Coming to a TV Screen Near You!

I’ve long been a fan of Robin Jones Gunn‘s books, so I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to review the books in her Father Christmas collection. Though I’d already read all of her other books, for some reason this collection had yet to find its way to my bookshelf. When Robin’s marketing team contacted me asking if I’d review the books in the series in advance of Finding Father Christmas making it’s debut as a movie on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel, I jumped at the chance.

Click on the picture above to get all the info about how you can watch Finding Father Christmas, beginning this Sunday, November 13!

The first two novellas in the collection, Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas, have been combined into one volume making it easy to follow Miranda Carson’s story from beginning to end.

In Finding Father Christmas, Miranda is on a search to find the father she never knew. A few cryptic clues tucked in a velvet envelope are all she has to lead her on her search. The clues lead her to a small town in England where she discovers the truth and finds the family she always wished she’d had.

Engaging Father Christmas finds Miranda heading back to England to spend Christmas with her father’s family and her boyfriend, Ian. She has huge hopes that before long, she and Ian will marry and make Carlton Heath their forever home, but troubles abound. Her true identity is made public and the relationships she’s built over the last year are threatened. Will her dreams come true or come crashing down around her?

These novellas were a great way to jump start the holiday season.   From the moment I saw the beautiful vintage-inspired cover, I could feel Christmas magic coming alive. As I read, I found myself feeling like I was strolling the festive, garland lined streets of Carlton Heath alongside Miranda and Ellie. The stories are fun and easy to read, just long enough to tell the story but short enough to read in their entirety in an evening cozied up by the fire with a cup of tea. The characters are quirky, engaging and totally relatable; the relationships real, raw and emotional. This is the perfect book to read to kick off the holiday season and get you in the Christmas Spirit!

Kissing Father Christmas is the latest novella in the Father Christmas collection. Written as a stand alone book, it continues to tell the story of the residents of Carlton Heath that we all fell in love with in the first two novellas.

In this installation of the Father Christmas collection we meet Ian’s cousin, Anna. After traveling to England for Ian and Miranda’s wedding, Anna finds herself enchanted with the town of Carlton Heath as well as one of the town’s residents, Peter. When her family and friends invite her to spend the holidays in England, Anna jumps at the chance. Her time there strengthens her relationships with friends and family, but she can’t seem to figure out what’s going on with Peter. Just when she thinks they have something special, he pushes her away.  She begins to wonder if she ever should have set foot back in England again.

This novella is written in the same spirit as the previous two in this collection, I found myself feeling like I was having

tea with Ellie and Anna. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters a bit more and pick up on where they left off, as well as getting know Peter and Anna and dive into their story. Robin Jones Gunn has a way of writing that just seems to wrap the reader up in the story and include them in it, this book is no exception. As always, the characters and storyline were real and relatable. It’s what keeps me coming back to her books time and time again.

Disclaimer:
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

12 Pearls: A Teenage Pregnancy

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Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items from the contributors! Enter now below. The winner will be announced on January 2, 2014, at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

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A Teenage Pregnancy
by Robin Jones Gunn

It was early, early morning, that delicate time of day just before sunrise when it seems as if all of creation is still asleep.

In the cold, gray light she gazed at the infant in her arms. He was less than an hour old and so, so small. Instinct prompted her to draw her newborn close that he might feel the rhythm of her heart. He curled his tiny hand around her finger and she smiled. His eyes closed, and with feathered breath he gave way to the blessed sleep that follows such a long journey.

In weary awe she studied his face, his ears, his nose. He was here. He had come at last.

A single tear fell from her eye and rolled across his cheek. She kissed the tear away but could not kiss away the memories that came with the tears; memories of the day she found out she was pregnant. How exhilarated she felt and yet how terrified. She was young, and there was much she didn’t understand.

Trying to justify her condition to her parents proved more difficult than she’d hoped. But the most excruciating memory was the moment she stood guileless before the man she hoped to one day marry. She had no words to make him understand the awful truth—the child she carried was not his.

Leaving seemed to be her only option. A gracious aunt took her in and welcomed her with open arms. From the moment she arrived she was showered with motherly words of hope and sisterly touches of love. Week by week, month by month, the child inside her grew.

Was it a miracle when she returned home, her belly round, her face flushed, and found him there?

What prompted this man to take her back and make her his bride? Did he now believe what she had tried to explain all along, that none of this was her own doing?

When the time was right they left their small town together, as husband and wife, with her due date rapidly approaching. The labor began—tightening her abdomen with a force she had never before imagined. Perspiration streamed from her forehead. The contractions multiplied with a frenzied urgency until the need to push overwhelmed her young body, and the baby was born.

Nothing of the past mattered anymore. He was here. Naked, perfect, quivering in her arms. With a thrill of hope, she believed that her life, her world, would never be the same.

Now as the first silver streaks of dawn pierced through the cracks in the stable, she tenderly wrapped her sleeping babe in swaddling clothes and laid him in the manger.

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Robin Promo Photo Close Up 2013Robin Jones Gunn, bestselling author of the much-loved Christy Miller Series and the award-winning Sisterchicks® series, has had more than 4.5 million copies of her books sold worldwide. Her frequent speaking engagements have taken her around the globe. Robin and her husband live in Hawaii and have a grown son and daughter. You can learn more at Robin’s website.
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Book Review: Sisterchicks Do the Hula

Sisterchicks Do the Hula
by
Robin Jones Gunn

I have been a huge fan of Robin Jones Gunn’s books ever since I got my hands on the Christy Miller series. Her writing is easy to read and super relatable. They’re the kind of book that you can easily breeze through in a single afternoon. Despite the easy reading, these books also pack a huge punch in terms of content. Gunn has a way of writing that always carries a good message and teaches the reader a little more about the loving, gracious God we serve while still being entertaining and fun to read.

Sisterchicks Do the Hula is no exception to Gunn’s writing style. It follows the story of college friends, Hope and Laurie, who finally make good on an old promise to go to Hawaii together. Both are about to turn forty and facing various crossroads in their lives. Through their adventures on the island of Oahu, experiencing the island culture as well as the craziness of this tourist destination, both women find themselves becoming more and more aware of God’s plan for their lives – as surprising as those plans might be.

I’ve read this book multiple times and picked it up this last time because I was feeling a little Maui-sick and the need to immerse myself in a little Hawaiiana. (It helps that the cover image is a shot from one of my favorite beaches on Maui.) I loved it this time just as much as I did the first time I read it.  Each time I pick up this book new things stick out to me, things that are more relevant to me as my life continues to change seasons. This time was no different, I was able to pick up some bits of wisdom from Hope and Laurie’s story that I was able to apply in my own life.  I can’t wait to see what I get out of this book the next time I read it.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Buy the Book 

If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Sierra Jensen Collection, Vol. I

Sierra Jensen Collection, Vol. I
By
Robin Jones Gunn

The Sierra Jensen Collection, Vol. I takes the first three books from best-selling author, Robin Jones Gunn’s Sierra Jensen series and puts them together into one fantastic book. The books included in this volume are Only You, Sierra,  In Your Dreams and Don’t You Wish. Here’s what waterbrookmultnomah.com has to say about each of these stories:

Only You, Sierra 

The Europe mission trip brought Sierra Jensen the best gift possible: two new friends, Katie and Christy. But now Sierra is headed home, and she can’t help but wonder will her friendships last? And what about her new home? Her family moved while she was gone, and that means facing a new high school. And the biggest question of all: Will she ever find love? Then a chance meeting in a London airport answers that question. Paul makes her heart leap. But she’ll never see him again! Or will she? 

In Your Dreams 

Sierra has had it! She’s done everything she can to find the right job, good friends, and most important, true love. But nothing is working out. Now she has to stay home to care for her grandmother. By herself. For the whole weekend! It will be terrible. But a series of startling surprises shows Sierra just how wrong she is—and before she knows it, she’s on her way to the perfect job, her first real date, and an encounter with a mysterious stranger. 

Don’t You Wish 

Sierra has three wishes: visit her California friends; have her older sister, Tawni, disappear; and learn more about the mysterious stranger. When Easter break arrives, Sierra’s first wish comes true! She’s headed to Newport Beach for fun, sun, and surf. Unfortunately, not only does Tawni not disappear, she accompanies Sierra on her escape. What’s worse, everyone has a boyfriend except Sierra. But will her wishes begin to change as she realizes God wants to mold her according to His wishes? 

I have been a fan of Robin Jones Gunn ever since reading the first book in the Christy Miller series.  I think I’ve read about 99.7648% of all the books she’s written. 🙂  I remember falling in love with the Christy Miller series and the other books that followed included those in the Sierra Jensen series. I can remember reading the books as fast as I could and then begging my parents to take me to the store to buy the next one.

When I look around the young adult section of a bookstore, I can’t believe what is put out there for our kids. It makes me really glad that Robin and Waterbrook Multnomah have decided to keep these books in print.  They tell a great story and are filled with God’s truths, not those that the world would like to fill our kids minds with. Robin is a wonderful story teller and I look forward to sharing these books with my own daughter someday.

This book can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.