Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Release - Love arrives in Pieces - Betsy St. Amant

Dear Readers,

The Summer months are upon us and the dog days of summer are rapidly approaching.  It is time to start getting that pile of books ready to take to the beach.  There is something about the reads that you take to the beach that may or may not be a little different that what you normally read.  I know a couple people that only read romances while at the beach.  They don't know why as that is not what they really like to read, but as one of them put it, "there is something about sitting in the sun, with no time pressures or worries that makes a lovely romance the perfect fit."

Maybe that is it, but what ever the reason, Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant should be the perfect fit.  Not only is it a romance, the story of two hurting people finding each other at the right time, it is also the story of those two people working at healing together.

Stella has always known her identity.  It was her beauty.  She worked the beauty pageant circuit, but now after a divorce and age has her wondering who she really is.  She no longer feels beautiful so spends her time making things beautiful with her design work.  Her next job better come soon or she may end up living with her parents.

Chase lost his fiancee and is now living a life with no regrets.  He lives fast, trying to accomplish as much as possible.  He returns to his home town to renovate the old theater in town and finds out his old flame Stella has just been hired to do the design work.  Will their old chemistry kick in again?

Betsy's books always seem to have that element to them that leaves you thinking about things you wouldn't normally.  What is it like for an aging beauty queen?  What happens when the beauty fades and all your life you have had only that to identify yourself with.  Interesting.  So not only a romance but also a story line that will make you think.  Hmm  sounds like the perfect anytime read.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New Release - Until Shiloh Comes - Karl Bacon

Dear Readers,

Maybe it is because my father taught history for years at a local middle school, but for what ever reason, I love reading and learning history.  Now I am not interested in reading some long boring tome about history, but a novel with set in the past? Wonderful!

The Shiloh TrilogyUntil Shiloh Comes by Karl Bacon is one of those books.  It gives you a lot of history, but with a story wove throughout it to make everything come to life.  Karl sets his books during the Civil War and takes the time to do the research so that he not only gets the setting right but also the characters and their interaction with each other correct.

Stanley Mitchell is a Yankee who is wounded in the battle of Shiloh in Eastern Tennessee.  Aaron Matthews is a Confederate and is killed in the same battle.  When his mother comes looking for her son, Stanley knows where he is, but refuses to tell her where he is until they strike a bargain.  Stanley will show the family where Aaron is, if they are willing to take him home and nurse him back to heath.

Reluctantly they agree and Stanley goes home with them.  To the Matthews home, in Confederate territory, where there are people so fueled by anger at the Union army that they would rather kill a Yankee than allow him to live among them.  Was this a good decision by Stanley or is it just going to cost him his life in the end?

What an different way of looking at the war between the states.  Two young men that may or may not have been friends at one time, fighting on different sides.  Both are wounded, one dies and the other lives.  Now as the family of the one killed, would you have taken the other one in knowing it is possible that he killed your son?  Something to think about as you read.

Until Shiloh Comes is the first of a trilogy and sure to make you want to come back for more.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Christy awards

Dear Readers,

I had the privilege of attending the Christy Awards last night.  It was an awesome experience.  Not only did I share the room with the whose who of Christian fiction, but the room is filled with people with a passion for fiction.  I was blessed.

I want to congratulate any and all who nominated.  All the titles and their authors deserve to be the winner, but then again there can only be one winner in each category.

Congratulations to the winner!
 Contemporary - The Storykeeper - Lisa Wingate
Contemporary Romance - Suspense -  A Broken Kind of Beautiful - Katie Ganshert
Contemporary - Series - The Amish Blacksmith - Mindy Starns Clark & Susan Meissner
First Novel - Feast of Thieves - Marcus Brotherton
Historical - The Sentinels of Andersonville - Tracy Groot
Suspense - The Color of Justice - Ace Collins
Visionary - Once Beyond a Time - Ann Tatlock
Young Adult - Storm Siren - Mary Weber
Historical - Thief of Glory - Sigmund Brower - Also Book of the Year

If you haven't read them, do yourself a favor and get started on them now.

Happy Reading,

Monday, June 29, 2015

New Releases - June 22 - 27

Dear Readers,

The Summer reading season is in full swing.  Everyone has a chance to sit outside relaxing until twilight sets in.  I love this time of year.  We all stay up to late, enjoy each other's company and mother nature.  Of course a good book is never far away. 

Happy Reading,

Refining Fire - Tracie Peterson - #2 Brides of Seattle - Militine works at the Madison Bridal School in Seattle.  It is the prefect place for her to find from her past and not worry about romance.  No one will want to marry her because of her secret.  Thane also hides a dark secret, one he thinks might match Militine's.   Can two hurting souls help each other?

In Good Company - Jen Turano - Millie is determined to be the best nanny ever.  The problem is her playfulness and enthusiasm is not what people are looking for in a nanny.  She has one last chance to prove herself, hiring on as a nanny for Everett Mulberry, who has become the guardian of 3 children.  Will this unlikely family be able to figure out who are the most important people in their lives?

Gone without a Trace - Patricia Bradley - #3 Logan Point - Detective Livy Reynold's has never believed her cousin left town of her own accord.  When a PI from Texas contacts her with a  case eerily similar, Livy knows she maybe able finally find out what happen to Robyn.

A Bride at Last - Melissa Jagears -Silas is trying to recover for a life of poor choices.  When his estranged wife contacts him, he sees it as a chance at a fresh start.  Kate believes after Anthony's mother passes away that she will be his new parent, that is until 2 men show up claiming to be his father.

The Innocent - Ann. H. Gabhart - After the war between the states ends, Carlyn is in limbo.  The last word she had of her husband was that he was missing, but no one seems to know for sure what happened to him.  She is looking for some where to live and finds comfort with the group of Shakers in the area.

Irish Meadows - Susan Anne Mason - Courage to Dream #1 - James O'Leary will do anything to save his family home - Irish Meadows.  Even bulling his kids into marring people they don't want to.  Brianne and Colleen find themselves in situations they never dreamed and long for follow their own dreams instead.  But do you go against your father?

Love Arrives in Pieces - Betsy St. Amant - Stella and Chase know each other from a life time ago.  She went on to live in the beauty pageant world, he to live a life with his fiancĂ©e.  After being hurt they are both back home just trying to survive.  Will these two hurting people be able to help each other find love?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sharing Libraries

The Literacy Site's photo.

Dear Readers,

Can you imagine if you found this little library waiting for you when you got to the beach?  Oh happy day even if I brought I book I would find myself browsing the shelves just so see what others had left on the shelves.

I have seen pictures of more and more of these "sharing" libraries popping up everywhere.  We had one just down the street from our old house.  The lady that lived there loved to share her books with anyone who was interested and she found it a wonderful way to connect with her neighbors.  She lived on a very busy bike path and she was surprised by how many people stopped and at least looked at the books.

Some will take a book and return it later, others have taken one book while leaving a completely different one and still other, well there are some books she has never seen again.  But she doesn't care as that was point of the library, letting others read her books. 

She has talked to people who have stopped that were on a bike trip.  They had been riding for several days across and around Michigan and just happened to take the section of bike trail that went past her house.  They were so excited to see the little sharing library that they stopped to browse, my friend went out to greet them and ended up inviting them in for lunch.  It was such a unique experience and made all the work to make sure the books stay dry and safe all year round worth it. 

Last I heard she and her husband have actually made her little sharing library bigger as more and more people continue to stop by.  She is excited that something so small can have such a big impact on her neighborhood.  But we all know that books are like that all the time.

Happy Reading (and sharing),

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Susan Mason


Dear Readers,

One of my favorite things about my job is that I can read anything I want, just to get a feel for a new author.  No excuses, just saying I had to read it.:-)  Irish Meadows by Susan Mason was such a book.  I wanted to read it because it was set on a horse farm on Long Island in the early 1900’s.  America was just starting to flex its muscles, becoming the place where hopes and dreams really did come true.

James O’Leary is one of those whose hard work paid off.  He worked hard to make sure his family had enough of everything.  He did well with his horse business.  He was able to become of the rich in the area and his wife and children lived comfortably. That is until recently.  Now he is desperate to save Irish Meadows.

He starts to pressure his daughters into marrying certain men.  The girls, on the other hand, do not worry about finances, they are hoping to marry for love.  Brianna has long been in love with a young man who has lived with the family since his mother died. Her father has other plans for him also. 

I had just read a pretty heavy book and returned from a trip abroad.  I needed something that I could just enjoy and this book fit the bill.  With a beautiful backdrop and a young lady who was just feisty enough to cheer on, I had a fun time reading this book. 

The art department did a wonderful job on the cover.  They did a great job of making it eye catching so that you want to pick up the book and read about the woman pictured on the front.  Do yourself a favor, pull up a comfortable chair and enjoy.

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Release - Flying Affair - Carla Stewart

Dear Readers,

One of my all time favorite movies is Second Hand Lions. Love that movie, but one of my favorite parts of the movie is where the two older gentlemen by an airplane, fix it up and learn how to fly it.  What fun for them if not so much for their neighbors and family.  It does lead to a sad part of the movie, but I always think of how exciting to fly that must have been for them.

A+Flying+Affair
A Flying Affair by Carla Stewart has that feeling.  Mittie Armstrong has only had one great passion in her life.  Horses.  That is until barnstorming pilot Ames takes her for a ride in his plane, then her passion turns to flying.  Flying as often as she possibly can.  She finds out that her passion is also sweeping the nation because of Charles Lindbergh. 

British aviator Bobby York flies into town and offers her something that Ames has not, flying lessons.  She can learn to fly her own airplane and maybe even enter the Women's Nation Air Derby. But with all her ambition and spunk, Mittie has to decide where her heart is really leading her.

The glamour of being a barnstormer, the excitement of the first flights of aviation and of course a feisty leading lady of course that makes for a wonderful and intriguing read.

Happy Reading,