Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Review: It Had to Be You by Janice Thompson

It Had to Be You (Weddings by Bella, Book 3)
Book Description:

Bella couldn't be happier that her long-feuding Aunt Rosa and Uncle Lazarro have finally admitted their love for one another and are getting married. Their forties-style wedding is sure to be a night to remember. But when the Rossi house begins to fill up with family from Italy--and an old mobster from New Jersey--life starts to get complicated. Will Lazarro's friend from the past drive the happy couple apart once more? And will Bella ever have time to think of her own rapidly-approaching wedding amidst the chaos? Full of laugh-out-loud humor, plenty of Italian passion, and a bit of Texas gumption, It Had to Be You is the satisfying conclusion to an entertaining series.
My thoughts:
It Had to Be You by Janice Thompson is the third book in the Weddings by Bella series. In her typical fashion, Janice Thompson tickles the funny bone. When you mix Italians with Texans you get quite a mix of people and quite a story. Filled with interesting themed wedding ideas, an almost converted parrot, swing bands and dancing, hospital visits and many more surprises, made It Had to Be You a highly enjoyable read and one I highly recommend.

Book Review: Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist

Maid to Match
Book Description:
From the day she arrives at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled--by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack's rugged behavior by tutoring him in the ways of refined society, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie's efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt's lady's maid. But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangled in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs...and their hearts.

My thoughts:
I found Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist was a wonderful read. It was full of a rich cast of characters, an opulent setting and a story of finding out what really matters in life, especially when love is involved. Also, it was full of tidbits of information about the Biltmore Estate and the Vanderbilts.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Review: The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Coleen Coble

The Lightkeeper's Daughter (A Mercy Falls Novel)

Book Description:
At a lavish estate in Mercy Falls, California, Addie Sullivan finds danger-and quite possibly the love of her life.

Growing up as the lightkeeper's daughter on a remote island at the turn of the century, Addie Sullivan has lived a hardscrabble life. When a long-lost and wealthy relative finds her and enlists her to work as a governess at a lavish estate, she hopes to discover the truth of her heritage. But at Eaton Hall, nothing is as it seems. Not the idyllic family she hoped for, not the child she was hired to help, not even the aloof man she's immediately attracted to. Soon she must turn for help to Lieutenant John North, a man who views her with suspicion.

As Addie edges closer to the truth, danger threatens even as her romance with John blossoms and together they unravel a decades-old mystery. As Addie faces down her enemy, she discovers that faith in her one true Father is all she needs.

My thoughts:
I started reading The Lightkeeper's Daughter (A Mercy Falls Novel) by Colleen Coble before I even read the book description and was pleasantly surprised at how it began. I found the "long, lost daughter" going to meet her real family extremely interesting. However, as the story progressed I began to feel frustrated. The romance and the revealing of who Addie is felt very rushed, which led to the climax of the story being ho-hum and wasn't very exciting. Overall, I felt The Lightkeeper's Daughter had great potential, but fell a little short of the mark.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.

Up and Down in the Dales

Up and Down in the Dales by Gervase Phinn

Anyone sharp-eyed enough to have caught sight of the occupants of the Mercedes that evening as it sped through the centre of Fettlesham in the direction of Fettlesham Royal Infirmary would have though they were hallucinating: an ageing German admiral with a handlebar moustache was at the wheel of the car, a heavily bemedalled SS officer was in the passenger seat, and on overweight nun with crimson lips and sky-blue eye-shadow was sitting the back gesticulating.

We hadn't long been on Infirmary Road before we heard the siren and saw the flashing blue light.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Book Review: Raising a Modern-Day Joseph: A Timeless Strategy for Growing Great Kids by Larry Fowler

Raising a Modern-Day Joseph: A Timeless Strategy for Growing Great Kids

Book Description:
Imagine this scenario for a typical teenager in your church: He's separated from his family and sent to live in a hedonistic, no-holds-barred culture. He's stripped of his spiritual support, left alone, and treated unfairly. Then, at his most vulnerable point, his ego is stoked with power and success. Throughout this roller coaster ride, would he continue to serve God?

This very test was given to the Old Testament Joseph, whose faith remained rock solid. Yet it seems that our youth are ill-equipped to face the moral vacuum in today's culture. Worse, research shows that when young people leave home, many also leave the church. So how can we forge sons and daughters of faith and fortitude?

The vital answers are found in the story of Joseph. Drawing from this timeless narrative, author Larry Fowler offers a biblical plan for building teens who will love and serve Jesus Christ. Biblically based and up-to-the-minute relevant, Raising a Modern-Day Joseph is an essential guide to raising a generation that can pass life's tests with flying colors.

My thoughts:
When I saw Raising a Modern-Day Joseph: A Timeless Strategy for Growing Great Kids by Larry Fowler and was instantly interested since the story of Joseph is one my favorite and my husband and I have been trying to instill the Word of God into our children.

It was very interesting to see the contrast between Joseph and the Prodigal Son that the author shows in the beginning of the book. Of course, I believe most Christian parents are wanting to raise their child to be like Joseph vs. the Prodigal Son. Then the author shows how we need to have a clear vision for our children by showing 5 specific character qualities that were woven through out Joseph's life and the importance of weaving them into our children's lives. At this point the book takes a turning point and shows how churches are not working together in their children's ministry and that the need that all that children and youth ministries need to work with parents concerning the spiritual development of their children. I wasn't quite expecting this turn and I have been thinking over the ideas presented. I noticed there is another book, How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph: A Practical Guide for Growing Great Kids by Linda Massey Weddle and may help in implementing this idea since it is a little unclear on the "how". Overall, I found that this book have given me a lot of food for thought and I will probably revisit it in a few months.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Book Review: Half Magic by Edward Eager

Half Magic

Book Description:
It all begins with a strange coin on a sun-warmed sidewalk.

Jane find a coin, and because her and her siblings are having the worst, most dreadfully boring summer ever, she idly wishes something exciting would happen.

And something does: Her wish is granted.

Or not quite. Only half of her wish comes true.

It turns out the coin grants wishes--but only by half, so that you must wish for twice as much as you want.

Wishing for two times something is a cinch, but other doubled wishes only cause twice as much trouble. What half is a twice talking cat? Or to be half again twice not-here? And how do you double your most heartfelt wish, the one you care about so much that it has to be perfect?

My thoughts:
After reading a book review for Magic by the Lake by Edward Eager posted at Worthwhile Books, I ordered Half Magic from the library and read it aloud to my kids. I have never read anything by Edward Eager, so I was in for a real surprise myself. Half Magic was a delightful read and also an extremely funny read. My kids literally were rolling on the floor (and couch or chair, whichever was handy) laughing. There were also many moments I had a hard time reading because I was laughing, too. I don't think anyone could be too old for this story. It is a fun filled adventure of make believe and a story that I think we made a great memory reading it aloud. Highly recommended!

See what others are reading aloud over at Hope Is the Word.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Book Review: Miss Match by Sara Mills

Miss Match: An Allie Fortune Mystery

Book Description:
FBI agent Jack O’Connor receives a letter from Maggie, a woman he used to love, saying she’s in trouble in Berlin. The FBI refuses to get involved, so Jack asks Allie Fortune to help him investigate. Allie and Jack pose as a missionary couple who want to bring orphans back to the United States.

A child finds important documents that everyone in the city—Soviets and allies alike—want for themselves. Maggie refuses to tell Jack what the documents are, saying if things go wrong, they are better off not knowing.

Through the course of the search, Allie’s past has been brought back to her, half a world away from home.
My thoughts:
Miss Match  by Sara Mills is the second book in the Allie Fortune Mystery Series. Again, Sara Mills does an excellent job of drawing the reader into the adventures of Allie Mills. There is excitement on every page. As in Miss Fortune there are two stories being told, one from the past and one from the present. This story focuses on FBI Agent Jack O'Connor, but he doesn't over shadow Allie or the final twist the story ultimately takes.

I have to admit I felt a little jipped at the end of the story, and am sending pleas to the author to please continue the series! This story begs for completion. If you enjoy a good mysteries, I suggest you check out the Allie Fortune Mystery series!

Book Review: Work Song by Ivan Doig

Work Song

Book Description:

An award-winning and beloved novelist of the American West spins the further adventures of a favorite character, in one of his richest historical settings yet.
"If America was a melting pot, Butte would be its boiling point," observes Morrie Morgan, the itinerant teacher, walking encyclopedia, and inveterate charmer last seen leaving a one-room schoolhouse in Marias Coulee, the stage he stole in Ivan Doig's 2006 The Whistling Season. A decade later, Morrie is back in Montana, as the beguiling narrator of Work Song.
Lured like so many others by "the richest hill on earth," Morrie steps off the train in Butte, copper-mining capital of the world, in its jittery heyday of 1919. But while riches elude Morrie, once again a colorful cast of local characters-and their dramas-seek him out: a look-alike, sound-alike pair of retired Welsh miners; a streak-of-lightning waif so skinny that he is dubbed Russian Famine; a pair of mining company goons; a comely landlady propitiously named Grace; and an eccentric boss at the public library, his whispered nickname a source of inexplicable terror. When Morrie crosses paths with a lively former student, now engaged to a fiery young union leader, he is caught up in the mounting clash between the iron-fisted mining company, radical "outside agitators," and the beleaguered miners. And as tensions above ground and below reach the explosion point, Morrie finds a unique way to give a voice to those who truly need one.
My thoughts:
While browsing Costco's books, I came across Work Song and was really excited to see it was a sequel to The Whistling Season. I read The Whistling Seasonseveral years ago and I really enjoyed the book. Morrie Morgan is a captivating character who has a past he is hoping to keep behind him. Mix that in with the best library west of the Mississippi, miners about to strike, Irish wakes, and a man known as "Strangler" and the lovely woman who runs the boarding house and you have a story that is hard to put down. Work Song is truly a fine example of storytelling at its best!


Related Posts with Thumbnails