Saturday, December 26, 2009

Forever Christmas by Christine Lynxwiller

Typically I read Christmas themed novels from Thanksgiving to January 1. I have only been able to read 1 this year! Forever Christmas is a charming fun novel set in Jingle Bells, Arkansas... a community I had no trouble imagining! In fact, I would love to visit there one day.

Jingle Bells saved a young Kristianna Harrington and now she is determined to save Jingle Bells. Summer Valley Corp. wants to move in, providing much needed jobs and revenue for this dying town, but part of the bargain is a name change. As it is all the business have a Christmas Theme.. Candy Cane striped bowling pens at the bowling Alley, businesses with names like Blizzard Barbecue, Reindeer Games and Toy Story, and Snow Place Like Home Pet Boarding. Even Kristianna owns a Christmas themed business, a shop she inherited from her grandmother called Forever Christmas.

It seems preposterous that the name change would fly.... but then the town starts to split as some see the increase of income and others hold on to the traditions of the past. The addition of Jingle Bells newest residence, Shawn Webber, attorney for Summer Valley doesn't help.

Kristianna's emotions are on a roller coaster and she feels she is fighting an uphill battle as more and more lean towards the change. When she is betrayed by one of her nearest and dearest, she isn't sure she can continue the fight. Change is not something she likes and it appears everything she holds dear and true is changing right before her eyes.

Lover's Knot by Emilie Richards

My reading time has been very limited the past month of so. I seem to either be running here and there or just too tired to read. Hopefully that will change in 2010!

I recently read the 3rd book in Emilie Richards' Shenandoah Album Series. A friend told me about these books. We are both quilters and the titles are quilt pattern names, plus a quilt or quilting plays into the storyline a bit.

I really enjoyed Lover's Knot. It was different than the earlier books in several ways, one being that portions of the book jump back in history to tell the story of someone who migrated to the Toms Brook area. It was easy to compare the character from the past, Leah, with the current day character, Kendra, whose husband is Leah's grandson. Both women suffered losses in their lives. Both had plans that were drastically changed by a sudden tragic event. Both persevered and became stronger as a result.

Kendra needs a break. She needs to get away from the city.... from her life... from her husband, Isaac. She chooses to spend time in an old cabin in the Shenandoah Valley that her husband inherited from his grandmother. Isaac was adopted as a child and knew nothing of his biological family and really wants nothing to do with them. Kendra, on the other hand, is drawn to the cabin in the woods and to the woman who lived there. She senses a story that needs telling.

The discovery of 2 skeletons in a cave... an odd quilt with mysterious names embroidered on it... and the cabin bring change to both Kendra and Isaac's lives. Change that is exhilarating at times and painful at others, but in the end ... change that is needed.. required.

A beautiful story of seeking the truth and finding that no matter what you find, it really does set you free. A story of learning what is really important in life. Of reconnecting.... renewal....reconciliation...revival.