Category: ‘Fiction’

Merry and Bright

October 16, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber

Do you like lighthearted Christmas romance stories?

Well, if your answer is yes, then this book will not disappoint! Merry (aka Mary) Knight is working on a temp assignment at Jayson (aka Jay) Bright’s company. When her mother and brother sign her up for an online dating service, she’s hesitant. She’s so busy working that she has no time for romance. Meanwhile, Jayson Bright is a curmudgeon workaholic from a dysfunctional family.

He’s also Merry’s boss. When they meet online, they don’t realize that they are already connected to one another.

I really liked Merry. She’s a hard worker and she likes the simple things in life. I liked Jay, but, felt he had some growing up to do. However, his bad-temper was partially due to his sad childhood, and it was understandable why he was so grumpy.

The way the story plays out is funny and romantic. I also loved how Merry dealt with the issues in her own life (outside of dating). Her mom is sick with MS and her brother has special needs. In spite of all this, she mostly remains happy and carefree with an optimistic look on life, for the most part.

I also loved reading about Christmas! The holiday scenery and decorations, the way they were described, was so much fun to read about!

So, do you like lighthearted Christmas stories? If so, what are some of your favorites?

Any Dream Will Do

September 10, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

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Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber

Have you ever been forced to make a fresh start in a new environment? How did you handle it? Did you fit in?

When Shay is released from prison, she’s alone with no place to go. When she shows up at a church, she encounters Drew, a widower/pastor/single father. He’s still grieving over his wife’s untimely death and when he spots Shay, it’s during a dark moment in his life. He kindly offers Shay his help.

Shay is a bit suspicious of Drew, but, she accepts his help. After all, she has no choice. She has a chip on her shoulder since she’d been imprisoned for embezzlement. She’d only stolen the money to help her younger brother, Caden. After all, his life would be in danger if she didn’t give him the money.

Her mistake cost her years in prison, and now she’s ready to make a fresh start.

This book showed how judgmental and superficial Christians can be. Although a congregation should follow Jesus’s example, that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, you just have to ask a congregation, What would Jesus do?

I loved to see Shay change and grow within this story. She got along with Drew’s children and they loved her. Drew finds he enjoys spending time with Shay, but, her past proves to be problematic for several in the congregation.

I thought this was a refreshing book and it was a bit different than Macomber’s other books. I guess it was different because it was about an ex-con, trying to make a fresh start. Shay gives it her best, leaning on Jesus for guidance.

So, have you ever been forced to make a fresh start in a new environment? How did you handle it? Did you fit in?

Book Giveaway on Guest Blog Post

August 28, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Come read the guest blog post on Lena Nelson Dooley’s blog for Picnics and Promises. Oh, there will be book giveaways on Lena’s blog, too!

Between Friends by Debbie Macomber

August 16, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

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Between Friends by Debbie Macomber

Have you ever been best friends with somebody for decades, since childhood?

Jillian and Lesley have been best friends since grade school. After high school, their lives change drastically since Lesley feels she has to marry her boyfriend, and Jillian goes away to college. Jillian’s career flourishes while Lesley is home housebound and unhappy. This is a highly unusual novel because the story is told in the form of letters. I’ve never read an entire book with letters back and forth between several characters.

The story spans decades, starting in the sixties. It’s a great way to see some modern history. This book also shows how deep friendships can be. I really enjoyed this highly unusual book. It’s an amazing story about true friendship.

So, have you ever been best friends with somebody for decades? Were you friends when you were children? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment!

Sweetbriar Cottage

July 19, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

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Sweetbriar Cottage

Have you ever known a female barber?

Josephine, the town’s beautiful female barber, continues to be haunted from a past traumatic experience. The ghosts of her past affect her so deeply that she wonders if she is able to accept true love. The skeletons that invade her closet are so strong that it affects her marriage. She still feels bad about what what she’s done to her “ex-husband” Noah.

Noah has been a loner since he “divorced” Josephine. He lives on a ranch far away from town. He works with animals as he struggles to get over Josephine’s deception.

However, something happens and Josephine and Noah are forced to spent every waking moment together, alone, far away from humanity, for several days. This experience makes both of them take a good hard look at their lives and examine the nature of their mistakes.

This book was so good. This story gives an example of how something deeply traumatic can affect the view we have of ourselves, making us believe lies about ourselves. I thought that Noah was wonderful, and I really felt bad for Josephine. You’ll find yourself rooting for both of these characters in this deeply emotional story of true love.

I also thought it was sort of unique to read about a female barber. I seldom see female barbers. Usually a female works in a beauty shop and seeing Josephine as a woman barber was a refreshing change from the norm.

So, have you ever known a female barber?

Picnics and Promises – A New Summer Box Set – Available Now – 99c – Kindle Unlimited!

July 8, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

What’s your favorite childhood summertime memory?

Summer is my favorite time of the year! When I was a kid, I loved being out of school!. We’d run around the neighborhood, playing Red Rover, Dodgeball, Kickball and we’d ride our bikes. We’d yell and scream while we played Monsters. When I got older, I started watching soap operas during the summer! I got hooked onto General Hospital and All My Children. I also read TONS of romance novels and baked fruit pies as well as cakes and cookies. Those were some fun times!

So, what’s your favorite summertime memory? Leave me a comment!

Picnics and Promises is now available – only 99 cents and it’s available on Kindle Unlimited.

Come check out this warm, wonderful, delicious summer box set! Picnics and Promises features my novella, Sweet Delights – The Bakery Romance Series Book 6!  Come celebrate summer by reading Picnics and Promises! This is a fun summer boxed set that features six warm, delicious summer romances! There’s a delicious pie recipe featured at the end of each novella! 

A Proposal Worth Millions

July 5, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

A Proposal Worth Millions

Have you ever lost your spouse?

Sadie’s husband, Adem, died a few years ago and now she’s determined to make his Turkish hotel a success. She appeals to Dylan, Adem’s best friend, for help. Sadie has always been attracted to Dylan, but, she never acted on those feelings since she was married to Adem. Now that Adem is gone, could a romance can sprout between them?

Dylan has always been attracted to Sadie, but, since she was a married woman, he knew that he had to keep his emotions in check. When she solicits his help to save the Azure, her Turkish hotel, he wonders if he can keep their meetings strictly business. Adem suffers from past pain. Abandoned by his father, he feels that he’s just like his dad. He highly doubts he’d be able to make a good stable commitment to Sadie – or any woman for that matter.

It’s been ages since I’ve read a Mills and Boon Harlequin Romance. I loved the scenery in this book. Makes me want to go swimming in the Aegean sea! One thing this romance that was out of the ordinary – it was strictly romance. What I mean is, interactions with secondary character were minimal. The entire book was just interactions between Sadie and Dylan.

So, have you ever lost your spouse? If so, how did you cope? 

 

Dancing With Fireflies

June 26, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

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Have you, or someone you know, ever had an unplanned pregnancy?

After a traumatic experience, Jade returns to Chapel Springs, her hometown. The first person she visits is Daniel, the town mayor/ her pretend brother/close-family friend. Jade is broke, and she needs a job. Can Daniel help her find employment as she goes through her unplanned pregnancy?

 

Daniel has been in love with Jade for years. But, Jade has only seen him as a “brother”. Jade is hurting and Daniel wants to support her, and help her heal.

Jade is scared to love again. Can she open up her heart and trust Daniel?

Daniel is also dealing with a lot. He’s determined to go beyond the mayor-ship and get a senate position, possibly going all the way to the White House. His rich parents are determined to make his political aspirations come true. So, how can he even think of pursuing politics and leave Jade behind? He knows how lonely it is to be part of a political family. Can he even think about exposing Jade to such a life?

I loved this book so much! Daniel was a man who was too good to be true. I wanted to package him up and marry him myself! He’s so sweet and kind and he really loves Jade. Jade is not aware of Daniel’s feelings, which causes some sticky situations between them.

I highly recommend this story. I also read the Chapel Springs Book 1, too, and I enjoyed that one too!

So, have you, or someone you know, ever had an unplanned pregnancy? If so, how did you cope? Did you have family to help you out by offering support?

Picnics and Promises – Coming July 2017

June 16, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Image may contain: one or more people and text

 

Image may contain: one or more people and text

Picnics and Promises – a pie-loving boxed set is coming next month! Each tasty story features a romantic picnic and a delicious pie! Each story features a pie recipe at the end!

Sweet Dreams – The Bakery Romance Series (Book 6) will be featured in this wonderful collection!

Patty-Lynn Palmer loves creating mouth-watering pies in her bakery, Patty’s Pie Palace. She’s recently won the prestigious French International Pie Competition for her banana cream pie, and now she’s determined to save up enough money to buy the nostalgic house of her dreams.

She’s stunned when she runs into her wealthy ex-boyfriend, Sam Richardson. Sam has recently relocated to her hometown, Crystal Spring, to open a new office for his family’s food distribution company, Richardson Enterprises. Running into Sam awakens both wonderful and painful memories. Sam’s upper-class family never accepted her. Their contempt of her poor, country, foster-care upbringing caused her great pain, leading to Sam’s earth-shattering breakup with her seven years ago.

Sam is shocked when he encounters Patty-Lynn. He feels awful about their painful breakup, and he now longs to fix their broken relationship. Recently widowed, he desperately longs for his father’s approval on his new business venture. He’s unhappy working for his dad and seeing Patty-Lynn, happy in her pie shop, gives him hope. By using her prize-winning pie recipe, it appears that Patty-Lynn may be able to help him with his quest to gain his father’s approval. Can he find the courage to rekindle their romance and finally stand up to his domineering dad?

The Writing Desk

June 14, 2017 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

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The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

Have you ever been estranged from your parent(s)? So estranged that you barely spoke to one another for years?

This book focuses on two women, Tenley’s story takes place during modern times. Birdie’s story is a historical.

Tenley is floored, literally, when she receives a marriage proposal right before she receives a prestigious writing award. Suffering from writers’ block, she struggles with making decisions – should she go to Paris with her boyfriend or travel to Florida to care for her estranged mom. Isn’t it too late to try and fix their broken familial relationship?

Birdie wants to publish her romance novel. But, her parents aren’t aware of her writing aspirations. They want her to marry a well-to-do man that they’ve chosen. I almost felt as if Birdie had been born 100 years too early – she seemed like a modern woman.

Both Birdie’s and Tenley’s stories are related in a unique and appealing way. This was a light, enjoyable summer read.

So, have you ever been estranged from your parent(s) – so estranged that you barely spoke to one another for years? What did you do about it? Did you reconcile?