Monday, November 26, 2007

No Place Like Home - Debra Clopton

I love Debra Clopton! She is a Love Inspired author and her novels are too fun! And yet they have a message... some meat to them too. They are not all fluff and puff. As with the previous 2 books I have read by her (The Trouble With Lacy Brown / And Baby Makes Five), No Place Like Home is set in Mule Hollow, Texas... a town full of cowboys and very few women! But that is changing.

Dottie is on a mission. She is headed cross country from Florida to California to work with women in need... and then she runs into Cassie and finds herself taking a 100 mile detour to Mule Hollow, Texas. How did that happen???
Once there, it appears God has other plans for her life. Plans she wasn't expecting! Plans that include Sheriff Brady Cannon. But Brady wants none of it. He knows what he is feeling... He even sees God at work, but he has his own agenda and this isn't part of it!
So what is a candy-maker on a mission to do? Pray! and leave it all in God's more than capable hands.
Quick read... a bit silly and full of fun... great for a day when you just need to chill out and escape a bit!

Finished The Lights of Lowell Series

I finished up the Lights of Lowell series by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller. Book 2 is A Love Woven True. Book 3 is The Pattern of Her Heart. I enjoyed this series for the most part. I cannot say I enjoyed the last book. It focused greatly on the South prior to the Civil War. While I have no doubt slavery was wrong and evil, I do not think everyone in the South was mean or hateful as I feel was portrayed in this book.

I also think the last book really pushes the limit of reality a bit. There are a number of tragedies in this book and the way things work out in the end is a bit unrealistic and too much like a fairytale to me. I like happy endings.. I even like fairytales, but this series is to be historic. When I read historic fiction, I expect a bit more realism.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Nowhere To Hide by Debby Giusti

This is the first book I have read by Debby Giusti and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had just enough suspense with some romance mixed in. Lydia Sloan's husband is dead and now someone is after her son. Lydia runs to Sanctuary Island in search for safety, but she finds something else... danger, fear and uncertainty. Security Chief Matt Lawson has a plan... he is going to leave his position on Sanctuary Island and return to Miami to find his partner's killer. What he doesn't plan is to loose his heart to a young widow and her son. Both Matt and Lydia learn that even when we don't see Him, God is there working in our lives. Barb

Friday, November 9, 2007

A Tapestry of Hope by Tracie Peterson & Judith Miller

This is book 1 in the Lights of Lowell Trilogy. The Belles of Lowell is an earlier series set in the same community..... Lowell, Mass. These books focus a great deal on the Mill Industry in the mid to late 1800s and the workers there, especially the treatment of the Irish workers.

In Tapestry, we are given another perspective, that of the cotton grower and the Mill owners courtship of him as they seek to purchase their cotton. I really like how these authors portrayed slavery in the South.... and how they showed that while the north didn't haven't slavery, it had its own injustices. There can be no doubt that slavery was and is wrong, however, many in the north chose to turn a blind eye to it as long as it made them a profit and it stayed out of their own states.

In Tapestry, we once again see the unfair treatment of millworkers and we encounter indentured servants. While it is true, as one character points out, that indentured servants could eventually earn their freedom, for a time they were for all practical purposes slaves and often mistreated and abused.

Tapestry opens on a plantation in Lorman, Mississippi. I have to admit I got a kick out of this. I grew up in South Mississippi in an area know for tourism and its romanticism of the antebellum period. I have seen more than my share of plantation homes, slave quarters and belles in hoop skirts. My hometown is less than an hour from Lorman... I know it well. It is nothing like the Lorman found in this book. There is one plantation home there now... a Christmas tree farm (pines)... Alcorn State University.... and a building that until recently housed the Lorman General Store which was a combination store and museum (it was a wonderful treat!).

Tapestry centers around a business agreement between Mill liaison Bradley Houston and the Wainright plantations... as part of the bargain, Houston gets a wife... the young and very naive Jasmine Wainwright. Jasmine is an only girl who has rarely ventured from her family's home. She has an idealized view of not only the world unknown to here, but also her own world. Forced into a loveless marriage, Jasmine faces the task of growing up over night.

Jasmine's eyes are opened to much of the ugliness of the world and she has a choice to make... she can grow bitter or she grow closer to God. She chooses God.. eventually.

Tapestry is an interesting tale. A bit surreal at times to me. It is difficult to imagine women having no voice and being given in marriage against their will. I am looking forward to reading the other 2 books in this series very soon.