Saturday, February 27, 2010

Melody Carlson

Dear Readers,

As Young as You Feel by Melody Carlson has a bit of a different feel to it than some of her other books. It isn't overly gritty like some, but it is not a little read like others. It takes on 4 different women who have gone through four very different life experiences and yet they are all friends.

The four Linda club started in 1st grade. When the girls found out that they all had the first name, they started a club, started using their middle names and hanging out together. By high school they had grown apart because of different interests and focuses.

When they are all reunited at their 35th class reunion they find it fun to laugh together again. Until Cathy, one of their fellow classmated, dies at the class reunion. They all start rethinking where they are in their lives and those things that maybe need changes.

Marley is still recovering from a bitter divorce, Abby and her husband look like their marriage is perfect, Janie lost her husband and both parents within a few short months of each other, and Caroline has become disillusioned with life in Hollywood. Can these four very different friends help each other? What will make each of them happy again?

I have always loved Melody's books. They are each so unique and yet they all have something to tell or teach. Whether it is her teen books or her adult books, they are good stories. This one is no different. If you have a weekend while everyone is busy and you want a good story to disappear in... this is a great choice.
Happy Reading

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Debbie Viguie'

Dear Readers,

The Lord is my Shepherd is the first book by Debbie Viguie' that I had heard of. So I went on to see what I could learn. I found she has written several books for teens and this looked like, at least to me, her first book for adults.

First let me say, this is a pretty good book. She does have a bit to work on with character interaction. Cindy "jumps" too often and Jeremiah seems a bit too jaded for a rabbi of only 2 years. But those are things she can work on and iron out. The book itself held my attention and I found myself interested all the way to the end.

Cindy literally trips over a dead body as she enters church on the Monday before Easter. (What a bad way to start a Monday.) Little does she know the events her discovery will set off. The Passion week killer has struck before and now he is in town making a statement. Cindy and Jeremiah, her own "Good Samaritan" are following the clues and digging up ideas, even though detective Mark warns them to stop. When it seems like Cindy is the one that the killer is performing for, she starts to dig even farther to understand what he really wants.

In a very twisted way, the killer is making Passion week more real to everyone. He is preforming for someone or some reason that no one can quite understand. There is one person who knows, but he isn't talking.

Like I said this isn't a complicated mystery. I think it is one that would be easy to read in between the intense mysteries I normally read. :-) I do have a couple other complaints about it, but if I write about them it would give the entire book away, so if you want to know email me and I will tell you. Otherwise this is worth a read on a snowy weekend.

Happy Reading

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beth Pattillo

Dear Readers,

This is the second book in which Beth Patillo takes on the "Formidables". In Mr Darcy Broke My Heart we are off again to England with another person who doesn't think that highly of Jane Austen or her writing. Which of course is why I started reading these books to begin with. They have changed my mind a bit about Jane, but I am pretty safe in saying I don't think any of hers will ever be my favorites.

Claire heads for Christ Church in Oxford, England. She has to present her sister's paper on Pride and Prejudice as Missy is have complications with her pregnancy. Claire is only happy to go to help her sister out, something she has been doing since their parents were killed in a car accident. Besides how hard can it be? If Claire only knew.

The first day there she meets Harriet, a slightly off senior citizen, who claims to have the original manuscript of Pride and Prejudice. Before it became that title it was known as First Impressions. (This is a fact, even though no known copies of the manuscript exist) Claire is intrigued, but doesn't believe that the manuscript is real. She gets caught up in the story itself and how different it is from the story that is so beloved by millions of readers. As Claire gets more and more into the story she finds her own life unraveling and she isn't sure how to make it stop. Who can Claire trust? How about James, her own Mr Darcy, is he trust worthy? What abut the guy at home, Neil?

I really am enjoying this series by Beth. I will admit that I have likes several of her other books, The Knit Lit Book Club among them, so I am sure that is part of it as I like her style of writing. I do think I can safely say that I like the storyline of this book. It is loads of fun, and ah to be in England in the summer. This book doesn't take you around England like Jane Austen Ruined My Life did, but I still want to go and visit Oxford and do a walking tour of different author's homes. Oh well until then I will need to just read about it.

Happy Reading

Friday, February 19, 2010

Deborah Raney

Dear Readers,

I have got to tell you that I was very excited to see that this book came back in print. It is the book that made me a fan of Deborah Raney. It went out of print a few short years afterwards and I had to stop recommending it other than to say if you can find it in Used Books. It was one that didn't stay there long as a lot of people were always looking for it.

Beneath a Southern Sky is not an easy read, but oh so good. It doesn't have a great mystery or such to it, just a huge moral dilemma. Daria returns from the mission field after her husband goes missing and is presumed dead. She moves on with her life, raising her daughter as best she can. She slowly heals and finds love again with Colson, the veterinarian she works for. Once they marry she believes her life is finally perfect. That is until a telegram arrives... "Nathan Camfield found alive. Flying in K.C. int'l via Bogota." Now what does she do. She has two husbands.

Now maybe you can understand why I liked this book. Some of you may have read it already, be forewarned it has a new cover. But if you haven't it is well worth the read.
Happy Reading

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bette Nordberg

Dear Readers,
Genoe Bay is Bette Nordberg's first book in a couple of years. I don't know why it took so long, but I am glad she is back.

Brandy flies quickly to Vancouver Island in British Columbia to see Maggie, the woman who took her in after she ran away from home when Brandy was 16. When she finds out she inherited Maggie's bed and breakfast, Brandy sees it as a chance to start again.
Several of the locals are glad to see her, but the local developer is not. The house is going to require a lot of work before she can open or even live there comfortably. As Brandy moves forward she begins to doubt she heard God correctly and wonders if she should even stay and finish what she started. Can she trust the guys who are contracted to work for her? Does Cliff actually want to help? Or is he just pretending to help? Who can she trust?

A very interesting read and one that did keep me up late on a couple nights. Not many books do that anymore. I need my sleep you know. :-)

I will be looking for Bette's next book.

Happy Reading

Monday, February 15, 2010

JIll Marie Landis

Dear Readers,

Jill Marie Landis is an author I wasn't familiar with. She is well known in the romance readers market. She has won and been nominated for several awards. So to say the least I was curious about her writing style.

Heart of Stone is written right in JIll's comfort zone, historical romance. We meet Lovie when Lovie is awakened by her Aunt and Uncle arguing about what to do about her and her sisters. Ever since they had gone to live with Maddie and Timothy they have made the girls feel like a burden. Lovie's mother made her promise to take care of her sisters before she died and now Lovie isn't sure she will be able to do that. Uncle Timothy has announced that he has made arrangements for them all, but in different places.
When we join Lovie again she is now going by the name of Laura and she is trying to put her past behind her. She owns a lovely boarding house and tells everyone that she is a widow whom her husband left with little money and needed to support herself. Once she meets Pastor Brand she knows that she can not fall in love with him because she would be the ruin of him and his reputation if anyone found out who and what she was.

This is not a light romance. Some of the subject matter can be heavy. Lovie's childhood is not the best, but it does set the stage for the book. It is also what made me think a bit of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It is the same concept of someone who doesn't believe they are lovable and yet we are all pursued by God.

With Spring Break and Summer vacations (yes eventually the weather will warm up), I feel like this book would be a great read for sitting on the beach or by a pool. Of course you must include a glass of lemonade or ice tea.
Happy Reading

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jennifer Allee

Dear Readers,

The Pastor's Wife by Jennifer Allee is not her first book. The Love of His Brother was released in '07 and I am sorry to say I missed it. If it is as good as Pastor's Wife... I am going to try to track it down and read it.

Maura Sullivan ran away from home 6 years ago. She fled a husband who had put her last, behind his new congregation and a town she didn't feel welcomed in. She swore she would never go back. But Miss Hattie and God had other plans for her. Miss Hattie left Maura the town's old run down theater, the Music Box, to renovate and run. But there is a catch, she must live in town, at the parsonage with Nick, her husband, for 6 months. Is it worth it?

Maura decides to stay and make a go of it. She really doesn't have any other choice as her life in California seems to be at a dead end. She is ready for a new start even if it means that she will move back to this little backwater town in Ohio.

This is one of those feel good books that easily can be turned into a Hallmark Channel movie. It has it all, a light romance, a small town and stress between the hero and heroine. It is just a nice to story to read. It won't make you lose any sleep, but it still is well worth the read. I read it between two intense mysteries and it was nice to relax and enjoy.

Happy Reading

Friday, February 5, 2010

Don Hoesel

Dear Readers,

I read Don Hoesel's first book, Elisha's Bones, and found it a bit of a stretch for me. You can check out my review on my blog if you are interested in that. I only started Hunter's Moon because a friend of mine asked me to read it and give my opinion. I am glad they recommended it. It is a much better written book, with a tighter story, better characters and a storyline that is more relevant to readers. It will make you glad for the family you have.

CJ Baxter has a past and a family he wishes he could forget about. He left town years ago and has never been back. In fact he made plans of never returning. But when his beloved grandfather passes away, he feels he should return to show respect for the one man who kept in contact with him over the years. It does help that his life in Franklin, TN is falling apart and about to get worse, he just broke into his own house to steal his dog back from his soon to be ex-wife. Maybe it is best to just get out of town for a couple of days... er, weeks.

Graham Baxter is running for a Senate seat. He is hoping to fulfill the one dream of his family that no one else has been able to do: hold public office. The Baxter family would like to be the next Kennedys and have a dynasty. He isn't going to let anything or anyone to stand in the way of achieving his goal, even if the black sheep of the family returns to mess things up.

This book really seems to have it all. Murder, mayhem, political intrigue, romance (just a little), and family dynamics. I found myself caught up in the story and noticed that I didn't want to lay the book down a couple of times.

For my Librarians this would make a good guy book, but it is for anyone looking for a good story.

Happy Reading