Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Death by Cashmere by Sally Goldenbaum

I am hooked!  I have fallen in love with Sea Harbor and the characters who live there... and I cannot wait to read the other 2 books out in this series and hope there are more to come!

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!

Family of the Heart by Dorothy Clark

What a sweet story.... Sarah Randolph has left her family home in the lap of luxury to travel to Cincinnati, OH to serve as a nanny for an orphaned little girl.  Her family is in no way pleased, but Sarah is determined to make a life for herself after the death of her finace'.  Clayton Bainbridge is not what she expected to meet. One minute soft the next harsh.... refusing to call his daughter by name or have her in the same room.  What is Sarah to do?  She sit by and watch Nora grow up without her Father's love and yet she could be dismissed and sent away if she interferes.  Circumstances arise that throw the three together and slowly God is able to heal hurts and brokenness and bring renewal.

Very sweet heart-tugging story from Love Inspired Historicals.

The Manning Sisters by Debbie Macomber

This is a 2 for one read... 2 of Macomber's older books republished together in one.

The Cowboy's Lady is a super fun read!  I have a friend who reminds me so much of the leading lady in this story and she is married to a cowboy!  Taylor Manning is running away to find herself... to reinvent her life after a relationship disaster. Her plan... to hold up in a Montana town and teach for 1 year.. isolated from the rest of the world.  What this city girl didn't expect was a man like Russ Palmer. From the first time they meet there is friction and chemistry. These 2 can't decide if they love or hate each other and neither knows how on earth they will survive when Taylor moves back to Seattle.

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 by Dorothy Clark

The Law and Miss Mary is part of a relatively new line of books -- Love Inspired Historical.  I have purchased Love Inspireds over the years and will continue to do so, but also like that our local library has started stocking them.

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

Downpour by James MacDonald

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.

Love Finds You In Humble Texas by Anita Higman

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.

Greater Love by Robert Whitlow

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!