Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ann Tatlock

Dear Readers,

Once Beyond a Time by Ann TatlockOnce Beyond a Time by Ann Tatlock won the Christy award last year for Visionary category.  Visionary would be fantasy/sci fi.  Now I had never heard of this book and yet Ann is one of my favorite authors.  So of course I went looking for it and found a different type of book for Ann.  It's a book that I did enjoy. I had to get past the fact that it was Ann and I was used to her writing issue-driven books, usually contemporary or historical.  In Once Beyond a Time, she kind of combines all of those genres together.  This is a book set in the 60’s with parts happening in 1919 and others happening in 2005.  It makes for a very difficult plot line to explain. 

Meg and Sheldon have moved their family to a small town in Black Mountain, NC.  Sheldon has had an affair. It has cost him his job as a pastor and it is almost costing him his family.  His teenage daughter is angry and not afraid to let everyone know it.  His wife is hurt and unable to forgive him for his transgression.  The only one that sees the move as an adventure is his youngest, “Digger.”  Digger loves the new house and acreage they have moved to.  He is also the first to experience what is wrong with their house.  His new friend Mac?  Oh, he lived in the early 1900’s and yet he and Digger hang out together all the time. 

Each member of the family has a ‘ghost’ friend.  One only they can see.  One that they can visit with and talk to about what is going on, even if they do not fully understand why they can see each other.  As Meg and Linda dig deeper into why this is happening they discover an old folk lore that there are places in the Black Mountains where all of time is happening at once and that is why they can meet people from the past or future.   They are told it is God’s gift to them.  But they are not sure why.

Okay, I know that sounds like a very strange plot, but it really does work.  I found myself drawn into each storyline and really enjoying how they interacted with each other.  I also was glad that Ann stayed away from the idea that if those in the past could find something about the future it would make them rich or powerful.  That is an old and very tired plot.  Instead she used those visitors to help in other ways.  They became a sounding board.  They became a close friend that had different experiences but yet could be the one who understood the most. 

I will admit that I was a bit dubious when I first started the book, but I found myself drawn in and wondering how Ann was going to draw this all together.  She does a good job of making sure we understand that time is not the point of the story, but forgiveness.  No matter what time or age you live in, forgiveness and grace are gifts from God and we need to make use of them.

Happy Reading,  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New Release - Renovating the Richards - Virgina Smith

Dear readers,

I am always looking for those sweet little stories that you can share with many different readers.  I think Virginia Smith's series, Tales from the Goose Creek B&B, is just such a series.  Light hearted, cute and just fun to read this series makes you want to move to Goose Creek just to join the neighborhood.

Book#2, Renovating the Richardson finds Millie still busily getting the Bed and Breakfast ready and all Al seems to find to do is write the checks.  When Millie volunteers him to be one of the managers for the team for the inter-county softball team.  The team is terrible and the only way to make them even a little better is to have Justin play.  The problem?  Justin doesn't live in town.

That is where the rumors and gossip really starts going.  Not only is there rumors about Justin and the new vet, but the new massage parlor is really getting them going.  Will cooler head prevale?  Will the softball team keep from embarrassing themselves?  Will the B&B ever get done?

Life is a small town is never dull.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New Release - The Peacock Throne - Lisa Karon Richardson

Dear Readers,

I always enjoy finding new authors to read.  With the romantic suspense genre doing so well, it has been interesting to see the different ways that authors wade into those waters.  In fact historical romantic suspense is a growing category, which adds a nice twist to the original category.

The Peacock ThroneLisa Karon Richardson has joined the fun with The Peacock Throne.  It is a romance that has a very interesting mystery about a throne that was stolen years before.  Two men are murdered on the same night.  Two very different men with no connection to each other one an earl and the other in the seedier side of London. But as Lydia Garrett digs deeper into her guardian's death, she realizes that the two men are connected.

Years earlier they stole the Peacock Throne and it looks like the murderer is trying to find that throne.  Lydia enlists the help of the Earl's son, Anthony, to help her find the Throne and hopefully draw the murderer out.  That is unless they are killed along the way.

With the back drop of not only England in the 1800's but different places around the world, this story has a wonderful setting along with a intriguing storyline.  Not only do you get to solve a mystery, you get to wander around discovering new places along with interesting people.  It makes for a delightful and interesting read.

Happy Reading,

Monday, February 8, 2016

New Releases - February 1 - 6

Dear Readers,

It seems to be feast or famine for new releases.  Right now we have loads of new books and I am anticipating several new titles.  Some I have read already, and others I can hardly wait to start.  I am sure you can find more than one title to put on your TBR list.

Happy Reading,

Hannah's Choice - Jan Drexler - #1 Journey to Pleasant Prairie - Blaming herself for a tragedy that struck her family years earlier, Hannah feels she is is responsible to keep them happy.  Two young men are asking her hand, one who promises her a happy home and one who promises adventure into the west.

Change of Heart - Courtney Walsh - Evelyn's perfect life falls apart when her senator husband is arrested for embezzlement.  To make matters worse, he is not even sorry other than getting caught.  As she withdraws from society, her friends in the Valentine Volunteers group refuse to let her give up. 

Keeper of the Stars - Robin Lee Hatcher - A King's Meadow romance - Two very different people come together at King's Meadow to find relief for the grief they have suffered.  Penny in the loss of her mother followed by her younger brother.  Trevor because of the loss of the drummer in his band. 

The Prophetess: Deborah's Story - Jill Eileen Smith -  Daughters of the Promise Land - As an Israelite women, Deborah plans on marring and raising her family in the way.  But God seems to have other plans for her.  Will she be able to do what God is asking of her? 

The Peacock Throne - Lisa Karon Richardson - When Miss Lydia Garrett's guardian is murdered, and the authorities refuse to investigate the odd circumstances, she vows to catch the culprit. The same night the Earl of Danbury is murdered in his bed. Against all odds it appears that the murders are related - and Anthony Douglas, the new Lord Danbury, is bent on revenge. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Celeste Fletcher McHale

Dear Readers,

I was really interested in getting started on The Secret toHummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale.  I had heard a couple different quick reviews of it with mixed comments.  One person loved it and one was surprised by it (not in a good way).  So I really wanted to find out what they had. 

What I found was a book that I can't wait to share with you.  One that seems to be the type of book I have been looking for in the Christian market.  One that seems to start out as a cute little book about friendship and ends up being one that makes you wonder how, at the end of a book, you can be so emotionally attached to the characters. 

Carrington, Laine and Ella Rae have been friends since 1st grade.  It all started when Laine came to their school and was getting bullied.  Ella Rae took it upon herself to defend her, and the rest is history as they say. 

SecretToHummingbirdCake_CoverImageThe trio has been through many ups and downs together. They have always been there for each other, whether they agreed with what the other one was doing or not.  Their personalities are all very different and yet they are closer than sisters.  You do not see one without the other two close behind, even into adulthood.  Husbands know that if you marry one, you have to include the others in many of your get-togethers.  They are family.

Know that when I started to read this book, I thought it was going to be a fun read about the adventures of 3 women and their very special friendship.  I think most women long for a friendship like that, which is why we read about them so much. J  But what I got once I started was so much more than that.  

Now the back cover does not go into details of the storyline I am speaking of so I am also going to respect that and let you find out for yourself what I am talking about.  Just know I spent many moments laughing out loud at the fun times these women had together, but I also spent some of my time hiding behind the book because I knew nobody else sitting around the pool would understand why I was suddenly crying. 

It is a book about women and the friendships we all crave.  It is a book that will make you want to go out and hug all your friends and it is a book that will stick with you long after you are finished. 

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

New Release - Always Watching - Lynette Eason

Dear Readers,

Lynette Eason is one of the authors that has lead the romantic suspense genre to the top of the fiction lists.    She continues to prove over and over that she deserves all the positive press and reviews.  She has a huge fan following and will continue to add to it with books like Always Watching.  The newest release and the start of a new series.

The Elite Guardians are much sought after by those looking to protect themselves and/or their loved ones.  Wade Savage is a popular psychiatrist and radio personality.  He also has a stalker.  His father hires the Elite Guardians to keep the stalker at bay.  But when the Guardian is attacked and almost killed, agency owner, Olivia is brought in.

Olivia's skills are quickly tested as the stalker gets more and more brazen.  Moving from small innocent gifts to threats to Wade's loved ones.  Olivia must used every ounce of her defenses to keep them both safe.  But who will keep her heart safe?

A delight to read, Lynette is one of those authors I love to be able to recommend because I know that her books are well written and well researched.  That is what makes them so fun to read.

Happy Reading,