Review: ‘Under The Texas Mistletoe’ by Karen Witemeyer

About The Book

Three Charming and Festive Holiday Novellas Spiced with Humor, Frontier Action, and Sweet Romance

In this 3-in-1 novella collection, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer presents the new story “A Texas Christmas Carol,” in which a town’s wealthy, Scrooge-like bachelor finds his world invaded by a woman set on earning his donation for helping the local poor, and by the penetrating questions of three mysterious visitors.

It also includes, for the first time in print, “An Archer Family Christmas.” When the Archer clan gathers for the Christmas holiday, an unexpected request for help leaves Cassandra Archer directly in the path of a dangerous outlaw. Desperate to protect the woman he loves, Jim Archer races to the rescue, only to find that Cassie’s life is not the only one in peril. It will take a Christmas miracle–and the entire Archer clan–to keep a second Archer Christmas from ending in disaster.

In previously published “Gift of the Heart,” a widow and her young daughter move to Hope Springs for a fresh start. But with no money to secure a home, Ruth must convince a wealthy resort owner to accept her heirloom brooch as collateral. Will the pin that brought love to three generations soften the heart of a wounded recluse and give Ruth a second chance at love as the holidays draw near?

Sprinkled throughout the collection, you’ll find a hope-filled Christmas devotion, Witemeyer holiday recipes, and fun facts about nineteenth-century Christmas celebrations!

About Karen Witemeyer
For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warm-hearted historical romances with a flair of humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. A transplant from California, Karen came to Texas for college, met a cowboy disguised as a computer nerd, married him, and never left the state that had become home.

Winner of the HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She also loves to reward her readers. Every month she gives away two inspirational historical novels to someone from her newsletter list and offers substantial bonus content on her website. To learn more about Karen and her books, or to join her subscriber list, please visit
5 Stars!

I am a big fan of this author. Always have been. This little trip of novellas is just so very good. Witemeyer has a definite way with an historical. I love the Archer family and it was great to see their Christmas story in print. The very first story deeply ministered you a situation in my life, almost as if it had been written specifically to me. I love when that happens during the reading of a book. I loved this book and am so happy to have it on my shelves.

My thanks to the publisher and author for a copy of this book. The opinion is my own in this review.

Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
Genre: Inspirational Historical
Length: 299 pages
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Review and Author Interview: ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ by Tari Faris

About The Book

Leah Williams is back in the quaint town of Heritage, Michigan, and ready to try again to make her business a success. But blank slates are hard to come by, and a piece of her past is waiting for her there. Heir to the Heritage Fruits company, Jonathan Kensington is the guy who not only made Leah’s past difficult, he also seems determined to complicate her present as well.

Jon is trying to prove to the Heritage Fruits board that he, not his manipulative uncle, should be running the business. The board insists Jon find a new owner for the building that will house Leah’s business. To avoid forcing a buyout of Leah’s part of the building, Jon strikes a compromise with Leah, and the two go into business together. With her vision and his know-how, it might work. And Leah might realize he’s loved her since high school. If only he didn’t keep on shooting himself in the foot by boxing her out of important decisions.

Sparks fly in this romantic story of two people who must learn to trust both each other and the one who called them to this journey.

About Tari Faris

I have been writing fiction for more than twelve years. It has been an exciting journey for this math-loving-dyslexic girl. I had read less than a handful of novels by the time I graduated from college and I thought I would end up in the field of science or math. But God had other plans and I wouldn’t trade this journey for anything. As someone told me once, God’s plans may not be easy, and they may not always make sense but they are never boring.​

When I am not writing or working, I spend time with my amazing husband. We have been married for fifteen wonderful years and have three sweet children. In my free time, I love coffee, rock hounding with my husband and kids, and distracting myself from housework.

I love to hear from readers. You can connect with me at my website at

I am so pleased to introduce you to Tari Faris. She has gracious consented to answer some questions and tell us a bit about herself. I hope you enjoy the interview. Read on for my review and a preorder deal!

1.  First of all, tell us how you came to be a writer.

I didn’t fall in love with reading until after college. Then, I became an avid reader. But before the day of the internet, when I finished a book I had to wait until the library opened before I could get another. So, one night when I was out of anything to read, I sat down and starting writing about a funny event that happened to me involving planes, trains, and car rides with strangers—it had it all. And the more I wrote, the more I fell in love with it.

2.  What does a writing day look like for you?

With any luck, I get to start writing as soon as I drop the kids off at school. Then my goal is to write until noon, then do my part time job (work for My book Therapy) until I get the kids.

3.  How do you get ideas for a book?

All different ways – a few have been in a dream, but that is rare. Once, I saw a story on the news and it started an idea. Other times they just evolve from my mind.

4.  I have heard authors say they eavesdrop in restaurants, etc, to get book ideas.  Have you ever done that?

I have – although my favorite conversation I overheard probably wouldn’t make a great book. It was an older couple discussing marriage like it was the weather. Then she said. “What will I do if you die? I’m not dealing with your body.” I almost spit my water out.

5.  Do you plot the entire book out or do you just fly by the seat of your pants?

I always have the main points plotted, but every scene surprises me, and the truth the characters learn always seems to surprise me in the end too.

6.  How big a part does prayer play in your writing?

HUGE! And when it doesn’t, my writing suffers. I have seen it over and over that if I go to prayer before I write, the whole writing time goes so much better.

7.  Do you get ideas of how your characters look in your mind?  I love it when authors show us readers photos of how they imagine their characters.

I have an idea in my mind, but I should get better about getting actual photos like many authors do.

8.  What do you hope readers take away from this story?

A deeper sense of God’s love and purpose in their life. I want them each to see how God has been at work in their own life before they even realized. He is so faithful.

5 Stars!

‘Everyone eventually gave up on her. It was only a matter of time.’

Tari Faris has now written three full length novels and one novella. Each of her stories only solidifies my opinion that Faris is a wonderful addition to Christian Fiction. One thing that is very important to me (actually, it is of paramount importance), when I read a book, is how easy I can connect with the characters. Faris does this wonderfully well from the first chapter. When this happens, my excitement builds throughout the book. I truly love when this does happen.

This is really two stories: Jon’s and Leah’s and Madison’s and Colby’s. Both are absolutely precious and there are four life lessons here, too, as well as a strong spiritual thread. It just ticks all the boxes for me. Well done!

My thanks to the publisher and the author for a copy of this book. I was not pressured to leave a positive review. The opinion here is entirely my own.

Here is a great deal! Preorder now and get 40% off plus free shipping and a signed book plate. Here’s the link to do that!

Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
Length: 336 pages

Review: ‘The Mistletoe Countess’ by Pepper Basham

About The Book

Will the magic of Christmas bring these two newlyweds closer together, or will the ghosts of the past lead them into a destructive discovery from which not even a Dickens’s Christmas can save them?

Mistletoe is beautiful and dangerous, much like the woman from Lord Frederick’s Percy’s past, so when he turns over a new leaf and arranges to marry for his estate, instead of his heart, he never expects the wrong bride to be the right choice. Gracelynn Ferguson never expected to take her elder sister’s place as a Christmas bride, but when she’s thrust into the choice, she will trust in her faithful novels and overactive imagination to help her not only win Frederick’s heart but also to solve the murder mystery of Havensbrook Hall before the ghosts from Frederick’s past ruin her fairytale future. 

About Pepper Basham
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with a southern Appalachian flair. Her books have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inpsys, and the ACFW Carol Awards, with The Thorn Healer selected as a 2018 finalist in the RT awards. Both her contemporary and historical romance novels consistently receive high ratings from Romantic Times, with Just the Way You Are as a Top Pick. Most recently she’s introduced readers to Bath, UK through her novellas, Second Impressions and Jane by the Book, and taken readers into the exciting world of WW2 espionage in her novella, Façade. The second novel in The Pleasant Gap series, When You Look at Me, arrives in October and her contribution to Barbour’s wonderful My Heart Belongs series hits the shelves in January 2019 with My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge. Her books are seasoned with her Appalachian heritage and love for family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

You can get to know Pepper on her website,, on Facebook, Instagram, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.
5 Stars!

‘There are times when my feelings are so large, they must burst into words.’

1913. Frederick Percy, Lord Astley, must marry for money to save his family’s financially strapped estate. So he goes to America to make a deal with a very rich man to marry his eldest daughter. He signs the agreement to wed Miss Lillias Ferguson. Then he inadvertently kisses her younger sister Grace. The situation then takes a turn Lord Astley never expected and Grace volunteers to marry him in place of her sister to turn scandal away from both families.

They marry and head home to England. But not before an attempt is made on Lord Astley’s life. Followed by more attempts.
Grace is convinced something sinister is afoot and is bound and determined to discover just what is going on in this family. After all, she reads Conan Doyle and is an amateur sleuth.

Pepper Basham has just created the best story! Her concoction of Grace Ferguson was so amazing! Grace is the most delightful creature, full of exuberance and longing for an adventure of her own. She is a total bookworm and completely guileless. Grace’s character is one you’ll love to love. She is full of life, totally to the brim. She is one of those people who lives 1 Corinthians 13: ‘love is patient and kind, not jealous, boastful or proud, or rude, doesn’t demand its own way, not irritable, keeps no record of wrongs, never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.’ Grace sacrificed her own desire for adventure to help Lord Astley’s family and does it willingly. As she danced along the pages of this book, I smiled near continuously at her simply ‘being’. Grace longs for a grand adventure and believes this just may be it.

Lord Astley was developed quite well also. A man who feels he’ll never measure up and haunted by past mistakes discovers how loved he is by God and just how much he has to offer.
On the pages of this book, both Frederick and Grace discover that dreams can come true that you didn’t even know you were dreaming. Basham’s way with a story is completely irrepressible. Her way with characters is not to be missed as the reader is carried along on a wave of pure delight as the story unfolds. And she gives us more than a good dose of her charming humor. There were parts I laughed out loud! Basham also throws in a great Gothic-like mystery along the lines of Daphne Du Maurier and Agatha Christie. Well done!

I could not put this I could not put this book down! I tried, so as to prolong the reading pleasure, but my hunger to discover the ending captured me at every turn. This one is destined to be a top read for 2021! Highly recommended. This book is Pepper Basham totally unleashed!

My thanks to the publisher and author for a copy of this book via Net Galley.I was not compensated and the opinion here is entirely my own.

Publisher: Barbour
Publication Date: September 1, 2021
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