Friday, April 4, 2014

The Icing on the Cake, book # 10

Yet another hi-larious tale from Janice Thompson and the Weddings by Bella series.  These characters are so real it makes me think I am right there in Galveston the whole time I am reading them.  Bella and her family always make everyone feel right at home.

This book focuses on Scarlet, the cake-baker extraordinaire, who is having trouble with her weight, her love life (or potential lack of it!) and her Aunt Willy.  She has too much on her plate but somehow manages to plan and orchestrate a fundraiser Talent show at her church, help her best friend put the finishing touches on her wedding (while baking her wedding and groom cakes all after midnight the night before), be on a Cake Competition show for the Food Network, and fall in love with a wild bad boy in the mean time.  Think your life is boring?  Take a break and jump into Scarlet's!!

This is book #2 in the Weddings by Design series.  Bella's story is told in the Weddings by Bella series.  I highly recommend ANY of them!!!

Scarlet Lindsey's aunt Wilhelmina may be Texas's most popular cake baker extraordinaire, but she's also getting on in years. When Scarlet decides to take on the role of cake decorator at her cranky aunt's bidding, it's just the beginning of a series of misunderstandings and mishaps that will lead her to compete in a cake challenge on national television--and might even lead her to finding true love.

Fan favorite Janice Thompson is back with more wit, more weddings, and more of what her readers love best--bridal business drama. Bella and the gang are all here and readers will fall in love with the newest quirky characters straight from the creative mind of a fantastic storyteller.  (picture and description from amazon)


O:)
Melissa


Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Reluctant Queen, book #9

So for the month of April in Book Club we decided to read A Reluctant Queen.  It caught my eye a few weeks ago when it came into the library as a donation and I was tempted then to bring it home and add it to the pile, but I passed.  Then last week at Book Club Deanie was telling about how this book caught her eye when she was covering it.  So even though it wasn't in stock at our beloved BAM! we decided to choose it anyway.  

I must admit I was surprised I read this in only 3 or 4 days.  It wasn't really a hard book to read, but I didn't expect it to catch my fancy like it did. Two things come to my mind to share:

1.  You can tell the author did a lot of research on this because the palace rooms and many of the settings were described in great detail.  Also, the clothing everyone wore was also described in great detail.  Now, I am one for detail, but it seemed a little overboard for me.

2.  I am not opposed to reading a book set in Bible times, but when it comes to "novelizations" of stories in the Bible, red flags raise up to me pretty fast.  Not that I am a Bible Scholar and know all the details of the stories, but to me you have to be very careful when reading between the lines in tried and true Bible stories.  Many moons ago, when this Book Club was still a day club, we read the Lineage of Grace series of novellas by Francine Rivers.  Besides The Red Tent, this was my first foray into novels about Bible stories.  I really liked the first few, but the one about Mary I held very far from my heart.  To me, it's one thing to "fill in the blanks" with Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, but when you get to "making up" things about what "might have been" with Jesus in the Mary book, well, that was a little too much for me.  That said, there were some questions I had about this book as I was reading through it.  Or devouring it, as the case may be.  I was familiar with the basics of the story, but some things that happened in the book just did not ring a bell with me.  Let me just say that I think The Author's Note that she wrote should have been in the front of the book instead of the back, and then I could have read it a little more freely. 

You've read it as a biblical tale of courage. Experience it anew as a heart-stirring love story.
She was a simple girl faced with an impossible choice. He was a magnificent king with a lonely heart.
Their love was the divine surprise that changed the course of history.
The beloved story of Esther springs to fresh life in this inspired novel that vibrates with mystery, intrigue, and romance. (picture and description from amazon)

O:)
Melissa


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Love finds you ... in Folly Beach, SC, book #8

Ah, nothing like a quick trip to the beach during these remaining blah days of winter.  My mom gave me this book for Christmas because she loves Charleston and I had recently visited there.  It was a sweet little book with just enough serious stuff to not make it too fluffy.  Yes, it didn't take too long until you knew how it was going to end, but as my cousin Pam says, "You never know how they're going to get there!"  

First impressions, thank goodness, really can’t be trusted! When marine biologist Holly Leonard agrees to help Parker Brant write a book on giant sea turtles, she expects a charming and charismatic charter boat captain—not the strait-laced, all-business dud who greets her. For his part, Parker is surprised to find that Dr. Leonard is not the matronly grandmother he expected but a blue-eyed beauty who’s lively, fun— and a total klutz. Unfortunately, the harder Holly tries to shed her “Holly Folly” nickname, the clumsier she becomes. Holly’s has breezed into Parker’s well-ordered world like a hurricane—but will he welcome the disruption?  (picture and description at amazon.com)

 O:)
Melissa


Monday, March 10, 2014

Princess ever after, book #7

Last summer in Book Club we read the first book in this series so last month when we found the next one had been written we jumped at the chance to read it.  Rachel Hauck did not disappoint!  In the first book, the future king of Brighton, an imaginary small European country, has fallen in love with an American, a non-royalty girl, and there is trouble all around but they go on to, we assume, "live happily ever after."  In this book, the Grand Duchy of Hessenburg, which has been in an entail with Brighton, is about the be able to break free from that entail, but an heir to the throne must be found, or the country will either have no government or be forever linked with Brighton.  Of course, the long-lost princess, Regina, ends up being a small town girl content on being an old-car restorer.  Tanner, the Ministry of Culture for the duchy, has been assigned to bring her home as fast as possible.  And with that the story takes off pretty much where you think it will go, but it's always a treat to find out the path it takes!

Regina Beswick was born to be a princess. But she’s content to be a small-town girl, running a classic auto restoration shop, unaware a secret destiny awaits her. One that will leap from the pages of her grandmother’s hand-painted book of fairytales. Tanner Burkhardt is the stoic Minister of Culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg. When he is tasked to retrieve the long-lost princess, he must overcome his fear of failure in order to secure his nation’s future---and his own. Yet lurking in the political shadows is a fierce opponent with sinister plans to abolish the throne forever. Overwhelmed with opposition, Regina must decide if she’s destined to restore old cars or an ancient nation. Together---with a little divine intervention---Regina and Tanner discover the truth of her heritage and the healing power of true love. (picture and description from amazon.com)

O:)
Melissa

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Plain Disappearance, book #6 ~ SPOILER ALERT....

AAUUGGHH!!!! BLECH!!!! GRRRR!!!!  

Ok, ok, maybe I should have waited a while to post rather than shortly after finishing this book, but dadgumit I'm just irritated!!  I so loved this one and this one, the first books in the series that I could not wait to read the last one. Spoiler alert, but there is no closure to this series. Maybe a small one in some small plots, but the biggies, nope. Nada.  And not only is there unfinished business with the biggie plots, she throws in more biggie plots and leaves them unfinished too.  The book description on the back does not even accurately describe what really happens in the meat of the book, it merely scratches the surface.  Either Amanda needs write another book to wrap everything up, or I'll just be mad at her for the rest of my life.  

And you wondered if my posts expressed how I really felt.  But please, feel free to read it for yourself and decide.  And if I missed something feel free to fill me in.  Again, English Lit was not one of my strong suits.  


USA Today recently hailed award-nominated author Amanda Flower for A Plain Death, calling it “the first Amish rom-com . . . bring on the next one!” As the enthusiastic reviews continue to mount, she’s back with her third Appleseed Creek mystery, A Plain Disappearance.

It’s Christmastime in Amish Country, and Chloe Humphrey has begun settling into her life in Appleseed Creek excited to see where her new relationship with Timothy Troyer will lead. Unfortunately it leads to murder when the couple discovers the body of Amish teenager Katie Lambright while on their first date.

Near the scene there is evidence that Timothy’s friend and auto mechanic Billy Thorpe is involved with the crime. The police reveal Billy is not really who he said he was and has been living the last decade in Knox County under a stolen alias. Now, Chloe and Timothy must find Billy, bring him to justice, or prove his innocence. (picture and description from amazon)


Better luck next time...
O:(
Melissa

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Red Helmet, book 5

This time I took a short deviation from my usual Christian Fiction to read a Non-Christian Fiction book.  From my nightstand, which does not look anything like this anymore, it's worse!, I decided to dig deep and find something different.  I found this one, which came from recommendations from the hubs.  He enjoys Homer Hickam books and although I usually don't like his books, since this one had some LOVE in it, I decided to delve in.  

Even though it is "not" a Christian book, I was happy to see there were not many things mentioned that made me uncomfortable.  More like a Debbie Macomber book, people just getting along with life the best they know how. 

I'll let the book speak for itself.  It was good, thrilling, the end WILL NOT let you go which is why I was in bed all Saturday morning UNABLE to get up until I finished!!  

Song Hawkins is a beautiful, tough, but lonely New York City businesswoman who thinks she's met the man of her dreams in Cable Jordan, the superintendent of a West Virginia coal mine. But soon after they impulsively marry, Song realizes they're in big trouble. She can't imagine life outside of New York, and Cable has no intention of leaving his beloved town of Highcoal.

Song's visit to the little mining community only makes things worse. It looks like the marriage is over. But in a shocking turn of events, Song realizes it's up to her to put on the red helmet of the new coal miner and descend into the deep darkness. There she faces her greatest challenge with choices and courage that will forever impact the life of Cable and the entire town. (picture and description from amazon)

O:)
Melissa

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Vanished, book #4

Three days.  Yep. That is all it took to read this addicting tome.  This is the first of the Private Justice series by Irene Hannon.  Last month we read book 2, Trapped.  I knew it would not be long before I went back and read this one.  I was not disappointed, except for the loss of sleep and housework.  :)  If you like these murder/mystery/in depth/heart stopping/throw in a little romance books, it is a must read!!

Reporter Moira Harrisons is lost. In the dark. In a thunderstorm. When a confusing detour places her on a rural, wooded road, she's startled by the sudden appearance of a lone figure caught in the beam of her headlights. Though Moira jams on her brakes, the car careens across the wet pavement--and the solid thump against the side of the vehicle tells her she hit the person before she crashes into a tree on the far side of the road.

A dazed Moira is relieved when a man opens her door, tells her he saw everything, and promises to call 911. Then everything fades to black. When she comes to an hour later, she is alone. No man. No 911. No injured person lying on the side of the road. But she can't forget the look of terror she saw on the person's face in the instant before her headlights swung away. The person she hit had been in trouble. She's sure of it. But she can't get anyone to believe her story--except a handsome former police detective, now a private eye, who agrees to take on the case.

From the very first page, readers will be hooked into this fast-paced story full of shocking secrets from fan-favorite Irene Hannon. Vanished is the exciting first book in the Private Justice series: Three justice seekers who got burned playing by the rules now have a second chance to make things right. (picture and description from amazon)


Interesting note: as AMAZING as Irene Hannon is with writing these hold on for dear life suspense novels, she actually started out writing "contemporary romance" in the Life-Inspired Fiction.  Read more here.


O:)
Melissa