I received a portion of this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. See full disclosure at close of post or read my disclosure policy for more details. *Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy for review.*
A Bride for All Seasons: The Mail Order Bride Collection
Stories by Margaret Brownley, Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher and Debra Clopton
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Pages: 400 Paperback
Date Published: June 18th, 2013
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
1800s mail-order bride catalogs facilitated many happy marriages. Here are the stories of four couples who owe their wedded bliss to creative editing by The Hitching Post publisher.
“And Then Came Spring”-Margaret Brownley
When mail order bride Mary-Jo Parker arrives in town she receives the shock of her life; not only is her fiancé dead, he left behind an eight-year-old son he neglected to mention. But the biggest challenge of all is the boy’s way-too-handsome uncle.
“An Ever-After Summer”-Debra Clopton
Widower Matt McConnell wrote his ad with no room for misunderstanding-Bible believers need not apply. But then Bible-thumping Ellie shows up on his doorstep. Matt’s so desperate for her help that he accepts.
“Autumn’s Angel”-Robin Lee Hatcher
Luvena Abbott’s privileged childhood didn’t prepare her for the hardship she now faces as an adult, especially when it comes to being the guardian of her nieces and nephew. Marriage seems the only answer to her dilemma. Clay Birch hopes to change the hurdy-gurdy house he won in a poker game into the finest opera house in the Northwest, but he’ll need help to do it. Could this unlikely couple actually be the perfect match?
“Winter Wedding Bells”-Mary Connealy
David Laramie is looking for a woman to care for his children. In exchange he’ll make her financially comfortable for life. But no woman wants to marry a dying man. Then Megan responds to his ad. It seems his “edited” letter contained no mention of him dying.
When I first found out about A Bride for All Seasons by some of my favorite authors I was excited, but did not know what to expect. What I have found is a book with four stories, each about 100 pages individually. This is great for summer reading, when I want a story maybe a little bit faster than normally, but at the same time, once all four are read, it’s the same as reading an average historical book these days.
“And Then Came Spring”—Margaret Brownley
Start out the year right with a story in spring on marriage for convenience or love, it’s hard to decide. It’s a fun 100 pages with a character of Mary-Jo that reminds me of A Lady Like Sarah . I have mixed feelings on Sheriff Tom Garrett, the brother of the original man who ordered the mail-order bride. But the situation and events that occur make it all work. It’s short, but a worthy read.
“An Ever-After Summer”—Debra Clopton
I’m not sure that I have read something by Debra Clopton before, but I enjoyed this short story. Reading these two together makes me recall a few years back around Christmas when some authors did a pick up and write Christmas story. Follow up your spring story with a summer tale on a character that is as unforgettable as her name Melvina Eldora or as more fitting Ellie and a broken-hearted widower Matt McConnell and his toddler Sophie. This one made my smile plenty and think of writing like Mary Connealy.
“Autumn’s Angel”—Robin Lee Hatcher
Reading about an opera singer makes me want to go back to read Lisa Bergren’s Sing. Luvena Abbott as guardian to her brother’s children, is not what Clay Birch was looking for, but both the editor of the Hitching Post and apparently God knew what they really needed in matrimony. This was an okay read, but not as good as the rest.
“Winter Wedding Bells”—Mary Connealy
I have to admit Mary Connealy is one of my all time favorites and I started “Autumn’s Angel” but was just a little too eager so I skipped over to “Winter Wedding Bells”. I read it during the girls’ nap time and loved every second of it! Just watching the characters unfold little bits of their history makes me want more, I want a whole series dedicated to David (Stewart) Laramie’s past and future in Wyoming. After reading of this one it makes me want to go back through Lassoed in Texas and Montana Marriages again because her characters are just that fun. While I think this is the first Irish lass I’ve found from Mary, she was appropriate and quaint and of course amusing. The children in this story just happen to be there, but the real events are between David and Megan. It’s just great for a short story.
All of the stories in here are based on one man Hitchcock’s Hitching Post mail-order bride catalogue. It is funny and a great starting point. After the end of the stories there is a section with reader discussion questions and then a five way interview which is delightful to read and see where these authors came from and how they became connected on this opportunity to write a collection book. I give it four out of five stars, because one story just wasn’t for me, but the rest I loved!
I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions. Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.
Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret Brownley penned it all. Nothing wrong with this, except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, “Maybe God’s calling you to write fiction.”
It turns out God was and Margaret did. She now has more than 20 novels to her credit. In addition, she’s written many Christian articles and a non-fiction book. Still, it took a lot of prodding from God before Margaret tried her hand at writing inspirational fiction which led to her Rocky Creek series. “I love writing about characters at different stages of faith,” she says of the new direction her writing career has taken, “and I’m here to stay.”
Happily married to her real-life hero, Margaret and her husband live in Southern California. @margaretbrownley
Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy…with cowboys. http://www.maryconnealy.com
She is a Carol Award winner, and a Rita and Christy and Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist. She is the author of bestselling Kincaid Brides Series: Out of Control, In Too Deep, Over the Edge. Her work also includes Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, Montana Marriages Trilogy and Sophie’s Daughters Trilogy. She also wrote Ten Plagues–a romantic thriller, and The Historical Society Murders–three cozy mysteries, under the name Mary Nealy. Mary is married to a Nebraska rancher and has four grown daughters and two spectacular grandchildren. @MaryConnealy
Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 60 novels. Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home outside of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon and Pinky the feline terror. Join her on her Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/robinleehatcher) and/or Twitter and/or her Write Thinking blog. @robinleehatcher
Debra Clopton is an award winning, multi-published novelist. http://www.debraclopton.com/ Debra is an award winning author of sweet, heartfelt, western romance that face life with a smile. With over 2 million books in print, Debra has her first book coming as a movie starring LeAnn Rimes. @debraclopton
Four novellas, four brides, and four stories to fall in love with.
Enter the world of mail-order brides with four of your favorite authors: Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher, Debra Clopton, and Margaret Brownley. In A Bride for All Seasons (Thomas Nelson) each of the prospective brides is hopeful for a second chance at love—and that second chance always seems to come in an unexpected package.
The authors are celebrating with a fun 12 Days of Unexpected Packages Giveaway! Between July 12-23 visit the authors’ Facebook Page to enter to win a new giveaway each day. Winners will be announced at the Facebook Author Chat party on July 23rd! Such fun!