Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson — Review

Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson

Info from Publisher:

The truth may set you free–but it might also land you in some uncomfortably hot water.

Over the years, Micah Knight has exchanged many letters–and many secrets–with her longtime Amish pen pal, Zach. But Micah’s kept quiet on the biggest secret of all–the fact that despite her name, she’s a girl.

Now Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. She wants nothing more than to experience life on Zach’s Amish farm, but she’s more than a little anxious. Will he be angry at her for deceiving him all these years? And will she risk losing his friendship to find something more?

My Review:

Trading Secrets is a fun story that shows life in two different worlds–English and Amish. Micah and Zach have been pen pals for years, but there’s a catch. Zach thinks Micah is a boy! When she goes to visit his family’s farm for Spring Break, things get interesting. I really enjoyed this story by Melody Carlson. Once again, she nails the teen perspective. Without giving away any spoilers, I’ll just say I appreciated the twist in the book. It gives the story another dimension. This is the first of Carlson’s Amish crossover novels I’ve read, but I look forward to reading the others. Trading Secrets is for fans of YA Inspirational Fiction. It will make a great Christmas gift for teen girls who love to read!

About Melody Carlson:

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books, including the Dating Games series, the Life at Kingston High series, Double Take, A Simple Song, and My Amish Boyfriend. She has received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.

(I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson — Review

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson

Info from Publisher

He felt his face flushing as Cara opened the door. Wearing a garnet-colored knit dress and with her dark hair pinned up, she looked even prettier than he remembered. Suddenly he wished he’d thought to bring a hostess gift. Like a cat.

After years abroad, Garrison Brown finds himself at the home of his beloved grandmother who has just passed away. He must sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While he hopes to dispense with the task quickly–especially since he is severely allergic to cats–his grandmother’s instructions don’t allow for speed. She has left some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends.

Can he match the cats with the perfect new owners? And is it possible that he might meet his own match along the way?

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than six million. She is the author of several Christmas books, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus,The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington’s, as well as The Christmas Pony and A Simple Christmas Wish. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at http://www.melodycarlson.com.

My Review:

I look forward to Melody Carlson’s Christmas novellas every year. Each book is full of holiday spirit, emotionally relevant, and just the right length for an afternoon or evening of reading by the fire. The covers are always spot-on, as well. The Christmas Cat focuses on Garrison Brown. After his grandmother passes away, he’s left with the arduous task of finding perfect homes for each of her 6 cats. His grandmother left very specific instructions regarding the cats, and Garrison finds there is much he didn’t know about her. Carlson has again woven a heartwarming tale that will be enjoyed by all age groups. She kept the story lighthearted while also addressing heavier matters. I highly recommend The Christmas Cat for all cat lovers, Carlson fans, and those who enjoy holiday novellas. Warning: this story may cause you to run out and get a cat!

Reviews

Praise for Carlson’s Christmas Novels

“A wonderfully sweet story, with vivid descriptions that pull you right into the pages.”–Book Reporteron The Christmas Pony

“This novel should be on everyone’s must-read list for the holiday season.”–RT Book Reviews, 4½ star Top Pick, on The Christmas Pony

“It would make a great old-fashioned gift for many people, especially older dog lovers, grandmas and neighbors.”–FaithfulReader.com on The Christmas Dog

“Bestselling novelist Melody Carlson blends humor and warmth in The Christmas Cat. Recommend as a gift for those who love animals.”

CBA Retailers+Resources

Where Treetops Glisten Part 1: White Christmas by Cara Putman – Review

Where Treetops Glisten

Part 1: White Christmas by Cara Putman

About the book: 
The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime

Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas

Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas,trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/BwVP9
About the authors: 
 
TRICIA GOYER is a prolific author of nearly forty books, includingChasing Mona Lisa, and a speaker and blogger.
CARA PUTMAN is the author of twenty books including Shadowed by Grace. She is the winner of the 2008 Carol Award for historical fiction.
SARAH SUNDIN is the critically-acclaimed author of the Wings of the Nightingale series, the Wings of Glory series, and the forthcoming Waves of Freedom novels.

My Review:

White Christmas is the first story in Where Treetops Glisten. It served as my introduction to Cara Putman’s work. I’m not a usual fan of historical fiction, but White Christmas had all the aspects of contemporary fiction that I loved while allowing me to escape to a different time period without being overloaded with historical facts. I’m not a history buff, so don’t ask me if everything was entirely accurate in a historical sense. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me if every fact doesn’t line up exactly. An author needs room to let their creativity flow! Putman’s story felt contemporary in the sense that I didn’t feel like I was looking back at Abigail’s story or even looking in as an outsider. It felt as though I were living it alongside her. The author’s storytelling masterfully set the scene–I could see every part of Abigail’s world in my mind! A favorite part of the story for me was the description of Abigail’s work in the candy store. The detailed explanation of making candy canes was extremely interesting but not so drawn out that I got bored. I highly recommend the first novella in Where Treetops Glisten to any fan of Christian Historical or Contemporary Fiction. Be sure to have White Christmas & Holiday Inn (the movies) on standby because you’ll definitely want to watch them after reading this story!

Look for reviews on Parts 2 & 3 of Where Treetops Glisten very soon!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.