Friday, December 31, 2010
Co-workers Cora Crowder and Simon Derrick barely know the other exists, but then a chance encounter at a strange vintage book store changes all that. Warner, Werner and Wizbotterdad's is far from a normal bookstore and books are not all that they deal in. Each year the booksellers host an enchanting Christmas ball in hopes of creating life long matches between couples they have brought together. Cora and Simon have NO idea what is in store for them... and neither do the booksellers, as they find Cora and Simon to be a challenge to say the least!
So will the 2 opposites find that they do indeed attract? Will they be able to set aside their differences and focus on their shared faith and the chemistry they have bubbling? Or will this match made on Sage Street be the booksellers first flop?
A totally delightful read! I gobbled it up in 2 sittings.... it is definitely one of those books you don't want to put down.
And now I am giving it away! This is my first book giveaway... a grand way to start 2011.
Here is what you need to do to enter....
Leave a comment for this blog entry. Include your name and email address (write your email like this to prevent spammers: name (at) whatever (dot) com
AND share 1 Christmas book that you have read and love. I am always looking for Christmas books for my annual Christmas readathon!
I will taken entries until midnight (CST) Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011. Then on Wednesday, I will "pull" a name from the bunch and see who wins this wonderful book!
In the first half of the book, Morgan takes this verse apart bit by bit. That might sound silly to some, after all the verse makes total sense. But there is so much more here than meets the eye. I was wowed from the start when he was able to get a chapters worth of wonderful insight from 2 simple words.. "We know"....
The second half of the book looks at other scripture that echoes the promise of Romans 8:28. I love seeing God repeat the same thing in more than one part of the Bible. Especially when the same promise is found in the Old and New Testament. It drives home how important this is to the Father.
So why learn about Romans 8:28... isn't knowing the verse enough? Well, maybe it is. But Morgan challenges the reader to do more than know it. He wants us to LIVE it.. to pray and act and love and serve and everything else according to the truth found in this verse. And in The Promise, he not only teaches us many of the treasures hidden in this Word, but he also shares ways to walk it out.
Excellent book! Mine is marked up and will be referred back to often, I am sure.
Homespun Christmas by Renee DeMarco, Birdie L. Etchinson, Colleen L. Reece & Janelle Burnham Schneider
Hope, Washington was founded a century ago by pastor Fergus McKay who came to the small logging village full of hope. Over the years that hope has died and so has the logging industry as environmental group seek more protected lands for endangered species. As the town seeks new direction, a small boy reminds them of their heritage and sparks a fire to fight to keep Hope alive.
Hope for the Holidays by Colleen L. Reece -- Sarah McKay, Hope's pharmacist, is determined to revive the town and keep it going so her son, Mike, can grow up there. Ben Macklin, the sheriff, loves Hope too and wants to see it thriving again. Can their drive and desire be the catalyst to get others involved? And will their time together spark a romance that has been lying dormant since High school?
More Than Tinsel by Janelle Burnham Schneider -- Susanna grew up in Hope and ran from their as soon as she was able. She wanted more out of life than a small town with their judgemental ways and tongues. Now she is back caring for a dear friend and finding that her perception of Hope might have been off. Will she find happiness and romance where she least expected it... in Hope?
The Last Christmas by Birdie L. Etchinson -- Walt and Dee have been married a lifetime... well, 25 years... and they are tired. Tired of the routine and each other. They have grown apart and apart is where Dee plans to stay. Walt decides they need to get away... one last chance to rekindle what they once have. And when he sees an ad for Hope's Homespun Christmas, he knows that is just the place! An old fashioned Christmas removed from the hustle and bustle. Dee is not keen on the idea, but agrees to go.. mainly to prove that their marriage cannot be revived. What she doesn't realize is love and God are waiting in Hope.
Winter Sabbatical by Renee DeMarco -- Brinn Colston is coming into her own as a reporter ... just waiting for that big break... and she knows it is coming. To her surprise, she is not sent to Chicago to cover the big story, but to some small town in Washington state to write about their Homespun Christmas. Determined to do her job and get back to civilization soon, Brinn heads off. Once in Hope she finds there is more to her assignment than she was told ... it will not be short termed. Over time she grows to love the citizens of Hope and determines to help them fight for their town. But can she keep her heart in check in the process?
A wonderful Christmas read from Love Inspired!
Simply Christmas is compiled of 4 stories centered around slowing down during the holidays and savoring the joy and truth of Christmas.
All Done with the Dashing by Pricilla Dowd -- Maggie does it all.. she cooks, cleans, shops.. she is in charge of making everyone's holiday bright. Well, no more! It is her turn to breathe and enjoy Christmas. She is determined to worship this season instead of work. Can it be done? Will her family help and will it really make a difference? This is a challenge to all of us "superwomen" who feel the need to do it all!
No Holly, No Ivy by Wanda Luttrell -- Loraine is spending her first Christmas alone and she is determined to enjoy it. After all she will have no frenzied cooking and cleaning and wrapping.. it will be easy and relaxing. She soon finds that easy and relaxing translates to boring for her.... but not for long. her neighbor (a feisty Jewish widow), the owner of a local shop she frequents (who happens to be Muslim) and an intriguing new minister in the area stir the pot and give Loraine a Christmas she will never forget. This story is respectful of the other cultures and beliefs shared without compromising the author's (and this reader's) faith. No Holly stresses the need to reach out to others and show them the love of Jesus, even when it appears they don't want it.
O Little Town of Progress by Wanda Luttrell -- Octogenarian Mary Martha is happy to live out her life in her late husband's dark old house caught up in past hurts and Charlie Justice (Mommy-to-be) is stressing about her current circumstance... specifically the expectancy of her first child. She and her husband have a plan and a baby is part of it.. but not now! A chance encounter (is there really such a thing?) brings them together and teaches both to look beyond themselves.
My True Love Gave to Me by Christine Lynxwiler -- Penny is Mrs. Christmas.. she is completely organized.. has everything mapped out to a tee! But then her husband decides they are taking Christmas on the road this year... literally! He has borrowed a friend's RV and is taking Penny and the kids on a cross country trip full of surprises. He is beyond excited, but Penny and the kids are less than thrilled. In fact, they are wondering what has happened to a normally rational man. On their journey they all learn that traditions, while wonderful, are not the key to a joyous Christmas. They will learn about true love and sacrifice and the true gift of the season.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Here are the books I have for this year's adventure... as noted I have already read (and reviewed) 3 of them.
Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska by Loree Lough (Read & Reviewed)
@HOME for the Holidays by Meredith Efken (Read & Reviewed)
The Perfect Gift by Lenora Worth (Read & Reviewed)
A Dropped Stitched Christmas by Janet Tronstad
Operation Married by Christmas by Debra Clopton
Holiday Illusion by Lynette Eason
A Season of Forgiveness by Brenda Coulter
The Christmas Journey by Winnie Griggs
and 4 Christmas Novella Collections:
Patchwork Holiday - Brunstettler, DeMarco, Mills & Reece
Homespun Christmas - Demarco, Etchison, Reece & Schneider
A Currier & Ives Christmas - Coleman, Grote, Mills & Raney
Simply Christmas - Dowd, Lutrell, & Lynxwiler
That should keep me busy between now and the end of the year! Be watching for reviews!
Rory Branagan is living life one day at a time since his wife's senseless death... just working to keep his family together and on track. The last thing he is looking for is a woman, but it seems that is what he has found... in his home... unexpectedly.
What is God doing here? Throwing two wayward souls together in the most unlikely way. Add in 2 young boys, a matchmaking grandmother, a skeptical mother, and a lost pup and you have a heart-wrenching and funny adventure to usher in the holidays.
Sam Sinclair has decided it is time to leave the nest and her older protective big brothers and head off to find her own life. After studying culinary arts, she is ready to find her niche as a chef. So she buys an RV and heads off from her Maryland home to a job in North Pole, Alaska! After traveling across country, Sam arrives to find her job has been given to someone else.
She begins seeking employment.. anything.. only to find that her timing is perfect. Bryce has inherited his family's Christmas shop and he is not happy. His Aunt Olive, who runs the show, is retiring and Bryce has no intention of working indoors with all that Christmas nonsense! He gives Olive the task of finding a manager and in walks Sam. Bryce is floored to find that Sam is Samantha.. not at all what he planned! And to top it off, Olive has given her the other half of the upstairs duplex to share with him. Could it get worse?
Well, yes, it could... because Bryce's life is about to be turned upside down and inside out in a way his hard marine heart can not imagine!
Throughout the book, the reader gets a look into the lives and minds of women from various walks of life, various seasons and backgrounds. We have women with many children... women with few... women dealing with infertility and those with unexpected pregnancies... financial struggles.. parenting difficulties... emotional, physical, and spiritual difficulties and so much more. And you can relate to them... if you are a wife and/or a mom you will definitely relate! You have either been through some of the very things they are dealing with or know someone who has.
This is a very real look at real life via the cyber world. Truly a delight to read!
We start out with Emily, an investigative reporter, returning to her home and reuniting with her old flame, Nate, over a dead body. Not the most romantic way to go about it! In book 2, Emily and Nate are once again drawn into a mystery as a friend calls on them for help concerning puzzling happenings at his hunting lodge and the death of one of his guides and in book 3 two heirs with the same name show up to collect an inheritance. Emily is determined to find the truth and the rightful heir.
These books fit my definition of a "cozy mystery" nicely. Just enough suspense and intrigue to keep your mind guessing, but light enough to be enjoyable and not scare the wits out of you!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
1022 Evergreen Place is a cute little house that has been converted to a duplex. Mack McAfee lives in one half, while Mary Jo Wyse and her infant daughter, Noelle, live in the other half. There is no doubt of the attraction between the two, but each has been through so much in the past year.. together and individually. Both are a bit hesitant to take their relationship to another level for fear they might spoil a good thing.
Enter a romance from long ago. Mary Jo has discovered some letters hidden in her side of the duplex.... love letters from World War II. She and Mack decide to discover all they can about the writer and receiver. Through their digging they discover that life is too short and love to precious to worry about the "what ifs."
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
The Red Sea Rules has 2 subtitles... 10 God Given Strategies for Difficult Times and The Same God Who Led You in Will Lead You Out.
Morgan looks at Exodus chapter 14 and gleans from it truths that most of us miss when reading. We see a story... we look at the action... but rarely do we look at the events and wonder what can I learn from this. Morgan shows us just that. Moses and the children of Israel were caught between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea... trapped.. overwhelmed... we have all been there! But God delivered them and He will deliver us too.
The Red Sea Rules shows the reader how to see God in the midst of turmoil. How to trust Him and let Him guide you. Morgan has ten strategies based on the Israelites' situation that will teach you to move from fear to faith.
An excellent read whether you are in the midst of a Red Sea moment or on the other side. A reminder that God is in control and that "the God who led you in will lead you out."
(I stated at the beginning that Morgan was quickly becoming a favorite author. I am currently reading his book The Promise based on Romans 8:28. A review will be coming soon.)
Pricilla Crumb, a widow and professional chef, has come to her son's hunting lodge to help out... permanently, she hopes! What she doesn't plan for is a guest dying after sampling one of her salmon-filled tartlets. Pricilla determines to save her reputation and find out the truth behind Charles Woodruff's death. Along the way romance is sparked for her son and for Pricilla. Maybe God has more for the rest of her life than just growing old after all!
Just as Pricilla is trying to learn to balance a long distance relationship while running the kitchen of a lodge, her favorite baker is found dead. Once again Pricilla plays amateur sleuth in a search for the truth. Can Max handle being in a relationship with such a risk taker? Or will they come to realize that it is too late to teach old dogs new tricks.
And in the final mystery, Pricilla is the emcee for a prestigious cooking contest. She and Max use this time to get away and explore the possibilities of their future. But when one of her former students is arrested for murdering one of the contest judges, Pricilla feels obligated to help out in the investigation.
The 3 mysteries in Colorado Crimes are "cozy" mysteries.. a bit like watching Murder, She Wrote (which I love!). They are well written and very entertaining and fairly clever plot lines that will keep you guessing.
I will soon be reading and reviewing another of these "cozy" mysteries -- Mainly Mysteries by Susan Page Davis and Megan Elaine Davis.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
My one negative with this book and it happens in other Christian Fiction is the lack of pointing the reader to Jesus. Meg starts going to church and cleans up her life, but there really is no mention of Jesus or of her working through her life and hurts with Him. It is like she is just all fine after she starts hanging out with church folk.
The Love Finds You series is a wonderful collection of love stories set all over the U.S. and written by different Christian Fiction authors. Bodie Thoene is well known and loved and this is the first book written by her that I have ever read. It very likely will not be the last. I know so very little about the History of Hawaii and Thoene is so thorough in her research.
Lahaina provides a story within a story. It is 1973 and Sandi Smith is trying to live a life in limbo while her husband is MIA in Vietnam. She becomes involved with a project to write a history of each state and is sent to Hawaii to do research and find her story. Sandi meets Aunt Hannah, a dear friend of the last princess of Hawaii who has written out the entire tale in great detail. Sandi is drawn back in time as Princess Kaiulani, Hannah and others watch the Hawaii they know and love be swallowed up by the United States and the monarchy placed on a shelf along with much of their heritage. As Sandi delves into Kaiulani and Hannah's stories, she finds herself also drawn into her own story. She comes face to face with the truth and need to let go and move forward.
Previous books in this series (I have only read 2 prior to this one) were fun and light-hearted, not so Lahaina. There is a depth here that spoke to my heart and made me feel as if I were there watching everything unfold. A truly wonderful book!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Death by Cashmere is book 1 in Goldenbaum's Seaside Knitters Series.
Izzy Chambers has left the corporate world to return to the quieter pace of life in Sea Harbor where she opens a knitting shop and forms a small group called the Seaside Knitters. No doubt they thought they would spend their time together knitting and talking certainly not trying to solve a murder! Izzy rents the apartment above her shop to Angelina Archer, the town bad girl, who shows up dead. The authorities feel it is a random act by a stranger passing through, but the Seaside Knitters know better and are determined to find the truth.
If you like cozy mysteries and rich eccentric true to life characters, this book is for you!
Very sweet heart-tugging story from Love Inspired Historicals.
The Sheriff Takes a Wife is the 2nd book in The Manning Sisters and is set in the same Montana town as The Cowboy's Lady. Christy Manning has come to visit her sister, Taylor, and while there she meets newly elected sheriff, Cody Franklin. Sparks fly and Christy is thrown into a turmoil of confusion. Recently engaged to a long time boyfriend, Christy has to decide where her heart belongs and who determines its fate.
Really fun stories! Macomber never lets me down.
Monday, August 9, 2010
The Law and Miss Mary is set in St. Louis in 1840. While I am not from that area, I did grow up on the Mississippi River and love tales that revolve around it and steamboats and such. It was quite easy for me to picture the setting for this story... the boats and the scoundrels that frequent the docks. But the foe Miss Mary, new to St. Louis, finds herself fighting is not on the docks... he's in the mayor's office. It seems the "fine" people of St. Louis don't like seeing the orphan children on the streets... much like "fine" people today who complain about the homeless. They want them to go away, but are unwilling to do anything to help their plight.
Mary steps in to rescue a young lad named Ben and before she knows it she has a house full of children, but there are still many more who need help. The Captain of the police feels for the children and Mary, but he has plans... to advance politically and socially... and being a do-gooder will not help his efforts... in fact, it may hinder them. When the mayor passes a law that any child under the age of 12 found on the streets without an adult shall be arrested, the Captain realizes he has to reevaluate his dreams and goals.
The Law and Miss Mary is a nice read, especially for those of us who enjoy Historic settings. This was my first encounter with the author, Dorothy Clark. I look forward to reading more of her works in the future
Friday, August 6, 2010
It has taken me a while to read through this book. You could certainly fly through it, but I decided to take my time and chew on what MacDonald had to say and to apply the various exercises he gives at the end of each chapter.
Downpour is a book about revival... renewal... refreshment... reinvigoration... and it is a book that holds no punches.
There are five pictures MacDonald paints..
God on the Throne: A Picture of Holiness
Sin in the Mirror: A Picture of Brokenness
Self in the Dirt: A Picture of Repentance
Christ on the Cross: A Picture of Grace
Spirit in Control: A Picture of Power
This is not a 5 easy steps to a better relationship with God book... in fact, I would say it is more like 5 difficult steps. But it is worth it! Downpour will lead you to look at yourself and your relationship with God in a new light. To really see God as holy... to see your sin as God sees it, not just as some little "bad" stuff you do every once in a while... to understand that repentance takes more than words.... to grasp what Jesus truly did on the cross and how that Grace still flows down today... and to realize your need for a continual infilling of the Holy Spirit to live as Christ would have you to live.
It is a wonderful book that will challenge and encourage you to seek more in your walk with the Lord.
This is the second "Love Finds You" book I have read and they were both good reads.... totally different, but both fun!
Trudie is just Trudie... no frills.. what you see is what you get.. and she is fine being that way. But then her 30th birthday rolls around and her sister, a life coach, gives her two gifts. First, sessions with her to create the new and improved Trudie and second, a date with Mason Wimberly. Trudie is less than amused, but trapped and endures the date only to find she is attracted to Mason and he appears to be attracted back!
And then it happens... a bump in the road... Trudie's sister, Lane, who went out with Mason a few times in the past decides she should have stuck with him. Trudie decides to hide her feels and step aside for Lane, but Mason is not interested in that.
It is an odd love triangle.... sort of a wonky one... that only God can work out.
Book 3 of Whitlow's Tides of Truth series was as wonderful as the first two (both reviewed on this blog in the last few months). White Whitlow does a great job of tying up some loose ends, he leaves enough hanging so that each reader can "suppose" what happens to various characters. I, for one, like that. I can place them where I want them and with whom I want them to be. :-)
Greater Love Has a powerful message of faith and of growing into who you are in Christ. He also did a wonderful job of showing how we, as individuals, influence and affect others lives in ways we are unaware.
Tami Taylor is on the threshold of her life. She is finishing up law school and will move from the security of her North GA home and family to Savannah. Will she work at an established firm where she has clerked the past summer or will she strike out with two other young female lawyers to start a firm of their own? Not only does she have two job possibilities, she has two men vying for her affection. Who will she choose or will they make that decision for her?
Add into the midst the elderly woman she stays with in Savannah who suffers from severe dementia, a young runaway with a deep dark secret, a prophetess with a message and a businessman determined to keep everyone quiet.
Greater Love is full of intrigue, romance, and faith. A lovely end to a wonderful series!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Bostonian Cassie Constantine is trying to tie up loose ends and find her new normal in life after the death of her beloved husband, Zan. One of those loose ends is there vacation house in Holiday, FL... a kitschy hamlet full of retired folks and pink flamingo studded yards. Cassie's daughter has Christmas plans, so she decides to spend Christmas there getting the house ready to go on the market. What she doesn't expect to find are friends... and adventure.... and new side of herself... and love.
This is a cute fun read... very much for those who love a good fairy tale... and the nice thing is the prince and princess in this one are mature! I like that! LOL! Nice to read about someone my age who is the heroine and not her mom!
I have already started my 2nd Love Finds You Book... and I plan to read more! I am a sucker for Cinderella and Prince Charming!
I have to confess that I love pretty much anything to do with law and legal stuff like trials etc. I am a certified paralegal... minored in Criminal Justice... toyed around with being a lawyer... am a nut for murder mysteries and legal thrillers in book, movie or television show form!
Higher Hope continues the story of summer law intern Tami Taylor. Tami comes from a very conservative rural Georgia background and has been tossed into mainstream Savannah head first. Her convictions cause a bit of warring within. I love that she does falter and struggle (as we all do) and there are times when she is able to stand firm (as we all should). Whitlow, while providing a wonderful legal tale leaving out no necessary detail, paints a very realistic picture of the struggle between the Spirit and the Natural Man.
In Higher Hope, Tami is drawn into a case that hits a bit close to home... too close. An outspoken charismatic preacher has been accused of slander and libel and the firm has been hired to prosecute her. Tami prayerfully searches for the truth and finds more than she bargained for.
Again, a wonderful book! Looking forward to book 3 in this series... Greater Love.
Friday, June 25, 2010
I don't read much secular fiction these days. Years ago I did, but over time the amount of coarse language and sex became a bit much for me and I discovered Christian Fiction. However, there are a few secular series I read with relish (anything by Debbie Macomber... the Elms Creek Quilters series by Chiaverini... the Shenandoah Album series by Emilie Richards to name a few).
This is book 2 of the Home to Blessing series. Snelling has several series that center around the fictional town on Blessing North Dakota: Red River of the North (6 books), Return to Red River (3 books), Daughters of Blessing (4 books) and Home to Blessing (2 books so far...with a 3rd releasing soon). I absolutely love all of these! They are easily some of my favorite books! I enjoy the setting, which is very "foreign" to this Southern girl, and I adore the characters who have become old friends. Each time a new Blessing book comes out I get excited to catch up on the families and meet their new neighbors and friends. It is like going back home for a visit.
So there was no doubt I would love No Distance Too Far... and I did. The focus of this series, so far, is on Astrid. A young woman who has completed medical school and is now struggling with where she should go to serve the Lord in her calling. Will she head into the jungles of Africa to work as a Medical Missionary or to an Indian Reservation near her home of Blessing where the need for medical care is great or will she go home to Blessing and serve the people there along side her sister-in-law, Dr. Elizabeth Bjorklund? Only God knows and He is not making it as clear to Astrid as she would like.
Following some advice of her mother's, Astrid decides to take a step of faith and heads to Athens, GA to attend Missionary School. There are those who believe a single woman, no matter how educated, has no business heading off into the dark heart of Africa. They advise she find a husband and try again. But Astrid pushes on... determined to complete the training there even though she has no certainty that Africa is God's plan for her.
All the while Joshua is settling in Blessing, building a home that he hopes Astrid will share with him, and wondering how to get her to settle back in ND instead of going to Africa. He is also learning that God has a plan for his life and things for him to do. Family and friends in Blessing struggle with Astrid's choice as they anticipate a new hospital and wonder how Elizabeth can manage as the area's only doctor.
It is intriguing to see all this play out on the pages of this book.. to read the thoughts and prayers of those involved... to see God's hand at work. A wonderful read. I look forward to the next book in the series!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
His thoughts will encourage and challenge... they will make you stop and think about how you pray and why... and whether or not you pray just because it is something Christians do or if you really expect an answer. He prays about everything with unabashed boldness... after all, God wants to be a part of our lives.. ALL of it.
This is not a 5 steps to a better prayer life book.. nor is it a theological tome on prayer... it is an open and honest look at prayer and how it looks in one man's life and how it could look in yours.
As I was wandering through our local library recently I saw she had a number of works out I had not read... I also noticed she had a sticker on her books that indicated she was a Mississippi writer (I live in Mississippi). I read the summary of Delta Belles and immediately knew I would like the story. 4 friend who all went to Mississippi College for Women (know as the W in Mississippi) who are now all grown and coming back together for a reunion. And I did enjoy the stories... the characters reminded me of people I knew.. much of the topics of conversation were familiar to me as they centered around places and events I know or at least know of.
But I never finished the book. I rarely.. RARELY.. don't finish a book. I will push through the worst written drivel due to some self-possessed obsession with finishing any book I start. That said.. I often never start a book if I feel I won't enjoy it... if I don't start it, I don't have to finish it. So was Delta Belles that poorly written? No.. in fact the writing is wonderful.. the characters full and real.. the story lines completely believable and uncontrived.. but there came an issue.. at first I felt I could over look it.. but as the book progressed it went from being a side line to a strong point. That issue is homosexuality.
I will not toss aside a book just because there is a homosexual character or characters... most of us know people who are gay... consider them friends... care about them. But not all of us consider the choices they make to be sin. I do. I believe with every ounce of my being that the Bible is clear on this and so, for me, reading a book that goes beyond just condoning it, but actually spends a great its time promoting it, was not a good use of my time nor something I felt best to place in my mind.
I debated not writing a review at all. I don't think I have ever written a negative review. But then I thought maybe someone would like to know ahead of time about this book. I guess is could actually draw someone to it. But it may also prevent someone from starting a good story only to feel the need to walk away from it as I did.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I am struggling with how to review this book. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it. Not so much due to writing style or such, but I think the subject matter is what caused this less than positive feeling. It is, to me, a rather depressing book from the get-go and while there are some good things that happen along the way and it is written with some upbeat happenings at the end, it still ends on a sad note to me.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I have a new author to add to my "favorites" list.. Robert Whitlow. I loved this book! I am a bit of a legal nut... contemplated law school.. have a criminal justice minor and am a certified paralegal.. I love just about anything to do with the law!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
My husband and I were there for the Dedication and Grand Opening, but there wasn't time to wander the stacks and browse through the books. So I went back last week to do just that. I brought home 3 novels to read... one of them was Georgia on Her Mind by Rachel Hauck. I had never see or heard of it. The cover caught my eye ... it just looked like a fun book.. and it was! This was one of the "funnest" reads I've enjoyed in a long time.
Macy Moore has it all... a great guy... a great career... great clothes and stuff... life is .. well, great! And then it all starts to fall apart... a demotion... a break-up... and to top it off a class reunion looming. What's a girl to do!?
This is Chick Lit at its best... faith mixed with a lot of laughter. .... a perfect book anytime, but with summer coming I have to say this would be a great beach / poolside read.
Essentially it is a series of recipes that have been wrapped in a short story of memories. Anna is the new chef at Elm Creek. She and Sylvia are cleaning out the kitchen in preparation of a major redo. Along the way, they unearth family heirlooms and treasures from Sylvia's childhood. She tells Anna stories connected with their finds.
The stories are entertaining, but truly add nothing to the richness or depth of the Elm Creek books. If you read the series and skipped this one, I don't think you would skip a beat. I may find myself wrong when I read the next book, but I truly see nothing it adds to the overall stories.
That said... there are some yummy sounding recipes in The Quilter's Kitchen, so if you like to collect recipes or cookbooks then you probably will enjoy this book.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
It was no surprise then that I was delighted to see a new Blessing series on the shelf at my local library! A Measure of Mercy is book one of the Home to Blessing series. I have savored ever word... catching up on the Bjorklund's and all their family and friends... meeting new folks... marvelling at the changes in Blessing (and those to come!)... it has been a wonderful trip and I cannot wait for future books to take me back!
Measure focuses, for the most part, on Astrid as she pursues medicine and struggles with knowing God's call on her life. Is it to return to Blessing and start a hospital with Dr. Elizabeth or to go to Africa as a medical missionary? And then there is Emmy, a precious little native American girl left in the Bjorklund's barn on a cold winter night. Who does she belong to? And Benny, a street urchin hit by a wagon who is now a double amputee at the age of 6. How will he survive with no family? Joshua Landsverk has returned to Blessing, not to farm but to find honest work, make his own way, and hopefully win the heart of that special someone he can't get out of his mind.
Life ebbs and flows in Blessing much as it does today wherever you live. There are decisions to be made... choices... that effect more than just yourself. There are lives that need someone to care for them.. those who need to be loved. There are struggles and hardships and sorrows and there are joys and happy moments to celebrate.
No doubt you can jump in with this series, but I highly recommend backing up and reading all the books connecting to Blessing. The 4 series are Red River of the North, Return to Red River, Daughters of Blessing and Home to Blessing. A complete list of books can be found at Snelling's website: http://www.laurainesnelling.com/
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Book 2 of the Sisters of the Quilt series.
I usually read Christmas stories during the Christmas season, but when I saw this book by one of my favorite authors sitting on the New Fiction shelf at the library I had to snatch it up! The Perfect Christmas is a fun, light-hearted tale of a girl whose biological clocking is roaring! Cassie is certain she is never going to meet THE guy. And to make matters worse most of her friends seem to have found their perfect mate. A Christmas card, complete with photo of her friend, Julie with her husband and 2 children ready for their perfect Christmas proves Cassie's point. Yes, she knows it is just a photo and while it looks perfect, it probably isn't. That doesn't matter. Cassie wants the look... the family to create that picture perfect Christmas card and she wants it now!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
A small book that packs a big punch! Giglio gets to the heart of the matter... our need to see God as who He really is and to see ourselves in light of that.... to realize that it is all about Him... that we can accomplish nothing of value apart from Him. This is not a book that degrades humans and makes you feel worthless, on the contrary... it is a book that frees you from having to carry the load! We have been invited to share in His-story... the greatest adventure of all time! And when life hits us hard and we question it, the answer is found in 2 simple words... I AM! Excellent book! A must read!
I adore the Elms Creek books! Each one is a gem! I was a bit skeptical when I started The Quilter's Homecoming. It veers away from the main characters and steps back in time to look at Sylvia's cousin Elizabeth and her husband, Henry. Elizabeth and Henry get married and set off to settle on a farm in California. Loaded with excitement, spirit and idealism, they make plans the whole way for their life and their farm.... only to arrive and find that there is no farm... at least not one the one they have purchased. Like many others they have been swindled and find themselves across the continent with no money and too much pride to go home. And so begins the life of secrets... they are determined never to tell their family of their shame. As they work as hired help, their relationship becomes strained and tattered... much like the quilts Elizabeth finds in the abandoned cabin they call home. Having sold her precious wedding quilts, Elizabeth sets out to repair those she has found and to make a home for her and Henry and hopefully one day their children.
This is book 1 of Woodsmall's Sisters of the Quilt series. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start another Amish series. I have read everything by Beverly Lewis and most of Wanda Brunstetter's books, but a couple of friends loved this series and recommended it so I decided to give it a try. While some parts of it seem to be typical of books based on the Amish (i.e. the struggle to decide between the Plain world and the English world), When the Heart Cries definitely has twists that are not expected. One thing I liked is the depth of the characters and the insight into their emotions and thoughts. It is difficult to give examples without giving away too much of the story, but one character is involved in a tragic accident and irrationally blames another. His reasoning is so flawed and yet so human and much as any one of us might create. This made the Amish seem more real and more like the rest of us.. not as different as they often seem. It is definitely a story of secrets and poor decisions and misunderstandings that lead to heart break. But it is also a story of hope and while the end leaves you hanging, there is a sense that thigns will come together one day.
I am a big Macomber fan, as I am sure I have stated here before. Her Cedar Cove novels were the first of her works I read and are still favorites. 92 Pacific Boulevard is book 9 in the series (which really needs to be read in order). It was so much fun to go back to Cedar Cove and visit with old friends, get to know some of them a bit better and meet a few new ones. Sheriff Troy Davis is still struggling with his love for Faith Beckwith, but is it too late to make up for his foolish actions? In the meantime, Faith has become the target for some malicious vandalism and is considering leaving Cedar Cove. Maybe it was a mistake to move here in the first place. Olivia Griffin is fighting cancer with grace and the support of her many friends in Cedar Cove. And there are babies on the way.... triplets! Life is never dull in Cedar Cove!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Preparing for Jesus is an devotional for the Advent and Christmas Season. Readings begin December 1 and go through January 7, the day after Epiphany. Wangerin focuses on different characters from the Christmas story. Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, the Angels, the Magi, Elizabeth, Zechariah, Simeon, Anna and of course Jesus allowing the reader to get a view of Christmas from the original event. It truly is at times like you are right there in Bethlehem. This is a wonderful way to get your heart in tune and focused on Jesus during a world centered time of year. I just found a copy on Paper Back Book Swap for my daughter so she can read along with me next year! I suggest looking for copies now while Christmas books are on sale.