Friday, January 11, 2013

Texas Wildflowers

Texas Wildflowers by Anita Higman is a collection of four short stories that are all connected by the main characters being sisters.

The four McBride sisters risk their hearts for love in the islands, canyons, mountains and bayous of Texas.

Deserted at the altar, a devastated Rosy McBride heads back to Galveston Island and begins working at her mother’s scrapbooking business. Will spending time with Larson Brookfield help mend her broken heart, or will she merely wind up pasting away?

Christian counselor Lily McBride relies on her quirky common sense and God’s wisdom to help her clients. Will she be successful at her new career or break the most solemn of counselor/patient vows by falling for the handsome, eccentric, and impossibly irresistible Rubin McCall while hiking the Palo Dura Canyon?

In the mountain town of Alpine, Violet McBride owns Romantic Images, a business that teaches people how to live romantically. Will Morgan Jones, a geek she meets online, show her the real meaning of romance and the art of love?

Heather McBride’s picture-perfect life has unraveled in the bayou. Will the free-spirited Evan Finch not only reawaken her artistic passion but also give her the courage to fall in love—without her day-planner?

Will God help give these women the pluck to love the least likely of soul mates?

An Interview with Anita:

Tell us a bit about Texas Wildflowers.
Texas Wildflowers is a 4-in-1 novella collection through Barbour Publishing. Each novella is set in an exotic location in Texas. They are lighthearted romances, and they’re all tied together with the four McBride sisters.

Which of the four novellas was the most fun to write?
They were each fun to write in their own way, but my favorite character was Lily, the counselor, in Forget Me Not Lily. She was quirky and fun, relatable and loveable. At least that’s what I hope readers will feel.

All these novellas are set in Texas. Are the towns and parks real?
Yes, in fact one of the novellas is set in Big Bend National Park, where my husband and I went on vacation. So, when you read about the characters on certain trails, they’re real, and we hiked them!

Did you have a favorite book when you were a child? I loved fairytales. Cinderella was my favorite.

Do you have a vacation spot you’d love to visit?
I’m dreaming of Ireland. My husband and I plan to travel there next summer. Can’t wait! Then I’m going to use the emerald isle as a setting in one of my novels.

What are 5 things that your readers might not know about you?
1. While I was in college I tried working in a pillow factory. I was terrible at it. I got so weary with the repetition I started yakking with the woman next to me. We got reprimanded over and over until I quit. I discovered one thing from that college job—talking is something I excel at.
2. I once won a hog-calling contest at a banquet. I was not embarrassed, but I should have been.
3. I have a bird phobia, and yet I love birds! (That is, from a distance.) My house is filled with the fake kind—prints on the walls, statues, and general bird doodads. Go figure.
4. I keep some interesting treasures near me when I write—a wooden jewelry box my son made me when he was in school, a candle from the 1960s, a hat once owned by a famous mystery writer, the inner parts of a music box, a birthday card that plays The Twilight Zone theme song, and an old family toy helicopter that says, “Going up.”
5. Thirty-four years ago I rappelled off a cliff alongside the man I was dating. We kissed in mid-air while dangling off that cliff. I ended up marrying that man, and we've celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary!
What awards have you won?
I’ve won two book awards. One of my co-authored books entitled, A Tribute to Early Texas, won a San Antonio Conservation Society Citation as well as a Westerners International Book Award. Also, I was given three honors by readers: I was a Favorite
New Author in the 15th Annual Heartsong Presents Awards, and my co-authored novel, Castles in the Air, was a Favorite Contemporary Romance in the 16th Annual Heartsong Presents Awards. My most recent award is a 2011 RWA Readers Choice Award (first place) for my novella, Once Upon a Christmas Eve.

When readers finish the last page of Texas Wildflowers, what do you want them to come away with?
I would love for them to be inspired, challenged, and entertained. If I accomplished even one of those things I would feel my writing time wasn’t wasted.

These four short stories are a great little diversion from a busy day. Short enough that they can be read quickly but long enough to get to know the characters and root for the love connections to work out.


My copy was provided by Cathy Carlton Willis Communications for my honest review.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas Stories

Christmas Stories by Max Lucado is a heartwarming collection of short stories based on how God demonstrated His love for us over the Christmas season.

These stories—like your favorite Christmas ornaments—come in all shapes and sizes. They unfold in a variety of settings, from ancient Bethlehem to rural England. From a small Texas town to the heavenly realms. Some are short. Others many chapters long. Some offer reflections. Others imagine Christmas through the eyes of a burnt-out candle maker, a lonely business man, or heavenly angels.
Yet all are vintage Lucado, and all resonate with the wonder of the season.
"In the mystery of Christmas," Max writes, "we find its majesty. The mystery of how God became flesh, why he chose to come, and how much he must love his people. Such mysteries can never be solved, just as love can never be diagrammed. Christmas is best pondered, not with logic, but imagination."
That's what each of these unique Christmas stories help us do. In the midst of the bustle and hurry that often distracts us this time of year, these stories free us to explore the ways in which Christ's coming has forever changed history—and us.

Enjoy Max's unique view on Christianity and God's love - it will warm your season.


My Kindle copy of this title was provided by Book Sneeze for my honest evaluation.