Friday, October 19, 2012

All Ye Faithful by Gina Welborn

reviewed by Suzie Johnson
Today I have the joy of sharing a little about Gina Welborn’s latest novella All Ye Faithful, which is part of the A Cascades Christmas anthology. If you read her first novella, Sugarplum Hearts, reviewed here: Review of Sugarplum Hearts, then you know you’re in for a treat. If you didn’t read it, then I highly suggest you do – but only after you read All Ye Faithful.

I was privileged enough to read and offer critique on this before it was submitted, and I was as enchanted by it then as I am now after having read it again.

Gina has a certain charm about her work that draws me. I’m not saying that because she’s one of my Inksters (my nickname for the Inky Sisters). If I came across her work solely on my own because I had no association with her, I’d be drawn to it in the same way I’m drawn to Robin Lee Hatcher and Sharon Gillenwater. Gina writes in that same small-town, big-heart style that I absolutely love. And each story in this anthology is set in my home state of Washington, in Tumwater, in the foothills of the beautiful mountain range that I am blessed to see every single day.

Lighthearted and charming at a first glance, underneath the layers of Gina’s stories are real issues that burn in the lives of so many people and make it easy to identify with her characters. Larkin Whitworth, the heroine of All Ye Faithful, is much like her creator. Light, breezy, and full of heart.

Here’s what Anna, one of the characters in the anthology, says about her friend:
“There’s nice, and then there’s you – nicer than nice. You’re sweet, sincere, and selfless.”

The year 1890 is soon coming to a close and Larkin Whitworth has vowed this would be the year she did something courageous, adventurous, different. And so she decides to tell E.V. Renier she loves him. But before she gets a chance, E.V. is called away by the father of another young woman determined to win E.V.’s heart.

Though it appears E.V. should give up asking Mr. Whitworth for his daughter’s hand in marriage, he’s not about to give up. Marrying Larkin is all he can think of, even when her father has already told him know a hundred-and-two times because he isn’t good enough. You see, E.V. has been asking Mr. Whitworth on a weekly basis for over two years.

Sigh… Just the kind of dedication every woman wants from her hero.

And that’s the reason he allows himself to be pulled away from Larkin just as she’s about to tell him something important. In order to make his lumber mill more profitable so he can court Larkin with her father’s approval, he feels he must help a prospective investor find a suitable suitor for his daughter by paying her more attention than he finds comfortable.

While E.V. is willing to do whatever it takes to win Larkin’s hand, Larkin is willing to do whatever it takes to protect her mother from what’s become a serious issue in her life. And when E.V. goes out of his way to help, will that finally prove to Mr. Whitworth he’s the perfect match for Larkin?

Paying attention to another woman so you can secure your true love’s hand in marriage sounds like a recipe for disaster.

But it’s also the perfect recipe for a quirky, endearing and deeply moving romance that will be sure to leave each reader feeling satisfied.

About Gina:
GINA WELBORN is an author, mother, wife, and currently has changed her Level 4 brown hair to Level 7 blonde. She's still debating if she likes it. For those of you who are far more interested in what Gina writes than in her hair-color dilemma (gray hair causes one to take drastic measures), her first novella "Sugarplum Hearts" released in February 2012 in HIGHLAND CROSSINGS. Her second novella "All Ye Faithful" in A CASCADES CHRISTMAS is available at Wal-Mart,AmazonCBDBarnes and NobleMarvel,  Parable, as well as other local Christian bookstores and online distributors. Gina resides in a wee little town outside a larger (but not large) town in Oklahoma. Thanks to her pastor-husband's ability to spray a fabulous chemical called Demon, her children don't get to enjoy raising hunter spiders, grasshoppers, and crickets. While they are (mostly) saddened, Gina is delighted.


  1. I want to write reviews like you when I grow up, Suzie!

    I wish you were selling me on this story, but I was already sold. Yesterday Gina talked about the faith issues at work here and I hope our readers drop down the page and read that as well. I think it made this my favorite of Gina's two novellas to date. Her writing is pretty much unlike any other I've read -- hmmm, I suppose that's because Gina is unlike anyone else I've met.

    Suzie, nice job!

  2. Aww, Deb, you're so sweet. So sorry I didn't mention your faith post. I wasn't thinking. Yes, I do hope people who haven't read it will scroll down because it's incredible.

  3. Dina, I'm pretty sure you'll love this book. :-)

  4. Oh, Suzie, you make my heart sing with gratitude. Thank you for your sweet and encouraging words.

    Oh, Deb. I'm certainly not the only one like me there is.

    Dina, do read the book when you have time.

  5. Suzie, you write excellent reviews. I love that you don't just recount the plot like so many do. I also happen to agree with you in this case particularly. Gina has a unique voice that's really engaging.

  6. Gina, I'm glad I could make your heart sing. :-)

    Lisa, thank you so much!

  7. Oh, that sounds so sweet. I'm looking forward to reading it!

  8. Hi DeAnna! You will truly enjoy it. :-)

  9. Suzie, you do write fabulous reviews. Very nice! And I am one of those who needs to read Gina's book, which is currently sitting in my amazon cart. Next week I can order it!

    Very nice, ladies. A great writer and a great review.

  10. Awww, Susie, thank you. You guys are so sweet, but Gina made it really easy by writing a great book.

  11. Great review, Suzie. I had to squint a few times where I thought you were giving away something I didn't want to know, but I pressed on and you done good. :)

    No, I haven't read it yet. I've read the first 2 novellas and have All Ye Faithful bookmarked, but I don't want to rush it and I don't want to be interrupted. And I've had too much going on lately.

    It's because everyone's saying such good things about it that I want to really enjoy it. MIL is here this weekend but perhaps I can sneak off and leave Nelson to do the entertaining... we'll see...

  12. Anita Mae, I hope I didn't give anything away! I know what you mean about not wanting to be interrupted. I have certain books like that. I will go get lunch and iced tea and take the book to Cranberry Lake on a Saturday and read all day long - in my car because it's usually too cold to sit outside. Still - lake on one side and beach on the other - perfection.

  13. Anita, I have two books I started and haven't finished because I've been so busy with other things.


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