on Joanna who becomes a helper to Crockett.

When I read historical fiction, I enjoy the town and culture dynamics as much as I do the romance. I loved the little Texas town, filled with neighbors who carry around baggage from the past and even a woman who can't keep her hands off the preacher.

Fans of Christian historical fiction will enjoy this book. Although you don't have to read Short Straw Bride first, it would be a nice introduction to Crockett.

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

Monday, June 17, 2013

Unrivaled: A Review

Love and candy? Who doesn't love that mix? In Siri Mitchell's new book, readers meet Lucy and Charlie, who come from different social statuses. Lucy's accustomed to a life of traveling and parties while Charlie started helping support his family when he was seven. When Charlie's father who abandoned him offers him a job in his candy company, he meets Lucy, whose family is losing their candy company. Will they be able to find a common ground without running each other out of business?

I loved Charlie and enjoyed reading the story from both of their points of view. Lucy is a little immature at first, convinced she is going to be able to fix everything with a few tricks, but I really liked her by the end. I enjoyed the conflict in which Lucy found herself--stuck in a society that wanted her to cut ribbons and look pretty when all she wants to do is run her family's business.

Fans of Christian historical fiction will enjoy this book. It's a light, fun read.

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

Saturday, June 15, 2013



Congrats to Sharon for winning last week's giveaway.

This week, I'm giving away Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell. The book deals with candy a great deal, so to enter to win, leave a comment about your favorite candy. I love Reese's peanut butter cups. I especially love the ones they put out at the holidays like the eggs, pumpkins, and trees....love that extra peanut butter.
Be sure to leave an email address.
I'll pick a winner next week.
I can only ship to the US.

Also, be sure to catch my last post about changing my blog address to authorlaurajackson.blogspot.com. I'm still hoping to figure out how to change the domain, but until then, I wanted something more "authorish" in preparation for my upcoming book release.

New Blog Name

Several weeks ago, I purchased a domain name to make my blog (website) a little easier to tell people. After three weeks of wanting to throw my computer, reading every help option, and watching several how-to videos on youtube, I decided just to change my BlogSpot name to look more "authorish," which can be hard with a common name like Laura Jackson.
Anyway, I wanted to give you a heads up to change it on your links to authorlaurajackson.blogspot.com. Of course, that's hoping that that BlogSpot name doesn't get used in the next day or two.
Is anyone familiar with switching BlogSpot to a domain purchased from Go Daddy? If so, I'm willing to pay you to change it for me. I followed all the directions, but it's not working for me. I'm ready to give up.
Thanks to those of you who emailed me about this change when you tried to go to my page and couldn't. I'm going to leave this up a day or two and then change it.
If you can help with the Go Daddy issue, please email me at laurelprincess at yahoo dot com.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Moon and More: A Review


I'm a huge Sarah Dessen fan. I've read all of her books, and I hope to write half as well as she does one day. Each book I'm amazed by her ability to write complex characters and family dynamics.
This book is no exception. Even though I didn't care for the guys in her life, I loved Emaline. She likes order and control. As things happen that she can't orchestrate, she has to learn to stand up for herself and build relationships beyond what's expected. I especially liked her relationship with her half-brother. Since the title reflects Emaline's relationship with her mom, that could have been explored more, but her relationships with her dad and her father drive the story and work well too.
Fans of Dessen's books will enjoy this latest novel. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Congrats to Beth for winning A Dangerous Stage. Today, I'm giving away Short-Straw Bride. The sequel just came out, so it's a great time to read this one if you haven't.
If you've already read it, feel free to pass the link along to someone who hasn't.
To enter to win, leave a comment about a time you were short-strawed. (I think I made up a new word.) Or, you can tell me if you use a straw to drink or just straight from the glass....I couldn't think of a time I got the short straw, so I had to think of something else. :)
Be sure to leave an email address. I can only ship to the US.
Guess what? Tomorrow is the last day of school. I'm SO ready. My school is amazing, but I'm ready to relax and work on my second book.