Wednesday, July 22, 2015

52 Steps to murder, book #84

This book exhausted me.  I'm so glad I finally finished. I thought it would be a like a modern day Agatha Christie when I started, but all it did was confuse the goodness out of me and left me hanging till the very end.  Moving on ....

An elderly woman is found poisoned in the upstairs bedroom of her home whose from door stands 52 steps above the street in an old-fashioned whodunit that blends clues, red herrings, suspects, and humor. (picture and description at amazon)


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The guest book, book #83

In case you are wondering, no I did not read this in two days.  We were at the beach last week (holla!) and the Good Hope Road book I had was an old, falling apart book of my mom's and I did not want to take it to the actual beach in case it got more messed up.  (Which was a good thing, since thanks to the windy conditions my copy of this book will not be fit for the library now!)  So, since this is our Book Club Book for this month anyway I was reading it in between the other.

Loved this book!  It was a book that kept me sucked in the whole time, constantly wondering what was going to happen next!  There was just enough "Jesus" in it to make me feel good, but not so much that it made me feel like she slathered it on to classify it as Christian fiction.  The characters were very believeable and even though the story had a few more details than certain friends would prefer I found it a natural flow and not like she was pushing them on the reader.  

All in all I highly recommend it!

When Macy Dillon was five years old her father encouraged her to draw a picture in the guestbook of a Carolina beach house. The next year, Macy returned to discover a drawing by an unidentified little boy on the facing page. Over the next eleven years the children continue to exchange drawings … until tragedy ends visits to the beach house altogether. During her final trip to Sunset, Macy asks her anonymous friend to draw her one last picture and tells him where to hide the guest book in hopes that one day she will return to find it―and him. Twenty-five years after that first picture, Macy is back at Sunset Beach―this time toting a broken family and a hurting heart. One night, alone by the ocean, Macy asks God to help her find the boy she never forgot, the one whose beautiful pictures touched something deep inside of her. Will she ever find him? And if she does, will the guestbook unite them or merely be the relic of a lost childhood? (picture and description from amazon

Now its time to decide what's next!! 

Happy reading!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Good Hope Road, book #82

Well let me just say this book took some getting into.  And getting through.  It is supposed to be in a "series" with Tending Roses but I never saw the connection at all until reading the end notes from the author.  So this is more like a "connections" series as compared to a "chronological" series. Whatever.  I'm just glad I'm done.  

Not that this was a bad book, it just isn't what I was in the mood for.  After all my precious and light, fluffy pioneers I wasn't expecting to jump into the depths of tragedy and read through a personal growth, letting go of the past story.  Man but it wore me out!!

So, in lieu of a review I found several quotes that real stuck out to me.

I thought about all the times I had passed those fancy houses on the lake, and hated those people with their money and their brand new cars and their attitudes.  I realized now how wrong that was.  It seemed back then that they were so different from us, but now I could see the thin line that separated us -- just houses, cars, clothes.  All things that could be swept away in an instant. (Jenilee, p.63)

You have a use for everyone you meet in life, and God don't put in any extras.  (Eudora, p. 78) 

Except God don't create accidents.  We only think there are accidents because we don't know what God has in mind.  (Eudora, p. 115)

When you are afraid of everything, the thing you are most afraid of is happiness.  You're afraid to step into even a little piece of it, because you know that as soon as you do, someone will slam the door, and you'll be trapped in the darkness again, remembering how the light felt. (Jenilee, p. 217)

"It ain't like either of us have to regret our lives.  We had good lives, both of us.  Not the lives we might have had, but good lives." [June - a man]
I turned away from Ivy, away from the past, and thought about my life.  I thought about Olney and his trains.  I thought about the farm, and the children we made, and the grandchildren who ran to me with their open arms.  I understood that if I had gone a different path, none of that would be.  All of the things that mattered to me, all of the things that would last, would never has come into being.  The other life, the one I could have lived with June, might have been good, but so was this one, and it wasn't over yet.  (Eudora, p. 269)

Had I not suffered the loss of everything I thought would matter, I would have missed everything that truly mattered in my life .... (Jenilee recalling letter she found, p. 279)

If you are in the mood for a good redemption story, then jump on this one.  If not, wait until you are.  I might have appreciated it at a different time.  

Twenty-year-old Jenilee Lane whose dreams are as narrow as the sky is wide, is the last person to expect anything good to come out of the tornado that rips across the Missouri farmland surrounding her home.  But some inner spark compels her to rescue her elderly neighbor, Eudora Gibson, from the cellar in which she's been trapped.  To make her way to the nearby town of Poetry, where the townspeople have begun to gather.  To collect from the landscape letters, photographs, and mementos that might mean something to people who have lost everything.  Brought close by tragedy, Jenilee and Eudora will learn lessons about the resilience of the human spirit and the ties that make a community strong.  They will travel to a place they never would have imagined. (picture and description at amazon)

Keep Reading!


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Dreams beyond tomorrow, book #81

I decided I couldn't resist and started the next book.  And finished it in just a few days since it is so short.  

Ok, I will admit.  This book, this series probably does not have a lot of likes here in the 2010s because it isn't even close to some of the stuff I read, but I still like it.  Yes, they made it to Oregon, but Cole is still gone all the times and poor Rachel starts in imagine if Cole really even does like her, even though every short time he comes home he tells her that.  They finally got to move their marriage to the next level, so to speak, but then he left again.  Star has kept her happy and starting classes has been fun.  Luckily Yolanda finally got her eyes opened to the scoundrel that Julius was, unfortunately it was a lesson she had to learn the hard way.  We think Cole may be home for a while now, at least I hope!  What fun is a pioneer story when the woman -- who already has to work really hard on the trail and at a new place -- and man aren't even together?!?!?  

Will you wear the ring - be my wife, my real wife - forever and ever?... After the long, hard journey, they stood on the little knoll - feasting their eyes on the beauty of Oregon's fertile fields. Rachel Lord, Colby's wife in name only, longs for the chance to finally make their wedding into a marriage. But Cole is a man with a dream which takes him away from the tiny settlement... widening the gap in Rachel's insecure heart. As Rachel strives to keep his dream of a city alive in the minds of the settlers, she is faced with the hardships of pioneer life and the agonies of love so long denied. Cole's trusted friend, Buck, becomes Rachel's much-needed shoulder to lean on. But can he protect her from the mystery behind Superstition Mountain and the threat of hostile Indians? Then it happens. The horrible event which will change the way of life forever in the settlement. Rachel finally realizes only her faith can sustain her and only God can fulfill her...  (description from here and picture from amazon

I believe next I will move back to the smaller series from my mom.  

Keep reading!!


Monday, June 8, 2015

Journey to love, book #80

Aaaah, my precious pioneers.  I know most of you all think I am silly but I have to believe there are some of you out there that love pioneer books also!!

Fleeing an alcoholic father who was trying to sell her, Rachel joined a wagon train bound for Oregon and married Colby Lord, a man she met only once when he tried to collect on a loan to her father. Angry and proud at first, Rachel finds her heart changing as the usual disasters strike the wagon train and teach her to put her faith in God.  (picture and description at amazon)

A little confusing and a little unbelievable at times, but since we have no idea what it was REALLY like in those times I think it is hard to say what is and isn't believable.  

This was a short one, so I might have to read the next one instead of skipping to another pile!

Keep reading!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tiffany girl, book #79

I can't believe I actually finished this book as fast as I did.  Remember me telling you it was thick book?  Yep, 544 pages!  I figured it would take me a good two weeks, but sure enough it was still a week.  I am still not entirely sure how that happened. 

See, 544 pages is a lot to read.  And there were boatloads of big words and descriptive words used for things relevant to the 1890s.  (Made me wish I was reading it on my Paperwhite once again!) But, despite all the details it really is a good story and that is what helped me move along so quickly.

I can already hear what my book club buddies are going to say about it.  "It was a good story, but I couldn't get to it because there were TOO MANY DETAILS!! Who cares about all the intricacies of their clothes or the surroundings!!"  But as always, I'm going to have to stick to my guns and say I LOVE DETAILS!!! To me it just makes the story come alive!  Even if I didn't know half the words used in the descriptions I could use context clues or just make up what I thought it meant.  And with the details, I could not only read the story, but I could SEE the story, I could SMELL the story, I could HEAR the story.  I could EXPERIENCE the story with them!!

As preparations for the 1893 World’s Fair set Chicago and the nation on fire, Louis Tiffany—heir to the exclusive Fifth Avenue jewelry empire—seizes the opportunity to unveil his state-of-the-art, stained glass, mosaic chapel, the likes of which the world has never seen. But when Louis’s dream is threatened by a glassworkers’ strike months before the Fair opens, he turns to an unforeseen source for help: the female students at the Art Students League of New York. Eager for adventure, the young women pick up their skirts, move to boarding houses, take up steel cutters, and assume new identities as the “Tiffany Girls.”
Tiffany Girl is the heartwarming story of the impetuous Flossie Jayne, a beautiful, budding artist who is handpicked by Louis to help complete the Tiffany chapel. Though excited to live in a boarding house when most women stayed home, she quickly finds the world is less welcoming than anticipated. From a Casanova male, to an unconventional married couple, and a condescending singing master, she takes on a colorful cast of characters to transform the boarding house into a home while racing to complete the Tiffany chapel and make a name for herself in the art world. As challenges mount, her ambitions become threatened from an unexpected quarter: her own heart. Who will claim victory? Her dreams or the captivating boarder next door?  (picture and description from amazon)

Up next? Probably time to move on to the pile under my nightstand  and start on a pioneer book!!  

Keep reading!


Monday, May 25, 2015

A side of hope, book #78

While debating whether to start that thick Book Club book or read something else before I start, I remembered I had not read this short novella yet.  It was the perfect thing to pick up after this nutty week of thought provoking movies.  (Age of Adeline, Selma, Still Alice and Interstellar)  

Two years ago in February 2013 we read Krista's first book in the series, Sandwich, with a Side of Romance. The fun continued last fall when we read A Side of Faith.  In October, after reading this book, she came to our Book Club since she is a local author.  It is always a treat to meet the authors, and especially when we find out she is a mom just like us in the throws of everyday crazy life but also an author who has contacts with other famous authors.  She gave us some insight in to the world of Christian Fiction writing and shared a lot about the process, about book contracts, about self publishing, about many things we had no idea!!  It was so interesting to learn some "behind the stage" stuff from these books we just pick up.  

This books ties into the others in that it is the same group of friends, just each books tells one person's story and then another book moves on to another person's story. As with all her books, I loved this one and the way that it IS worth it to hold on to hope, even when you don't realize you are.  

Tilly Davis is meeting her forties head on. Happy and healthy, she doesn't need a man to complete her. But as she blows out her candles, she makes a halfhearted wish for maybe just a little excitement to spice up her life. God must have misunderstood her wish, though, because moments later, He brings her the one person she never wants to see again. Her husband. (picture and description from amazon.)

Now to decide if I have time to read another book or just start in on Tiffany Girl.

Happy Reading!