Friday, December 8, 2017

The Paper Bag Christmas, book #23


Sweet story in the end, but didn't care for the telling of it ...

Dr. Christopher Ringle is the last person you'd expect to find moonlighting as Santa Claus at the mall on the day after Thanksgiving. But it is there that he meets a young man named Molar Alan, who desperately needs a new perspective on the underlying value of Christmas. Dr. Ringle recruits Mo and his older brother as volunteers at a nearby children's hospital for the holiday season. At the hospital, Mo is tasked to help bring holiday cheer to the young cancer patients on the fifth floor. His biggest challenge is befriending a decidedly angry girl who is so embarrassed by her scarred appearance that she hides her face behind the safety of a paper bag. Almost in spite of himself, Mo finds that Christmas joy emanates from a source far greater than the North Pole, while the young girl learns that she is more beautiful than she had ever imagined.(Picture and description from amazon)

Wonder is up my stocking next?

Happy Reading!

O:)

Melissa

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Quilted by Christmas, book #22


This my second Christmas book was an ok book, I liked the plot but surprisingly I did not like the extra details she had in it.  Normally I'm a "the more the better" when it comes to details to help me smell it, hear it, feel it, etc but the details she wrote about were more superficial.  It took me a while to get started with it, but I'm glad I stuck it out!

Taryn McKenna believes she's easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches. When Taryn's grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have? (picture and description at amazon)

Looking forward to our Christmas Novella for Book Club next week!

O:)
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Christmas at Carnton, book #21


Sigh.  I loved this book.  There was so much in here that I loved and I'm so glad Robi picked it for us to read.  

I love Christmas.  I love Civil War stuff when written from the Confederate side.  (Not trying to pick battles here, just a personal choice)  I love that this is written about a place just down the road from me.  I love that she tied in real people (with poetic license I am sure) with the characters.  I love that the author lives right here in my town.  I love the redemption that book held for Aletta.  I love the descriptive details she used when writing.  I'm pretty sure I'd love that sweet Andrew, as I can just imagine his light brown hopping up and down as he and Winder ran around the farm, similar to brother's hair when he was young like that. I am also pretty sure I'd love Tempy and can imagine she gives some of the best hugs of comfort, despite how life has treated earlier.  

In short, I highly recommend this book!


Amid war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas - and of sacrificial love.  Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son. With the bank threatening to evict, she discovers an advertisement for the Women's Relief Society auction and applies for a position - only to discover it's been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity - and friendship. But can Aletta trust this man? Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffered a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Women's Relief Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of "crinolines" isn't his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies - one, in particular - is far more than he bargained for. (picture and description from Amazon.com)

Happy Reading!
O:)
Melissa

Friday, November 3, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express, book # 20


After truly enjoying my first Agatha Christie book back in December 2013, I knew I wanted to read another one at some time.  Well, that sometime came now when I found out they were making a movie of this classic.  Even though I start reading Christmas books in November, I decided to squeeze this one in beforehand, and indeed I am glad I did!  

The beautiful language, the descriptive storytelling, the thought that goes into this, the page turning excitement!  I hope to read more Agatha Christie books - and I hope it won't be another four years! - but I'm not sure I could read them back to back.  I am definitely going to see this movie next Friday when it comes out!!  I only hope I am not disappointed!

“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”
 Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.
 Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.
 “What more . . . can a mystery addict desire?”—New York Times 
(picture and description from amazon)


And now, on to Christmas!!

Happy Reading!

O:)
Melissa


Friday, October 20, 2017

Traces of Guilt, book #19

Good book.  Good choice for Book Club.  Highly recommend it.


Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police detective . . . mostly. She's very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job. Gabriel Thane is a lifetime resident of Carin County and now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he's sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have.  When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it's to help launch a new task force dedicated to reexamining unsolved crimes across the state. Spearheading this trial run, Evie will work with the sheriff's department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she reexamines old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths a surprising connection . . . possibly to a third cold case. Evie's determined to solve the cases before she leaves Carin County, and Sheriff Thane, along with his family, will be key to those answers.  (photo and description amazon )

Because there are so many Christmas books I like to read and never have enough time, I usually read them in November and December.  However, I am debating one more regular one before I start in with those.  Maybe Murder on the Orient Express since I want to see the movie???

Happy Reading!

O:)
Melissa

Thursday, September 14, 2017

To Wager her Heart, book #18

Ahhh ... finally .... a book I can love again ....



Set against the real history of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a powerful love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in American history when both were tenuous and hard-won.  Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father's name. One man holds the key to Sy's success--General William Giles Harding of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. 
 
Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville's society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he's found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison's fiancĂ©--and has shattered her world. 
   
Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen's university in the United States. But family--and Nashville society--do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both.
   
Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy's roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor?  Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn't count on is having to wager her heart to do it. With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society's expectations must work together to achieve their dreams - provided the truth doesn't tear them apart first. (picture and description at amazon)

Not sure what is up next, but I'm going to make sure it is good!

O:)
Melissa



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Missing, book #17

I read it.  I will be interested to discuss this with my Book Club Buddies.  The end.  Moving on ....

Shelley Shepard Gray, New York Times bestselling author of the Families of Honor, Seasons of Sugarcreek, and Sisters of the Heart series, returns with another page-turning romance set in Amish country. Gray’s eagerly anticipated fourth series, The Secrets of Crittenden County, begins with Missing, a poignant and compelling tale of an unlikely romance born of tragedy. When the shocking death of a young man rocks a quiet Amish community, the dead man’s former girlfriend and his “Englisher” best friend find themselves murder suspects. But they are strengthened by their faith, and by an unanticipated love that awakens. Readers of Christian romance and inspirational fiction are captivated by stories of love among the Amish, as proven by the phenomenal success of Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter, Cindy Woodsmall, and the previous novels of Shelly Shepard Gray. With The Secrets of Crittenden County this accomplished and much beloved storyteller reaches a new level. (picture and description from Amazon)

Here's to happy reading!
Melissa