WINTER WONDERS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF SHORT STORIES
JOANN CARTER, CINDY GREEN, MUNCY CHAPMAN, MEG ALLISON
By Grace Publishing
P.O. Box 893, Brinkley, AR 72021
Rating: 5 Cups
Logan Riley is a business owner of the auto-body shop in Meriden. When the Winter Wonderland Carnival comes to town, he is not a supporter of the big event. He can do without the gaiety, as well as any snow that falls upon the ground.
Holly Armstrong appreciates the white wonder of snow. She is not happy working in an insurance office. She does not know how to tell Logan she is moving since she has no idea how he really feels toward her.
Logan’s mood swings shift from irritable to agreeable. Many did not know he had a sweet temperament side. He does not open his heart easily. If truth be known, he has had a thing for Holly for eight years, but it is hard for him to express his feelings. As of yet, Holly has not told Logan she is leaving for New York. There is nothing really keeping her in the small town. Looking forward to taking a walk in snow after a night at the carnival, she is surprised to see Logan arrive. As they share a dance and he learns she is leaving, can the beginning of snowflakes create a long overdue miracle for the couple once Logan opens his heart?
Snow Kissed is an enjoyable read. I could feel the mixed tension in the air when Holly and Logan are confronted with her leaving. It is an ache that could be felt. I loved the part about the repressed passion. Cindy K. Green paints refreshing characters that make the reader experience the magic and love that swirls in the air. Great work, Ms. Green.
Smuggler of the Heart by JoAnn Carter
Samantha Warren returns to Vermont to visit her Grandma Betti. Samantha has a passion for history and antiques, and loves visiting her grandmother's 1820 Victorian home attic.
Tim Davis has helped with the youth group since after college. He would make a great youth pastor. When he sees that Samantha has returned, he is thrilled to see her again.
Grandmother Betti believes Samantha is a gifted history teacher. While home during school break, Samantha’s passion for antiques is piqued when she finds a smuggler’s chest hidden in Grams’ attic. Her Gram tells her a story about the chest and Smugglers Notch. After Samantha pays a visit to the church where she grew up, she never expected running into Tim after all these years. Tim has truly missed her but is not sure how to tell her. He is certain her faith is what challenged him and brought him closer to God. Samantha feels she has lost her faith but once back home, she recognizes the important things in her life. With a late night sleigh ride, can the two take a peek inside the heart and find what really matters?
I think what I liked most about Smuggler of the Heart is how it delves deep inside, almost to the soul of the characters. Memories made are most special and the ones with Tim and Samantha leave a great impression. JoAnn Carter pens a heartwarming tale, even sketching a grandmother making the reader feel as if Betti is a grandmother for all ages. This story reminded me of the parable about finding the one piece of silver that was lost. I like the way Ms. Carter injects each chapter with a verse.
Gwen’s Resolution by Meg Allison
Guinevere Sian Josephs, Gwen, grows tired of her mother mentioning finding the right date and giving her grandchildren. She decides to stop feeling sorry for herself.
Tad Smith is the boss of his own garage. He took business in school so no one else would tell him how to run his place of business. His mother often badgers him about his life.
Gwen is a seamstress at A Perfect Fit. She hates the idea of always finding a way to tell a little fib to her mother to keep her from bringing up dating and children. She knows her mother craves grandchildren but until Gwen is ready, she does not share the same sentiment. Gwen decides no more nights of being alone with a good book or the TV. She sets out on her own personal date never anticipating the outcome. When there are no tables left in a restaurant because of New Years Eve, Tad shares his table with Gwen. He is alone and does not mind the company. After sharing conversation, they notice they have some things in common. He is not really looking for anyone, and Gwen is not seeking anyone either. Neither knew the thrill of the evening of sharing a meal and a movie would settle into a new resolution that they would look forward to.
I love the premise about new beginnings and making anew, and not being less of a person because one is alone in the world. Not to mention meeting at a restaurant. It reminded me of the Gary Grant movies. The way Meg Allison describes yummy Tad; I would love to share a table with him, too. Gwen’s Resolution is light-hearted, wonderfully written and warmly romantic.
Maybe Forever By Muncy G. Chapman
Margy Mayfield has to sell her prized bull, Roscoe, at the auction arena. After her husband’s heart attack and bills surmounting on the farm, she saw no other choice, but one visit from a stranger may bring much danger.
Bryan McAlister needs assistance during a snowstorm when he knocks at Margy’s door. He completed his doctorate degree at the University of Florida in animal nutrition before moving to Iowa where he has to adjust to the weather conditions.
At times Margy wonders what a city girl raised in the south is doing on an isolated farm in Iowa. With a snowstorm growing intense, she gathers batteries to put in the radio just in time before the electricity goes out. She overhears about an inmate still being at large and double checks her locks inside her house. When someone knocks at her door needing to use the phone, she recalls the escaped convict. She puts her faith in God and lets the stranger enter only to see he is hurt. Bryan McAlister does not appear dishonest with his actions and kind words. They share cocoa and crackers and set in for some conversation. When he overhears about the escaped inmate he wonders why she would open her door to a total stranger. Can Bryan really be trusted during the night or has Margy finally crossed the line in trusting this time?
Maybe Forever is a charming read. I could share in Margy’s feelings if she should open the door or not, allowing an intruder inside. She and Bryan are delightful characters. I was on the edge-of-my-seat on this one wondering what would happen to Margy. Muncy G. Chapman writes a thrilling read that captivates the reader, while leaving a bit of intrigue along the way. It is always a delight to read one of her stories.
Winter Wonders captures the heart of the reader and leaves a great feeling. Each story is extraordinary and makes the reader feel as if they have stepped inside the homes of each individual. With a blend of romance, faith, and a bit of magic in the air, these stories are wonderfully done. Each author is skillful in their own special way. I felt the believability, along with the stirring love within the characters, and just a robust feeling of desire that breathes life in the pages. I absolutely loved these stories and I believe anyone who reads these tales will also feel the love move within their hearts. Wonderfully mastered, ladies!
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
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