Everyday Tidbits...

It's cold and foggy. I blame the Dementors...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Director's Cut...Review

About the book:
Tia Morales is used to calling the shots. She's the director of the popular sitcom Stars Collide, and her life on set is calculated and orderly. Well, most of the time. But her life outside the studio is another matter. If only she could get her family to behave as well as her stars do When she starts butting heads with handsome camera operator Jason Harris, it's enough to send a girl over the edge. Will she ever learn to let go and take life--and love--as it comes?

Full of the humor and crazy family dynamics Janice Thompson fans have come to love, this colorful story gives readers an inside look at Hollywood and a healthy dose of romance.

Tia takes a lot of pride in directing a popular sitcom.  In the studio, she's in control and life is organized and orderly. Outside the studio, her big crazy family brings a whole new meaning to the word chaos.  Tia's main problem is her need to take responsibility for everything, even those situations and circumstances that are truly out of her control.  She's obsessed with fixing everything and every body and her lessons finally come when she must relinquish control.

I love Janice Thompson's characters.  I love her ability with repartee and her fantastic one liners and internal character dialogue.  She has mastered the art of writing about families and the love, hurt, mess and idiosyncrasies that come with any family situation.

Third in the Backstage Pass series, this one is just as fun as Stars Collide and Hello Hollywood!. All your favorite characters return and stories are wrapped up.  Thoroughly enjoyable and easily recommended.  The books can stand alone, but they're much better when you read them in order.

Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Donna Hausler of Baker Publishing for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Janice Thompson here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 6/12

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Thursday, June 21, 2012

City of Bones...Review

About the book:
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

I went into this book really not knowing anything about it, other than the fact that it was popular and sounded interesting.

I liked the characters well enough but while I found them somewhat flat, there were flashes of humor and brilliance.  Hopefully they will gather depth in future books.  The world that Cassandra Clare tried to create was curious, but nothing really original.  It was like Harry Potter meets Twilight meets Narnia meets Buffy.  Honestly, there was so much detail that I found myself lost at times and I found that I really didn't care.  It was as if she took every imaginary idea she had heard of or had herself and mixed them all together in one weird, convoluted world.

There was a serious ick factor between Jace and Clary that I assume was more for shock value than anything else.  I'm curious to see how it's all handled in later books.

The story is captivating enough that I will read the next one, although mostly out of curiosity because there was nothing stellar or stand out about this one.  I can see how it appeals to teens and young adults.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 6/12

* * *
3/5 Stars

 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Spring Hope...Review

About the book:
Can runaway Libby Cantrell finally get a new start?


Libby Cantrell’s life has gone from bad to worse since her mother’s death. After working in a brothel to support her abusive father, she sees no hope for her future until one cold winter night when she finds the courage to escape.

When she collapses in Portersfield, Texas, exhausted, ill, and hungry, Sheriff Cory Muldoon finds her and takes her to the doctor. Against Cory’s better judgment, Seth and Erin Winston take her in and offer her a job as a nanny for their young son. As a minister, Seth sees it as his duty to take care of her. As a deputy, Cory needs to know the truth about her even as he is attracted to the waif of a young woman.

As Cory’s feelings for her grow and winter becomes spring, will he be able to accept her as she is now and truly forget and forgive her sordid past?

The Seasons of the Heart series introduced us to the wonderful Muldoon family and in Spring Hope, we finally learn Cory's story. As a sheriff in Portersfield, Texas, Cory has a satisfying job and a terrific family.  All he needs is a wife.  When he discovers Libby Cantrell huddled in a doorway, sick and exhausted, Cory is drawn to her.  He knows she has secrets and he's as determined to discover them as Libby is to hide them.

I thought Cory was a little uber self-righteous and judgmental when it came to Libby's past, but it was nice to see him learn about forgiveness, just as Libby does.  I loved revisiting the Muldoon family and I'm sad to see this series end.

Fourth in the Seasons of the Heart series, you can click the links for my reviews of Summer Dream, Autumn Song and Winter Promise.  The books can stand alone, but they are much richer stories when read in order.

Thanks to First Wildcard and Althea Thompson of Charis Media for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Martha Rogers here.  You can read the first chapter here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 5/12

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Spring Hope...Wildcard!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Realms (May 15, 2012)

***Special thanks to Althea Thompson | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Martha Rogers’ novel Not on the Menu debuted on May 1, 2007, as a part of Sugar and Grits, a novella collection with DiAnn Mills, Janice Thompson, and Kathleen Y’Barbo. Her series Winds Across the Prairie debuted in 2010 with Becoming Lucy, Morning for Dove, Finding Becky, and Caroline’s Choice. Her other credits include stories in anthologies with Wayne Holmes, Karen Holmes, and Debra White Smith; several articles in Christian magazines; devotionals in six books of devotions; and eight Bible studies. Martha served as editor of a monthly newsletter for the writer’s organization Inspirational Writers Alive! for six years and is the state president. She is also the director for the annual Texas Christian Writer’s Conference and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, for whom she writes a weekly devotional. Martha and her husband are active members of First Baptist Church.


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Can runaway Libby Cantrell finally get a new start?

Libby Cantrell’s life has gone from bad to worse since her mother’s death. After working in a brothel to support her abusive father, she sees no hope for her future until one cold winter night when she finds the courage to escape.

When she collapses in Portersfield, Texas, exhausted, ill, and hungry, Sheriff Cory Muldoon finds her and takes her to the doctor. Against Cory’s better judgment, Seth and Erin Winston take her in and offer her a job as a nanny for their young son. As a minister, Seth sees it as his duty to take care of her. As a deputy, Cory needs to know the truth about her even as he is attracted to the waif of a young woman.

As Cory’s feelings for her grow and winter becomes spring, will he be able to accept her as she is now and truly forget and forgive her sordid past?



Product Details:
List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Realms (May 15, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616386185
ISBN-13: 978-1616386184



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Porterfield,  Texas
February 1891


THE COLDEST NIG!IT  of winter thus far chilled Deputy Sheriff Cory Muldoon to the bone as he made his rounds in the alleyways of Porterfield. Cold wind howled around the corners of the buildings now closed up for the  night. Most  everyone in Porterfield had gone home  to their  families  and  warm  homes. This  was all the  winter he cared  to experience, and  even this would be only a few days, as the weather in Texas could change in a heartbeat, summer or winter.
Lights and music from the saloon rang out and mocked the dark  silence  of its  neighboring buildings. Friday  nights  found cowboys and lumberjacks both squandering their  hard-earned money  on  liquor  and  women. Tonight would  be no different


despite the cold, near freezing temperatures. Most likely at least one or two of them would end up in the jail for a spell.
Cory turned up the collar of his sheepskin-lined jacket and shoved his hat farther down on his head. When he rounded the corner of the livery, the gentle nickering and snorts of the horses boarded there broke the quietness of the night.
A cat skittered out from behind the general store, and a dog barked in the distance. Ever since the bank robbery last fall, he or the sheriff had roamed the alleys behind the main businesses every  night to  make sure everything  remained locked tight and secure. So far he’d seen only a typical Friday night, with everything as routine as Aunt Mae’s  boarding- house meal schedule. Of course, being Friday the thirteenth, anything could happen.
They already had two men put up for the night back at the jail. Sheriff Rutherford took the night duty to keep the jail cells warm so Cory could have Saturday  off for his Aunt Mae’s wedding. Ole Cooter probably got drunk and disorderly just so he’d have a warm place to sleep tonight and not have to go out to his shack. Cory held no blame on the man for that. Durand, the saloon owner, caught the other man cheating at cards and had him arrested. Maybe the card shark would move his game on to some other town.
He shivered despite the warm coat and hoped Abigail and Rachel would have dinner waiting for him back at the board- inghouse. What  with Aunt Mae’s  wedding tomorrow, those two women had taken over mealtimes until his aunt returned from her wedding trip.
What appeared to be a pile of trash sat outside the back
door  of Grayson’s  mercantile. Ordinarily the  store owner


wouldn’t leave a heap out in the open like that. Cory hesitated in making an investigation, but the snuffling and nickering of a horse grabbed his attention. His hand caressed the handle of his gun. No one and no animal should be here this time of night.
The horse, a palomino, stood off to one side. He wore a saddle, but the reins dangled to the ground. Cory went on alert, his eyes darting about the alley in search of a rider. He reached for the reins and patted the horse’s mane, then ran his hand down its flank. “Whoa, boy, what are you doing out wan- dering around?” No brand on his hindquarters meant he didn’t belong to a ranch around here, and Cory didn’t recognize the horse as belonging to any of the townspeople.
Then the pile by the back door moved, and along with the movement, a moan sounded. With his hand on his gun, Cory approached the mound. An arm flung out from the heap, and another cry. This was no animal. He knelt down to pull back what looked like an old quilt.
When the form of a young woman appeared, Cory jumped as though he’d  been shot. Every nerve in his body stood at attention as he reached out to remove more of the cover. A woman lay huddled under the quilt, and her body shook from the cold while a cough wracked through her chest, followed by another cry.
On closer inspection he realized she was younger than he first thought. Her smooth, unlined face and tangled hair were that of a young woman. She couldn’t be more than twenty, the same age as his sister Erin.
He bent over her to pick her up, and she started to scream,
but another coughing spell prevented it. When her blue eyes


peered up at him, they were so full of fear that they sent dag- gers of alarm straight to his soul. This girl was in trouble.
“Don’t be afraid. I’m the deputy sheriff. I won’t hurt you, but tell me your name and let me take you to the doctor.” He pointed to his badge in hope of reassuring her.
Instead her gaze darted back and forth as she pulled the blanket up under her chin. Her ungloved hands trembled with the cold. He removed his glove and reached out a hand to touch her forehead then yanked it back. She burned with fever. “You’re sick. We need you to get you to Doc Jensen’s right away.” He slid his hands beneath her to scoop her up into his arms. He almost lost his footing as he rose, thinking she’d be a heavier burden than she was. Light as a feather meant she was
probably malnourished too.
She moaned against his chest. “I’m so cold.”
Her voice, weak and hesitant, touched a nerve in him. He had to get her warm. Cory made sure the blanket covered her then grasped the horse’s reins. A low whistle brought his own horse closer. “Follow us, Blaze. We’re going to the infirmary.”
He held the girl tight to his chest to transfer some of his warmth to her. The quicker he could get her to the doctor, the quicker Doc could warm her up and treat that cough.
No time to worry about drunken cowboys or lumberjacks tonight.


The man who called himself a deputy carried her in his arms. With his gentle touch and voice, this man wasn’t like others she had known. Her body burned with heat then turned ice


cold with shivers.  So much pain racked her body that she didn’t have the strength to resist him anyway.
The man cradled her to his chest. “We’ll be at Doc Jensen’s in just a few minutes. Hang on, little lady.”
Little lady? Little, maybe, but certainly no lady by his stan- dards. Another cough wracked her chest and set her throat afire with pain. Her thin jacket and the quilt had been no match for the cold, especially after she’d crossed the river. Not enough heat in the day to dry her clothes before chilling her to the bone and causing this cough. She’d lost count of the days since she left home and had no idea how far she’d come. She’d avoided towns as much as possible, only entering long enough to pick up food at a mercantile.
Pa had to be on her trail by now, or he’d  have  others searching for her. Either way, she didn’t plan to get caught and be dragged back to Louisiana. Even now the memory of all that she had endured because of Pa made her stomach retch. She’d die before she let anyone take her back to that.
The man called for someone named Clem to go get the doc, and he’d meet him at the infirmary. Maybe he was a sheriff after all since he was sending for help. She didn’t dare open her eyes, lest he’d see her fears again. Until she could be absolutely certain he meant her no harm, she’d stay still and quiet.
She inhaled the masculine scent of horses, sweat, and leather. He smelled like hard work and not a trace of alcohol. Unusual for a man, even a lawman. In the background raucous music came from a saloon. She’d  recognize the tinny sound of saloon piano anywhere. It disappeared in the distance, and they proceeded down the street and up what felt like stairs or
steps onto what must be a boardwalk or porch.


He set her on her feet, and she peeped with one eye while he fumbled in his pocket then pulled out a ring of keys. In the next minute he had the door open and strode through it, car- rying her once again.
Antiseptics, alcohol, and carbolic acid greeted her nose. This must be the doctor’s  office. Not until he laid her on a hard surface did she open her eyes, half expecting him to be leering over her. Instead he had walked away to light a lamp, which filled the room with flickering shadows dancing on the walls. A glass door cabinet stood against the wall, and another bed sat a few feet away from where she lay.
He returned to stand beside her, and she almost shrank in fear at his size. Well over six feet tall, he’d removed his hat to reveal a mass of dark red hair curling about his forehead. His hand caressed her forehead, but she did not flinch, even though every inch of her wanted to. No need for him to know her fears.
“I see you’re awake. The doc will be here in a minute. He’ll fix you right up.”
Instead of resisting, her body relaxed at the gentle tone of his voice. He certainly didn’t  fit her idea of a lawman or a cowboy. No one but her ma had ever treated her so kindly. Most people treated her like trash under their feet and didn’t care whether she was well or sick. Still, he was a man. She had to be careful.
A woman’s voice sounded, along with another man’s. She turned her head to find a beautiful red-haired woman and an older man entering the room.
The one who must be the doctor stepped to her side.


“Well, Cory, what have we here?” His eyes held only concern and kindness behind his wire-rimmed glasses.
“I found  her in the alley behind the general store. She must have come in on horseback and fallen there.”
The woman brushed hair from Libby’s face. “Can you tell us your name?”
Her heart thumped. What if Pa came looking for her? But if she lied and stayed here, she’d have to keep lying. Another fit of coughing had the woman holding her upright and rubbing her back. When the spell ended, Libby whispered her name. “Elizabeth Bradley.”
The woman helped her lie back down. “Hello, Elizabeth. I’m Kate Monroe, the doc’s nurse, and this fellow who brought you in is my brother, Cory. He’s deputy sheriff in town.”
Just  having her there gave  Libby a sense of safety she needed with two men in the room. Her kind eyes, a green color that reminded Libby of the fake emeralds some of the saloon girls wore, had a tender look to them.
The doctor listened to her chest with a funny-looking bell on something hanging from his ears. He frowned then pulled the contraption down around his neck.  “I hear a lot of conges- tion in your lungs, young lady. How long have you been out in the cold?”
“I don’t know. I think it’s been several days. I left home in the middle of the night on Tuesday.” The days and nights had run together as she lost all track of time.
The doctor shook his head. “This is Friday night, so you’ve been out at least three days. No wonder your lungs are so con- gested.” He turned to the one called Kate. “Get a bed ready for
her. She’s staying the night and maybe longer.”


Libby tried to sit up but began coughing again. She couldn’t stay here. Pa would find her. Her plan had been to head west then south, where the winter temperatures were not as severe. She’d lost all sense of direction after the first night and had no idea which way she’d come.
Kate’s warm hands pushed her back down gently but firmly. “Lie still, Elizabeth. The doctor is right; you have to stay here.”
Tears welled in Libby’s eyes, and she squeezed them tight to keep the tears from falling. Though hard, this bed was so much better than the ground where she’d slept the past nights. Hospitals and doctors cost money. That’s why Pa wouldn’t go for the doctor until Ma was too sick to recover.
The doctor gave  her something that  tasted bitter, but she swallowed it and then lay back against the pillow Kate had placed beneath her head. The low murmur of voices ran together in a blur. One of the men said he’d stay, but the other one said something about a wedding. Who was getting mar- ried? Maybe they’d forget about her.
The tension ebbed from her body as the medication took over. Someone, most likely the deputy since the doctor was an old man, picked her up and took her into another room, where he laid her on the bed. She almost sighed at the cotton softness of the mattress beneath her. So much better than pine straw and hard-packed dirt.
Kate’s  voice followed  behind then shooed the man from the room. “I’m going to help her get settled for the night, so she doesn’t need you. Go on back to the boardinghouse. I’m sure you’ll find Abigail has something for you to eat.”
A few minutes later Kate had removed Libby’s still damp
and dirty clothes and slipped a warm gown over her head.


When Libby slid her arms into the sleeves, she realized it was her own gown. “How did you get this? It’s mine.”
“Cory  brought in the satchel you carried on your horse, and I found the gown in it. I warmed it by the wood stove in the other room.”
That warmth, along with the medication earlier, eased away the pain, and Libby let her eyes drift closed. Perhaps this was the place she should stay after all. She pulled up the covers and turned on her side. She’d think about that tomorrow. Tonight she’d sleep warm and dry for the first time in too many days
to count.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cannery Row...Review

About the book: 
Unburdened by the material necessities of the more fortunate, the denizens of Cannery Row discover rewards unknown in more traditional society. 

Henri the painter sorts through junk lots for pieces of wood to incorporate into the boat he is building, while the girls from Dora Flood’s bordello venture out now and then to enjoy a bit of sunshine. Lee Chong stocks his grocery with almost anything a man could want, and Doc, a young marine biologist who ministers to sick puppies and unhappy souls, unexpectedly finds true love. 

Cannery Row is just a few blocks long, but the story it harbors is suffused with warmth, understanding, and a great fund of human values.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this.  I hated Tortilla Flat which is also set in Monterey and so I was a little apprehensive about Cannery Row.  However, this was an enjoyable read.

I love Monterey and I'm very familiar with Cannery Row as it is today.  The story here, if you can call it that, isn't particularly happy, but it's interesting and compelling.  The characters are motley and colorful and as you move through their stories, they are certainly entertaining.  Cannery Row was its own little community within Monterey and this is a funny, poignant glimpse into history.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 6/12

* * * *
4/5 Stars

 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mary Magdalene...Review

About the book:
One woman desperate for hope. One Savior with the power to heal.

A beautiful girl blossoming into womanhood, Mary has high hopes for a life filled with learning, family, and young love. In one dreadful night, all of that changes. The nightmares come first, then the waking visions of unspeakable terror, until Mary hardly remembers her dreams for the future.

Can the Most High deliver her from this torment? How long must she wait for healing?

This vivid portrait of the enigmatic Mary of Magdala comes to life in the hands of an imaginative master storyteller. Diana Wallis Taylor introduces you to a Mary who is both utterly original and respectful of the biblical account, opening your eyes to a redemption that knows no bounds.

With colorful descriptions, the biblical world of Mary Magdalene comes to life.

Like many of our biblical heroes and heroines, little is known about Mary Magdalene and much of what has been perpetuated through the ages is speculation or inference, not fact.  Diana Wallis Taylor has crafted a wonderful story about Mary, her life and how she came to travel with the Savior.  Her life, as portrayed here, while it can't answer questions about Mary, is believable.

In the book of Luke, we read that Jesus cast out "seven devils" from Mary and Diana gives a fantastic portrayal of Mary before that event took place.  As word of Jesus and his ministry spreads, Mary's husband brings her to him, believing that he will heal her.  A wonderful cast of supporting characters brings Mary's experience to life and it is both heartbreaking and tender to read.

I particularly enjoyed Mary's interactions with the apostles and the portrayal of the last days of Jesus' ministry.

Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Donna Hausler of Baker Publishing for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Diana Wallis Taylor here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 6/12

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Friday, June 15, 2012

Anniversary Waltz...Review

About the book:
At their sixtieth anniversary party, Adam Carlson asks his wife, Elizabeth, for their customary waltz. After the dance they gather the family and share their story-a story of love and courage overcoming adversity and thriving in the face of overwhelming odds.

It's the summer of 1946, and Adam has just returned from the war to his home in Reunion, Montana. At a town festival he meets Elizabeth Baxter, a young woman going steady with his former high school rival and now influential banker, Nathan Roberts.

When Adam and Elizabeth share a waltz in a deserted pavilion one evening, their feelings begin to grow and they embark on a journey, and a dance, that will last a lifetime.

As Adam returns home from WW2, he finds his family in danger of losing their farm and he meets a lovely young woman he is immediately drawn to.  Unfortunately, she is dating the banker who is threatening foreclosure on Adam's family's farm.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Adam and Elizabeth's story.  The post WW2 setting was perfect, the villain villainous. Seriously, I hated Nathan. What a jerk.  The story is captivating and simple and hard to put down.

Based on a true story, this is a sweet novel about love and relationships. 

Thanks to LeAnn Hamby of Glass Road Media Management for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Darrel Nelson here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 6/12

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Glamorous Illusions...Review

About the book:
It's the summer of 1913 and Cora Kensington's life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. Not only are the crops failing, but someone dear to Cora is failing as well.

One fateful afternoon, a stranger comes to call, and Cora discovers a terrible secret about her past...a secret that will radically change her future.

Cora is invited to take the "Grand Tour" of Europe, a trip intended to finish a person's education and solidify an understanding of refinement and ancient culture.  As she travels from England to France with kin she's never known, Cora encounters the blessings of a family name, as well as the curses.  But when an unbidden love begins to form, she realizes there are far greater challenges ahead...

Copper barons, small town Montana, family secrets and adventure.  Facing the loss of the family farm and the possible death of the man she always believe to be her father, Cora has no idea what is in store for her when her biological father shows up at her home.  Whisked into a new life of luxury, Cora also meets her half-siblings and they are not all welcoming to her.  As her Grand Tour progresses, Cora discovers new people and new places, but more importantly, she discovers her inner strengths and faith in God.

I don't love first person, but I liked Cora and seeing her story unfold.  I loved Will and Pierre and I hope that Vivian redeems herself in later novels.  I love the European setting and reading about places I've been, even if it was in a different era. This was a delightful book and one I was reluctant to put down.

First in the Grand Tour series, I'm glad there are sequels, but I hate having to wait for them.

Thanks to Christen at Litfuse Publicity for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Lisa T. Bergren here.  You can purchase your own copy here.  You can see other reviews and tour stops here.

Read 5/12

* * * *
4/5

Monday, June 11, 2012

Waiting for Sunrise...Review

About the book:
Sometimes finding your future means making peace with your past. 

Patsy Milstrap wishes she could leave her past behind. Though she tries to put on a brave front for the sake of her family, the wounds still ache, and the scars on her soul are still deeply felt. At her concerned husband's gentle insistence, they take a vacation from South Carolina on Cedar Key, an idyllic island on Florida's Gulf Coast. A week in paradise will do them good, he says. 

When a familiar--and most unexpected--face greets her at a seaside restaurant, Patsy knows she can no longer run from the past. But what will opening old wounds mean? And what will the future hold? 

With a large helping of Southern charm, Waiting for Sunrise is a touching story of family, young love, and the need for forgiveness. Eva Marie Everson expertly draws out the bittersweet moments of life, weaving them into a tale that will envelop your soul.

Struggling with the after effects of a dysfunctional childhood and believing she was abandoned by her mother, Patsy tries to project a perfect, happy front for her family.  When her husband suggests a vacation to Florida, Patsy has no idea what events will unfold and how she must face her past.

Told in flashbacks, Patsy's story is one that I didn't want to put down and I couldn't wait to see who Patsy sees again at the restaurant.  It wasn't who I'd expected it to be.  I loved Gilbert and I relished how the story unfolded and resolved.

Like Chasing Sunsets, Waiting for Sunrise deals with some serious topics.  Here, it's mental illness, abandonment and post-traumatic stress.  But, it's not a heavy book.  Rather, it's a moving story about family, faith and forgiveness.  Completely enjoyable and easily recommended.

Second in the Cedar Key series, the story stands alone just fine.

Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. You can learn more about Eva Marie Everson here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 5/12

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tortilla Flat...Review

About the book:
Adopting the structure and themes of the Arthurian legend, Steinbeck created a "Camelot" on a shabby hillside above Monterey on the California coast and peopled it with a colorful band of knights. As Steinbeck chronicles their thoughts and emotions, temptations and lusts, he spins a tale as compelling, and ultimately as touched by sorrow, as the famous legends of the Round Table.

It's been a long time since I've read Steinbeck and this was one of his books I had never looked at, but I love Monterey.  So, I picked this up at the library and seriously?  I wish I had those two hours back.

Sure, the time period was difficult and the Depression affected everyone regardless where they lived or their ethnicity.  But, there's nothing redeeming about any character here.  There is nothing compelling about the story and no reason for me to even want to write a review about it.

I'm sure that there are English teachers out there who glory in having their students review drivel like this, but I can think of a lot more books more worthy of my time.

Read 6/12

*
1/5 Stars

 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Working Successfully with Screwed Up People...Preview

About the book:
Crazy co-workers stressing you out? Here's the solution.

Let's face it. Some people just don't listen, don't care, and aren't willing to compromise. And you probably work with some of them. The incomprehensible supervisor. The person in the next office who chats more than works. The customer who, by the way, isn't always right. 

The good news is, it doesn't take two people to change a relationship in the workplace. It takes one--you! Now the bestselling author of Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People offers expert advice to help you not only get along with co-workers who get under your skin but actually succeed at work in spite of them. You'll learn how to be unflappable, imperturbable, and unflustered in every workplace situation. Less stress at work can start today. So what are you waiting for?

About the author:
Elizabeth B. Brown assures people that there is hope for healing after the loss of a child in her first book Sunrise Tomorrow. In subsequent books she offers hope in her books to move on, to make the Joy Choice and to heal difficult relationships. She has written Sunrise Tomorrow, Coping with the Death of a Child; The Joy Choice; Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People; Surviving the Loss of a Child, Hope for Grieving Parents; and Working Successfully with Screwed-Up People.

She has been involved on all levels of education, and now teaches a course on death and dying at the Quillen Medical School in Johnson City. She helped found the Hands On! Museum, a children's education-based interactive museum. Elizabeth and Paul speak on grief and healing relationships in conferences across the country.

She and her husband Paul, a physician, live in Johnson City, Tennessee. They have four children and five grandchildren. Elizabeth is active in the community in arts, education, and the church. The Brown family enjoys travel, horseback riding, and water and snow sports. They have traveled extensively throughout the world. Underlying all their activities and commitments is a strong faith that puts family first with all the responsibilities that entails, including cheering at a multitude of children's events and car-pooling.

-----------------------------------------
Available May 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Donna Hausler of Baker Publishing for the opportunity to preview this book. You  can learn more about Dr. Elizabeth Brown here.  You can purchase your own copy here.