Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Falling for You Again - Palmer & Chapman

This is book 3 in a four book series by Catherine Palmer & Gary Chapman. Chapman is a note counselor and author best known for his Five Love Languages book. This series is based on his nonfiction work, The Four Seasons of Marriage.

This is another one of those series that I love! There are so many good books in the Christian market today! Don't you love it!?

Falling once again takes the reader to Deepwater Cove in the Ozark Mountains where we find our old friends and neighbors Cody Goss, the Hansens, Peter Roberts and Patsy, and especially Chalie and Esther, who are somewhat the focal point of this book. Married almost 50 years, Charlie and Esther are more in love today than ever... though life is changing for them. Charlie has retired, their kids live far away, but they keep busy with a variety of activities as they find themselves in the Autumn of their life together with Winter approaching much quicker than they want.

Esther's bouts of forgetfulness, mishaps with her car and a startling diagnosis take them to a place none of us ever want to be... the reality that we may one day loose our spouse.

And in the midst of their troubles, love is in the air for other residents of Deepwater Cove. But that is as it should be... in the waning days of Autumn when Winter is nipping the air, we find hope in the knowledge that Spring will follow.

Excellent series.. the final book will be out this Spring.

Just Shy of Harmony - Philip Gulley

This is the second book in Gulley's Harmony series. Harmony is small town USA and the folks who live there are all characters! Sam Gardner is the pastor of the Quaker fellowship there and he is completely burned out and in the midst of a crisis of faith... or lack of it! Wayne Fleming's wife left him and their children and now that he has found the hope of new love with Deena Morrison, Sally Fleming is back asking for forgiveness. Jessie and Asa have won the lottery and struggle with what to do with their new found wealth... and their church friends have plenty of suggestions including a new gymnasium, shoes for Choctaws and Scripture eggs to name a few. Life is never dull in Harmony, but it is trying at times.

Gulley's books are delightful visits that warm your heart and stir your soul.

Meeting Her Match by Debra Clopton

This is one of my favorite series from Love Inspired! Debra Clopton's Mule Hollow series. Just the name is enough to peak your interest! Mule Hollow is a small town in the dusty back country of Texas. Far from civilization and women! Some time ago an idea was born and took flight...their cowboys are lonely, so they send out an ad for wives.

Meeting Her Match is the fifth Mule Hollow book. Sheri Marsh came to Mule Hollow with her friend, Laci, to start a beauty salon. She wasn't looking for a beau, although she found one... and then he broker her heart. So she is definitely done with men now. That is until Pace Gentry comes to town. God has moved Pace to Mule Hollow to work with a friend breaking horses. Use to being a long, Pace is not interested in matrimony. But Pace doesn't know about the town biddies and their goal of marrying every one off! And when they set their sights on Sheri and Pace, fireworks fly!

Like the previous Mule Hollow books, this one is full of fun and packs a lesson on faith along the way.

I have one more Mule Hollow book in my to read box.... and I am going to savor every bit of it.. in case there are no more!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Buring Heart Contract by Becky Tirabassi

I just finished working through this book in my quiet time. The subtitle says it is "A 21 day challenge to ignite your passion and fulfill your purpose." I can tell you that it takes abit longer than 21 days. There is an introduction section that explains the history of the Buring Heart Contract and prepares you for what lies ahead. Then there is the 21 day section. And finally a follow-up that helps you write your own contract, if you feel led.

Without a doubtm Tirabassi does strive to ignite the reader's passion by pouring out her own. This is a woman who loves the Lord and has such a desire for everyone to know Him fully. She challenges us to walk boldly with Christ, to list for and hear his voice, to received counsel with a teachable spirit, to love God deeply no matter the cost, to believe in His holiness above all else and to passionately share Christ with others.... and she presents ways to do that... to live that separate life that God calls us to.

As you read this book you are given bits of wisdom, rooted in scripture, and daily challenges to help bring you to this point in your walk. The challenges aren't difficult.. sometimes they are to pray about a specific aspect of your walk.... to journal a bit... to read scripture... all they tend to take is a bit of time and openess on your part.

This is most definitely a great book for college age and even mature youth, as it will help get them off on the right foot as they start this journey... but it is also good for those of us beyond those years. It is never to late to ignite passion... to refire your heart and renew your purpose.

Front Porch Princess by Kathryn Springer

I have no idea how long this book has been hiding under my bed (along with a zillion other to-be-read-one-day books!), but when I went searching for something light and cute that wouldn't tax my tired brain, I knew this was it! Just look at the title... Front Porch Princess.. the subtitle... Confessions of an ex-beauty queen... and the cover art... this was not going to be a book that in any way made me think! Little did I know....

Princess starts out innocently enough as a bit of fluff and puff.... lots of snickers and giggles as I pictured the various characters in this small town and the situations that unfold for Elise... I mean imagine getting a notice in the mail that someone has nominated you for a Proverbs 31 Woman Pageant! Is there a woman alive who isn't a tad afraid of the Proverbs 31 woman?

What I didn't expect to find was a story that dealt with letting go of our past.... embracing what is right before us... all the blessings God gives us that we ignore because life didn't really go the way we planned. It's about letting our children grow up and be who God wants them to be and not necessarily who we think they should be. It's about being comfortable in our own skin and not having to be perfect all the time.

Yes, this book is fun and will make you laugh, but it will definitely make you stop and say "Hey, do I do that?" It is a bit like the Mary Poppins theory that a spoonful of sugar helps the medcine go down. In this case, a book full of fun helps the conviction fall.

There is a book 2 being released this year... in March or May I believe. And I will most definitely be getting it! It focuses on one of the "side" character in Princess... and I can see at least 1 (if not 2) other characters that need their own book too! So I am hoping Springer has their stories in the works!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Acts of Violets by Kate Collins

Well I have now read all the Flower Shop Mystery books... at least all that have been published so far! I have no doubt there will be a new one coming out in 2008 and I can't wait! These really are such fun reads and I love the main character, Abby Knight. She is what she is.. a law school flunky who loves flowers and is too nosey for her own good!

In Acts of Violets, Abby is confronted by a clown (her childhood fear!) at the local Pickle Fest. Before she can put the incident behind her and enjoy the Fest, Abby's fella, Marco, is disappears. Her day off is not going as planned, but tomorrow is going to be much worse! Snuggles the clown is murdered and Marco is the main suspect. Abby has to go into PI mode to solve the case before Marco is hung out to dry... and she has to meet him mother in the process! What's a girl to do!?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Snipped in the Bud by Kate Collins

When I discover a series I like I tend to read book in the series that has been published. I have been doing that with the Flower Shop Mysteries. I have one more to go and I will be all caught up! There hasn't been a bad book in the bunch! I have enjoyed each one. This is not deep reading... it is escape from the pressures of life in a hot bath reading. And lately I have needed a lot of that!
Each of these books picks up where the previous one left off. In Snipped, Abby receives an order for a black rose to be delivered to her law school nemesis, Professor "Snapdragon" Puffer. With hopes of finding him off to lunch, Abby heads to his office with her delivery. The decision to linger a bit turns out to be a bad one when Abby finds herself face to face with the fierce Dragon. As she flees his wrath, she runs into Professor Reed, who recently had her arrested for protesting animal rights at a local lab. Could this day get any worse? Yes! Determined to retrieve the rose (Dragon tossed it in the trash) and a bit of her dignity, Abby marches back up to his office to find Reed dead and she quickly becomes the prime suspect. This time Abby isn't playing amateur PI to help out a friend or because she is nosey by nature, this time it is life and death... hers!

Dearly Depotted

I really am enjoying the Flower Shop Mystery series by Kate Collins. They are fun to read and a great way to relax and escape a bit. In dearly departed, Jillian is trying to make it down the aisle again (the last time a groomsman ended up dead before the wedding!) This time all the attendants make it to the wedding alive and well, but then during the wedding an unexpected guest pops up dead! What's a girl to do? Fortunately Jillian's cousin, Abby, is there. Abby is owner of Bloomers flower shop and an amatuer sleuth (a.k.a. nosey to a fault!). When her assistant's fella becomes the prime suspect, Abby decides to find out who killed Jack in the pulpit and she needs to do it quickly!