28 July 2015

The Cactus Creek Challenge by Erica Vetsch Reviewed by Bonnie Roof



The Cactus Creek Challenge by author Erica Vetsch
5 Stars *****
(Barbour Publishing, 2015)

The Cactus Creek Challenge, set in 1888 Cactus Creek, Texas - is a rollicking, laugh-out-loud funny novel by author Erica Vetsch. Chock-full of romance, restoration, hope, lovable characters,  non-stop action and adventure with some of the wildest escapades, ever - it will satisfy the palate of many readers.

Each contestant of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge switches jobs with another contestant for one month, the townspeople voting for the person that excels, by contributing money to the glass candy jar labeled with the name of that person's favorite cause. To make this year's contest more challenging, each contestant switches jobs with a contestant of the opposite sex. What could possibly go wrong when schoolteacher Cassie Bucknell swaps jobs with childhood friend Sheriff Ben Wilder, and baker Jenny Hart with livery stable owner Carl Gustafson?

Needless to say, each contestant learns much about his/herself, and finds that "walking in another's shoes" is never as easy as it appears. The schoolchildren and their antics will steal the reader's heart, as will: twenty-four-year-old Sheriff Ben, trying to live up to his father's reputation. Nineteen-year-old Cassie, who's had a crush on Ben since childhood, and wants to prove her maturity, even though he's always thought of her more as a sister-figure. Burly, giant of a man, tidy, widower Carl - who's afraid to risk more pain by loving again. Widow Jenny left a wealthy life-style and fled Chattanooga, Tennessee, with her young daughter, Amanda, after the death of Jenny's abusive, power-hungry husband. She's seeking security from her father-in-law's threats to assume guardianship of Amanda; mother and daughter both seeking self-worth, and afraid to trust the friendship of another man.

There are so many reasons to love The Cactus Creek Challenge. I would enjoy reading a sequel to this delightful, heart-warming, inspiring story!


GIVEAWAY:  Erica is graciously providing a paperback copy of "The Cactus Creek Challenge" to one blessed commenter. The eBook is available for $3.99 through today, 7/28, only. The prequel to The Cactus Creek Challenge, The Legend of Obadiah Wilder: The Glorious Defeat of the Dickenson Gang, is available as a FREE eBook download. Look for Erica's other new releases: "A Bride For Bear" from The Convenient Bride Collection, and "The Trail Boss's Bride" from Journeys of the Heart novella collection.

42 comments:

  1. Wow, that sounds like fun!! What an interesting premise for a story. Great review Bonnie!!

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    1. More fun than you can imagine, Noela!! "The Cactus Creek Challenge" brings the reader such joy while teaching a lesson. Thanks!!

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  2. I've heard so many great things about this book, I can't wait to read it!!

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    1. Abby, they are all true - such a delightful novel, you won't want it to end!! Thanks for your comments!!

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  3. Bonnie, thanks for the great review! My copy arrived yesterday. I can't wait to begin reading it.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Caryl!! Trust me, once you start reading "The Cactus Creek Challenge" - you won't want to stop!!

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  4. BONNIE, your delightful review made me smile. As Noela said, what an interesting premise for a story! I'm not a great western fan (I know, I know -- lol), except for a couple of authors whose westerns I enjoy, but this one sounds fun!

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    1. It IS an interesting premise, isn't it, Diana?? The absurdity and wording will have you "rolling in the aisles", lol!! I'm not a big western fan, either - however, I'm certainly glad I didn't miss reading this one. Thanks for your comments!!

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  5. Rollicking laugh-out-loud is right. And those school kids were a hoot. And the way the author used the lessons at the end -- so clever! Really loved this book -- obviously I've read it, so no need to enter me in the draw. Just stopped by to see what y'all were reading.

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    1. I appreciate your comments, Kav!! Readers have no idea how much fun is headed their way with the pranks of the school kids, perhaps school would be interesting to more kids if all teachers employed some of Sheriff Ben's teaching tactics.

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  6. This book looks sooo good! I can't wait to read it! I read the prequel last weekend so now I can't wait to read this! Thanks for this opportunity!

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    1. Hi, Katie - "The Cactus Creek Challenge" truly is one of the funniest novels ever, but has touching moments, as well; and who can resist stories of romance?? Reading the prequel gives you a taste of the enjoyment you will receive from the novel. Thanks for your comments.

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  7. Great review Bonnie. This book sounds like a fun read.
    I just read A Bride for Bear by Erica Vetsch, it was great, so I know this one will be too.
    Blessings, Tina

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    1. Thank you so much, Tina!! I love the story line for "A Bride For Bear", and want to read it ASAP. "The Cactus Creek Challenge" will give you "warm fuzzies", guaranteed!!

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    1. Your name is in the pot, Susan - good luck!! Thanks for stopping by!!

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  9. Great review, Bonnie! Now I really want to read this book - would love to win :)

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    1. Thank you, Betti!! You will enjoy it, for sure!! Don't forget to download the free prequel, if not already done.

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  10. Sounds like such a fun read!

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    1. Patty - it's indescribable joy!! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!!

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  11. Bonnie, what a great review ! Now, I really want to read the " Cactus Creek Challenge " . It sounds like such a fun book. It's on my GoodReads want to read list. Thank you for the great post and giveaway !

    Deanne Patterson
    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

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    1. You're welcome, Deanne!! "The Cactus Creek Challenge" is probably the funniest book I've ever read, although dramatic writing is usually my preference over comedy - I can't wait to read another book from Erica which has comedy such as this one does. There was just enough drama and dysfunction, along with comedy, to satisfy me. Thanks for your comments!!

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  12. This looks like such a fun book. I would love to win a copy.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

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    1. An absolutely hilarious romance - with some touching scenes, as well, Susan!! I think you will love it - good luck!!

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  13. Thank you for such a lovely review.

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    1. I appreciate that, Mary!! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing for this beautiful novel!!

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  14. Hello Bonnie. Thanks for the good review. Sounds like a real fun read. I can just imagine this happening in the small town where I grew up. I have to take a chance on winning it. Sending (((Hugs))) to all of my OWG ladies. love you all.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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    1. Hi, Maxie!! "The Cactus Creek Challenge" will put a smile on your face and make you forget your woes while reading it. Hugs and love to you from all of us at OWG, too - dear Maxie!!

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  15. Bonnie, thank you so much for the lovely review, and to all those who commented and entered the drawing, I wish you the best of luck! I look forward to interacting more with you all tomorrow here on the blog!

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    1. I really appreciate your taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by, Erica - I pray my review does "The Cactus Creek Challenge" justice. Reading it brought me such joy, one blessed commenter is in for a treat with the giveaway win - thank you for your generosity!!

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  16. Have been hearing about this book for a while. Would totally love to read it. :) Thanks for the giveaway!!

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    1. ""The Cactus Creek Challenge" is all the wonderful things you heard about it - and more, Sydney!! Don't forget to download the free eBook prequel listed below my review - to start your immersion in the world of Cactus Creek. Thanks for your comments!!

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  17. Nice interview. Sounds like a great read.

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    1. Thank you, Kim!! "The Cactus Creek Challenge" is full of fun, romance, amazing characters and expressions, as well as lessons for all. It was a joy to read!! Good luck!!

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  18. Cactus Creek Challenge sounds delightful. What a great review! Sounds like my kind of book. Best wishes!

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    1. Hi, Katherine!! I have no doubt you will love it. Thanks for your comments - blessings!!

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  19. I have only heard such good about this book! I want to run out and get it. :) Great review!!

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    1. Thank you, Susan!! What you've heard is probably still under-rated, it's such an entertaining and inspiring book!! Good luck, however, please do purchase the book if you don't win a copy here - and don't forget to download the free prequel shown above. Thanks for your comments!!

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  20. Sounds great fun. Great review too.

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    1. Hi, Sheila!! Thanks, so much!! Good luck in the draw for this wonderful book!!

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  21. I've seen the cover several times and have been curious about what it's about. It looks and sounds like a great read! The combination of your review and the beautiful cover art makes me want to read it even more haha. I agree with many of the other commentators here, it does sound like fun!

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    1. Thanks for your wonderful comments, Starlight Starbright!! 'The Cactus Creek Challenge' truly has something for every reader: plenty of humor, romance, adventure, life-lessons, and some touching drama, as well. Cross your fingers for a win, but please purchase it - if you don't win, I promise it will be an entertaining read. And don't forget to download the free prequel to this novel, shown above!!

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