The Cactus Creek Challenge  -     By: Erica Vetsch
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The Cactus Creek Challenge

Shiloh Run Press / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

Schoolmarm Cassie has loved sheriff Ben since they were kids, but he treats her like a little sister. When they're selected to swap jobs, her students go on strike, his jail becomes a bank vault, and they tangle in a battle of wills. Will kidnappers and thieves make them realize they're better together than apart? 320 pages, softcover from Shiloh Run.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Shiloh Run Press
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 X 0.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1630589276
ISBN-13: 9781630589271

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Publisher's Description

Anything he can do, I can do better. At least that was what Cassie Bucknell thought before she pinned on Ben Wilder’s badge and took to patrolling the streets of Cactus Creek, Texas. Cassie has been in love with Ben since primer school, but Ben treats her like a little sister. When they are picked to swap jobs for a month as part of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge in their Texas hometown, the schoolhouse is thrown into an uproar, the jail becomes a temporary bank vault, and Cassie and Ben square off in a battle of wills that becomes a battle for their hearts.

Author Bio

Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves books and history, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she’s not following flights of fancy in her fictional world, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, an avid museum patron, and wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul mate. Erica loves to hear from readers. You can sign up for her quarterly newsletter at www.ericavetsch.com
And you can email her at ericavetsch@gmail.com or contact her on her author Facebook page.
 

Editorial Reviews

"Vetsch brings Cactus Creek—and romance!—to life in Ben and Cassie's beautifully executed love story. Her warm words made me smell bread baking and romance brewing. . .two heady effects that worked perfectly together. Kudos, Erica!" 
 
Bestselling, multi-published author, Ruth Logan Herne

"A story full of adventure and laughter with not one, but two, romances. The characters are sharply drawn. Ms. Vetsch has the delightful ability to turn a phrase in a way that brought a smile of pleasure to my lips. An enjoyable read."

Linda Ford, author

". . .I love how Erica Vetsch sprinkles fresh language (biscuits as hard as doorknobs) and characters (every single one is unique) into an ageless story of change, love, and restoration. You'll find yourself challenged in Cactus Creek, too. I loved this book!" 

Jane Kirkpatrick, bestselling author of A Light in the Wilderness

"Two couples + too many chuckles and chortles to count = a doubly delightful read. Those who pick up Erica Vetsch's fun-filled story will be roped in from the start and will flip pages faster than a chuck wagon cook does flapjacks, as they race to find out how her captivating characters deal with the many challenges that come their way. Another winner from a talented storyteller!"
 
Keli Gwyn, author of Family of Her Dreams

"The Cactus Creek Challenge is a delightful read. The characters stole my heart as they stepped up to the challenge of walking a mile in another’s shoes, so to speak. By trading professions for a month, the characters creatively carried out tasks outside their own comfort and talent. Ms. Vetsch skillfully weaves multiple sub-plots together to create a novel true to the historical West sprinkled with humor and wit and a good dose of sigh-worthy love."

Audra Harders, author of Rough Road Home

Blending laugh-out-loud humor into a story of life on the Texas frontier is a difficult job, but Vetsch manages to do it with plenty of faith and panache in this historical romance set in Cactus Creek, Tex., in 1888.

Laugh-out-loud romance about the battle of the sexes, with a twist. The saying "Anything he can do, I can do better" is tested in a new way, and the results will surprise you. Vetsch has brought new life to a sometimes overused plot and has made it fresh and funny.

Vetsch devises a fresh plot filled with delightful hijinks, humor, and romance in a tale of 1880s Texas. The appealing cast includes interesting secondary characters and a host of schoolchildren that will make fans of historical novels wish they lived in Cactus Creek.

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 19
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  1. U.P Mi
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: Female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Fun Read!
    October 4, 2015
    weatherlover1
    U.P Mi
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Cactus Creek has held a challenge for years. People would switch jobs and whoever did the best job would help raise money for the town. This year, however, to better keep the town interested they allowed women to join in and switch with the men! Cassie has a crush on the sheriff. The problem is Ben only sees her like a kid sister, not a woman ready to find a husband. Cassie hopes to prove to him she is a woman who can not only do mens work but take control of his heart as well.

    What I liked: Cassie has spunk and I really liked her. I loved how she tackled being sheriff and gave it her all. It made for a fun read. Ben was worried she was going to get hurt or that his town was going to disrespect her which you cant blame him for thinking that. He was also trying hard to live up to his fathers name. The challenge also included the livery owner(Carl) and the bakery owner(Jenny). Carl does not plan to remarry for he thinks the west is too hard on a woman. Jenny is trying to make a life for herself and her daughter after having a rough first marriage. I also really liked Carl and Jenny.

    What I didnt like: As much as I liked this book I think it highly unlikely that a town in this time period would allow women to do mens work for a month with no help. It just seemed a little too far-fetched. I also dont understand why Carl and Jenny could not have had their own book. It worked well enough telling both couples stories, but it seemed like Carl and Jenny did not get as much screen time.

    Overall this was a great book and I really liked it. Im interested to see if this might become a series.
  2. Harrison, AR
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Funny, but I liked one romance better than the other
    September 25, 2015
    Debbie from ChristFocus
    Harrison, AR
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    "The Cactus Creek Challenge" is a humorous romance set in 1888 in a small town in Texas. The humor came from the many funny situations the four contestants faced in their new jobs. I liked the romance between the baker and the stable owner as it progressed slowly and made sense. Each had to build their trust in one another and overcome their reservations about marrying again.

    We're told that Ben was nice in the past; he simply didn't realize Cassie was a grown woman now. Well, he was very dense when it came to women, but even Cassie began to doubt Ben was worth winning after a while. He belittled her, dismissed her abilities, wouldn't take her seriously even after she proved her worth, and didn't respect her as a person. Since we never saw what he was like before the contest, I had a hard time liking him. In her turn, Cassie refused help even when she needed it because she wanted to prove Ben wrong. She finally realized her pride was making a mess of things and added maturity to her cleverness. Ben also found some humility. They did a lot better when working together than when fighting each other.

    The story wasn't deeply historical or Christian. The Christian element was a few, brief prayers and a few hymns sung to quiet a horse. There was no bad language and no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this novel to fans of humorous romance novels.

    I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
  3. Mt. Washington, Ky.
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    "A LAUGH-OUT-LOUD FUNNY, HEART-WARMING HISTORICAL ROMANCE - FULL OF HOPE AND RESTORATION"!!
    August 12, 2015
    BonTon
    Mt. Washington, Ky.
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    'The Cactus Creek Challenge', set in 1888 Cactus Creek, TX. - is a rollicking, laugh-out-loud funny novel by 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: 24 year-old Sheriff Ben, trying to live up to his father's reputation. 19 year-old Cassie, who's had a crush on Ben since childhood, and wants to prove her maturity, even though Ben'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 lifestyle and fled Chattanooga, TN., 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 love to read a sequel to this delightful, heart-warming, inspiring story!

    I was provided a copy of this novel to read, by the author, in exchange for my honest opinion - which I have given.
  4. Montana
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Rip-roaring fun in the Old West!
    August 12, 2015
    TellNJasmine
    Montana
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The Cactus Creek Challenge was such a fun and funny read! Two men and two women vie for the prize of money towards their favorite causes. By the end of the month these four people will learn a great deal about each other and about themselves. The real question is will the town of Cactus Creek still be standing at the end of the month?

    Erica Vetsch delivers a most delightful western filled with comedy, romance, and danger. I've been a fan of hers since A Bride Sews With Love In Needles, California was the very first book review I'd done. And The Cactus Creek Challenge only cemented it. I enjoyed every bit of the story. From the comedy, including two holy terrors in the classroom, to the romance that slowly developed between the two couples competing, and the danger surrounding an extended stay in the jail and a missing child.

    A well-written story with engaging characters and a great storyline. Each of the citizens of Cactus Creek are real cards, quirky, and even a little crazy. Erica Vetsch delivers a fun and funny tale that is sure to thrill her fans. The snappy cover matches the story very well, pulling you right in.

    Sparks fly and guns blaze in this exciting tale of love and mayhem! You won't want to miss The Cactus Creek Challenge by Erica Vetsch.

    (I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.)
  5. Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Clever Western Romance!
    August 10, 2015
    Rebecca Maney
    Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Clever, comedy-filled and conveniently romantic, "The Cactus Creek Challenge" was thoroughly enjoyable to read from its creative beginning to its rather suspenseful ending.

    When the small town of Cactus Creek Texas decided to raise money for community improvement, the town council creatively chose to pit four leading citizens against each other in a most unique one month challenge. Cassie Bucknell, the local school teacher would trade vocations with Sheriff Ben Wilder while the recently widowed Jenny Hart, owner of the local bakery, would take over duties at the town livery; leaving owner Carl Gustafson miserably attempting his hand at baking. What began as an innocent fund raiser quickly turns into matchmaking amidst mayhem.

    Who could have known that a large shipment of army gold would be publicly stored in the town jail and that Jenny's young daughter would be caught in the cross hairs of a nefarious scheme? All is well that ends well in Cactus Creek, Texas.
Displaying items 1-5 of 19
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