Tag Archive | humor

A Match of Wits (Book Review)

a match of witsA Match of Wits by Jen Turano is the fourth book in her historical romance series. I was given this book to review at my request. I have enjoyed Jen’s writings ever since reading her first book A Change of Fortune. I equally enjoyed A Talent for Trouble and A Most Peculiar Circumstance. A Match of Wits did not disappoint in displaying Jen’s unique voice filled with wit and whimsy.

Agatha is a reporter from New York who someone wants dead. To preserve her life she heads West to seek stories and write, encountering a series of adventures along the way, keeping her bodyguard and companion busy. Her deepest secret is the love she had for a certain man, Zayne, who reappears when she least expects it in a Colorado mining town.

Zayne is at his low point in life and looks now more like a scraggly mountain man than the dashing man about town Agatha used to know. Having struck gold in a mine and been left with a permanent and painful leg, Zayne Beckett has chosen a life of isolation to nurse his wounds and avoid any real relationships, including that of his friends and family back in New York. Agatha however finds Zayne at this low point and through a further series of misadventures, and coerces him into going home to recover from his latest disaster.

Little did Zayne realize that the exquisite and irritating Agatha was the woman he loved all along. With her life in danger and his leg in a cast, how is he to protect her? And why, with all the schemes of the matchmakers around him, can he not woo this woman to be his wife?

If this book were a movie I think it would rival an old slapstick with the antics the characters engage in.  I could imagine a young Dick Van Dyke as Zayne! Jen writes her humorous romances with a light touch and while she places them in ridiculous situations at times, she writes a believable and enjoyable story filled with love and faith that will leave you smiling. Well done, Jen and again, a beautiful cover by Bethany House.



The Love Thief (Book Review)

TheLoveThiefThe Love Thief is a novella by Daisy Jerico and is her debut work out by Prism Book Group

Sandra has overcome a difficult past and is on the cusp of realizing her dream of being a jewelry designer while she manages a jewelry store for her boss.

A break-in and theft at the store, however, threatens that dream when she comes under suspicion. The problem is, Sandra didn’t steal the jewelry which included her own design that she had sunk every last penny into. Now her job is in jeopardy as well as her freedom. On top of her life falling apart, a mammoth dog has chosen her to be his owner. How much more can one girl take?

She’s not given much of a choice but to work with an ex-thief to try to trap the real culprit, her former boyfriend, a Svengali type of guy who still thinks that Sandra would want him back after he set her up for a fall five years ago.

Throw in a mammoth dog and some mishaps and you have one humorous yet suspenseful love story.

Will Sandra catch the thief and live to tell about it? Could love flourish in the midst of this? Spoiler – the real love thief is Viking, the dog. Thoroughly loved this story and the cover makes me grin.

This is a novella and available as an e-book only.

It Had To Be You (Book Review)

it had to be youI have loved the Wedding by Bella series written by Janice Thompson and It Had to Be You did not disappoint (except that it means the series has ended? Say it ain’t so, Janice!).

Bella is planning her own wedding to her hunky cowboy while at the same time planning a wedding between her aunt and uncle (unrelated to each other) who have loved each other for years but didn’t acknowledge it until the previous book.

Every wedding has it’s challenges and this one does as well with fights and a swing band that magically can help heal relationships and the most oddly humorous assortment of characters you will ever meet, including a mobster and a parrot that sings Amazing Grace among other things! I don’t even know if I could survive a week in that household given the emotional upheavals and drama.

Overall of that is love. Bella learns a huge lesson about grace and learning to depend on others when her body finally tells her to stop. I mean, literally, it stops her in her tracks. I love DJ and his faithful patience and adoration and listening to his bride-to-be. I really do hope they have the happily ever after they were planning on, because after all, it’s not the wedding that’s the most important, but the marriage, and I think Bella finally got that at the end.

Kudos to you Janice for another laugh-out-loud Texas sized romp with Italian sized heart. I enjoyed my trip to your imaginary world (but wish it were real because it would be fun to visit!)

Who Can I Bless Today?

I had a bit of an adventure at the beginning of February as I tried to get from the airport in Milwaukee, WI to one in Asheville, NC. Delay after delay and an unplanned trip to O’Hare and more delays meant I got to my destination over eight hours later than planned. So much for that part of the conference!

A friend expressed fear that her upcoming trip would have similar challenges. I told her that she should not pray this prayer before she goes: “Who can I bless today?”

Someone I know had an experience where she was able to exude grace while traveling and unbeknownst to her at the time, it deeply touched someone she had interacted with. It was a good reminder that we never know who is out there watching, listening and being impacted by our words and actions.

So I prayed that perhaps in my travels I could be that kind of blessing. God gave me plenty of opportunities to express grace as those around me were not quite as tolerant of the delays and gate changes. It actually stunned me to hear what some people will complain about. I was equally impressed (or not) with the difference in customer service in the face of those challenges. Some were calm and professional and kept a smile, or a sense of humor. Others were cold and indifferent to the impact the delays were having on the passengers who kept getting shoved around a cold airport.

So I smiled often. I complimented when appropriate. I expressed my view that I would rather get on a plane that really DOES fly than one that doesn’t.  I met some neat people on the way as well.

So why did God let this happen? I don’t know. Maybe He needed me to be a bright spot in someone’s day. Maybe He was saving me from something worse. Maybe He wanted to test my ability to hold to a positive attitude in difficult circumstances. It really wasn’t a bad day. It was just not quite what I had planned for.

By the time I returned to my car three days later – to find a dead battery, all I could do was laugh. I had one more person to bless as a man came to jump my car in the subzero temps. My knight in shining armor I called him. In reality he was a large black man with metal caps on his teeth and a rusty pickup truck. He was sweet and helpful and got me back home. See there’s good people wherever you go – if you keep your eyes open for them. I suspect two Delta employees were surprised and  thrilled to hear how they impressed me because yes, I reported their good deeds.

And one United employee made me laugh. Giving us more information than other had done, he did so with a sense of humor, telling us we were being moved to another gate where we were going to have to walk 500 miles in the frigid cold to get to our plane. We ended up being moved again – but his humor and willingness to be honest about the  challenges keep us grounded lightened my spirits. So in honor of  him, enjoy this oldie but goodie, “500 Miles.”The Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

Fools Rush In (Weddings by Bella, Book 1) – Book Review

Janice Thompson is the author of Fools Rush In,  that has comedy down to a science.  Bella Rossi is an Italian living in Texas and planning a country-western wedding. The clash of cultures between her Italian family and the very country family of the man of her dreams, who she meets quite by accident, culminates in a series of slap-dash, laugh out loud and make you smile like-a –silly- goon- responses as one reads.

I have rarely read a book with this much comedy so seamlessly woven in and where you can still connect with empathy for the inner struggles of the heroine of the tale, Bella. While some if it seems unbelievable it is totally realistic because hey, life IS stranger than fiction and it makes me wonder how much of this came from Janice’s own crazy life. I don’t know Janice personally so I’m only guessing here!

I highly recommend this book. For a look at Texas and Italian culture (and what happens when they mix) and the difference we all bring to any situation we find ourselves in, this book is top of the list at making fun of crazy families, especially those who don’t hide themselves but approach life with gusto and authenticity.

This book is first in a series of books called Weddings by Bella, and I am looking forward to reading the rest in the series, if they are anywhere as good as this one, the mantra of “laughter is the best medicine” will surely be a cure for the winter blues.  Keep us laughing, Janice! You have a gift for it and I’m glad you’ve shared it!