Book Review (and a Giveaway): Baggage Claim by Cathe Swanson

March 31, 2017 Cathe Swanson, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, romance 28

about the book

There had to be at least one healthy branch on his family tree…

Who can he trust?

Ben Taylor, widower and father of four lively children, enjoys his easy, uncomplicated life. He likes his work and has a competent nanny to manage his household. Everything is good until he decides to seek out his biological parents and discovers a family tree with tangled roots and broken branches.

His comfortable life crumbles when he gets caught up in a criminal network of fraud and conspiracy at his new job. When Ben is forced into a dangerous alliance, he scrambles to find a safe situation and protection for his children before setting out to clear his name—all without getting himself killed in the process.

A nanny with a past…

Becoming a nanny was the perfect solution when Teresa Cooper needed a place to hide ten years ago, but now that she’s no longer in danger, she’s ready to move on and make a new life for herself. When Ben asks her to take the children to an unknown relative in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she finds herself in hiding again, this time with four children in tow.

As the children explore the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula, Teresa begins to wonder about God’s plan for her future. Who is this stranger Ben trusts with his children? Why here? Can a city-bred nanny find joy in this wild corner of God’s creation?

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SERIES:  Great Lakes Collection
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction
RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2017
PAGES: 408

Other Books In This Series

“No one is promised a normal family, dear, and we all grow up anyhow.”

I love how Cathe Swanson constantly surprises me! In her debut novella, Snow Angels, I wasn’t sure what to expect and ended up being absolutely delighted with the story and the characters and the writing style. In this case, with Baggage Claim, I thought I knew how certain plot elements would play out … and once again, Swanson took my expectations and gave them her own flavor.

Everybody has baggage. Take Ben, for instance. He’s not your typical single dad. His young wife died tragically, needlessly, and left him to take care of their four children in all his naivete. His search for his birth parents has some surprising (and at times heartwrenching) ups and downs, and his relationship with the nanny did not at all go the way I anticipated when I first started reading. (This is not a bad thing – it worked out so much better than it would have if I were in charge! Which is why I just blog. LOL.)

Speaking of the nanny, Teresa has her own share of baggage. While she would certainly run circles around Mary Poppins, Teresa’s painful backstory has her getting some inspiration from Mrs. Doubtfire and Nanny McPhee too. She may look 55 on the outside but inside she’s still in her thirties and tentatively open to another – safer – chance at true love.

And then there’s Jonah…. but you’ll have to meet him and his baggage on your own. 🙂

Bottom Line: Baggage Claim by Cathe Swanson is a heartwarming story about family and trust… and what we do with the baggage we claim. A dash of suspense propels the story forward, and an unexpected romance charms the heart.  The kids are adorably written, their personalities spot-on for their ages, and the threads of faith are naturally incorporated without feeling preachy. Fans of Deborah Raney will love Cathe Swanson’s books too!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Enjoyed it!

KissingBook Level: 2 / Warm rosy glow of sweetness (romance not the main focus)

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about the author

Cathe Swanson lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 32 years. They enjoy spending time with their family and being outdoors, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching and fishing, but summer is short in Wisconsin, so it’s important to have indoor hobbies, too. Cathe has been a quilter and teacher of quiltmaking for over 25 years, and she enjoys just about any kind of creative work, especially those involving fiber or paper. She enjoys writing stories with eccentric characters of all ages. Her books will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.

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When I was in high school, I thought I might like to become an occupational therapist. Instead, I got married, had babies, raised the children and launched them into the world. I took a few years to regroup, and then I started thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

Shortly after that, my dad had a stroke, and when he came home from the hospital, I was fascinated by the work of the visiting therapists. I did some research and learned that physical and occupational therapy assistants make pretty good money and are able to do the best part of the job – the therapy. Therapists are often bogged down in paperwork and periodic assessments. The assistant has all the fun, and it’s just a 5-semester program.

So I trotted on down to the local community college and asked what I had to do to get signed up. The counsellor talked for a while about prerequisites, petitions, waiting lists, internships, and other such things. Eventually I realized she was trying to tell me that I was too old to embark on this career. Too taken-aback to be offended, I went home and wrote a book about it instead. After all, I’d invested a lot of time in research.

I’d been writing stories for years, and already had the bones of Baggage Claim. Once I gave my young hero a job as a physical therapy assistant, the story took on life. My mother’s interest in genealogy had sparked a question: What if a nice, normal person wanted to track down their biological family and it blew up in their face? So that’s where I sent my hero, and as one of my reviewers said, “It was not a Hallmark moment.”

I’m very happy as an author and have no real interest in becoming an occupational therapist. Indeed, that rejection was a turning point for me. I could have pushed forward and got that degree, but instead I went home and wrote. I have no regrets.

To celebrate her tour, Cathe is giving away Grand prize themed gift box that will include:

A decorative suitcase box
Earl Grey Tea
A handmade mug rug
A pretty mug
14 handmade all-occasion cards
And a paperback copy of Baggage Claim!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Click here to view this promotion.

Follow along with the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour for more chances to win!


28 Responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway): Baggage Claim by Cathe Swanson”

  1. Marylin Furumasu

    Hi Carrie,
    Thanks for posting this book by Cathe. It really sounds like a fun book!

  2. Kay Garrett

    Baggage Claim sounds like a sweet book that I’d love to read. I’m happy you didn’t become an occupational therapist and turned loose your great talent as an author! Thanks for a chance to win and amazing Baggage Claim Celebration Tour giveaway package.

  3. Karen Sargent

    This cover grabs me every time I see it. The title combined with the image of the little feet makes my mom instinct want to protect that little girl’s heart. Nice give-away,too!

  4. Becky Smith

    This book sounds really good! Writing sounds like a good choice! I’m looking forward to reading this!

  5. Marilyn

    Sounds like a great read. This is a generous and exciting giveaway.

  6. Winnie Thomas

    This book sounds so fascinating, and I love the cover. Another book for my TBR list!

  7. Emma Filbrun

    This was my favorite book so far this year! One detail I especially loved was the reference to an obscure waterfall that we visited a number of years ago.

  8. Kay Garrett

    Sounds like an awesome book and cool giveaway. Thanks for the chance!

  9. Diane Wallace

    “Baggage Claim” is going on my wish/to read list! Sounds like such a good read?
    Thanks for your review and thanks to Cathe Swanson for this cute giveaway??

  10. Arletta

    Cathe asked what makes for a good giveaway. I find that just getting something other than bills in the mail makes me excited. So this could be a gift card, a nice chocolate bar, a postcard or bookmark, and of course, a paperback! They all bring me joy!

    • Carrie

      Haha Arletta! Life would be so much better without bills, wouldn’t it?

  11. Ally Swanson

    Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the review and learning more about this book. Looking forward to checking out this book!