Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review: Dying to Read ... 4/5

So after last week (or maybe the week before), I was ready for a book where the guy got the girl. (It's a thing for me.) I picked up this book and it was laugh out loud funny. I loved the heroine. She becomes a detective sort of by accident. She stumbles onto a murder and then stumbles onto the murderer (s). It was a great fun ride.

The book is very quirky and it was fun all the way through. Not a very serious read, but I did fall in love with the main character , Cate Kincaid. She was warm and loving and her internal dialogue was so darn funny.

Back Page:

All she wanted was a paycheck. What she got was a murder.

Cate Kinkaid's life is . . . well, frankly it's floundering. Her social life, her career, her haircut--they're all a mess. Unemployed, she jumps at the chance to work for her PI uncle, even though she has no experience and no instincts. After all, she is just dabbling in the world of private investigating until she can find a "real" job.
All she has to do for her first assignment is determine that a particular woman lives at a particular address. Simple, right? But when she reaches the dark Victorian house, she runs into an hungry horde of gray-haired mystery readers and a dead body. This routine PI job is turning out to be anything but simple. Is Cate in over her head?

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Book Review: Whispers in the Wind ... 1/5

Well a rating of 1 out of 5 isn't really fair to the book because I am punishing it for not being what I expected. =). Picture this, I was having a hard day, I was tired exhausted and I just wanted to escape to a place where happy endings were always the case and the guy always gets the girl. So when I saw an envelope in the mail with new books to review I was so relieved to have a place to escape for a bit.

If you had asked me about 1/3 of the way through I would have said that I liked the heroine and thought she was believable and someone I would like to cheer for. I started having a sinking feeling about half way through the book. There was no hero. Well there was a couple of good guys but no potential beaus for our heroine, Cassie.

Needless to say, no hero showed up and my hope for an evening passed watching a good guy get a good girl were not to be. I am not sure that I can be objective after that.

So I will leave it there.

Back Page:
She's Come This Far.... Must She Turn Back Now? After fleeing North Dakota and the now defunct Wild West Show, Cassie Lockwood and her companions have finally found the hidden valley in South Dakota where her father had dreamed of putting down roots. But to her dismay, she discovers a ranch already built on her land. Cassie's arrival surprises Mavis Engstrom and forces her to reveal secrets she's kept hidden for years. Her son Ransom is suspicious of Cassie and questions the validity of her claim to the valley. But younger son Lucas decides from the start that he is in love with her and wants to marry her. Will Cassie be able to build a home on the Bar E Ranch and fulfill her father's dream of raising horses, or will she be forced to return to the itinerant life of her past?

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Review: my stubborn heart ... 5/5

I loved this book. I cannot say it any other way. The main character, Kate Donovan, is a woman who thinks that marriage and kids are not God's will for her life. She also thinks that good looking men are out of her league (or not worth the trouble). Enter the good looking man. Matt Jarreau is a hockey star who hung up his skates when his wife died. He has completely withdrawn from life. He has been hired by Kate's Gran to renovate the family home. He anticipates working in peace and quiet. But Kate and Gran have other ideas. Kate constantly works beside him (even with his not so subtle hints that she should leave). But she is on a mission to heal him. 

The book is wonderful and funny and really well written. Kate is a very secure, warm and loving individual with just a few insecurities to give her character. Matt Jarreau is a great guy who is buried under a mountain of grief. He comes alive bit by bit and at the end he is the man that God meant him to be. There is an elderly gentleman in the book who has a major crush on  one of gran's lady friends. He bribes Kate into helping him get a date and it is hilarious what she has to go through to get him the date.

Publisher page for my stubborn heart

Back page:

Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks her to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.

Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man hired to renovate the house. Kate can't help being attracted to him, drawn by both his good looks and something else she can't quite put her finger on. He's clearly wounded--hiding from people, from God, and from his past. Yet Kate sets her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back into the light... whether he likes it or not. 

When the stilted, uncomfortable interactions between Kate and Matt slowly shift into something more, is God finally answering the longing of her heart? Or will Kate be required to give up more than she ever dreamed?

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Book Review: The Pursuit of Lucy Banning ... 3/5

Every once in a while I come across a romance where I don't identify with the characters. And I think it may be that they are just people I would not understand in real life. In this case the heroine Lucy Banning has a thirst for knowledge and loves learning in a time when learning for women was discouraged. She goes behind her fiancee's and parent's backs in order to pursue her goal of a degree. She calculates and plans how to escape notice. I think her goal was noble and in the end people understood that this is what she wanted to do. But it just seemed dishonest.

However, the book was really well written. I loved the setting in Chicago months before the world fair opened. I also loved how the Lucy's ex-fiancee's suffered from a mental illness and how it was portrayed and dealt with within the family. Lucy showed great compassion in going to the rescue of him, after he had stalked her and tried to kidnap her. I will look for Olivia Newport's next book to see if I can relate to those characters better.

I also love the cover picture... =)

Publisher's page about The Pursuit of Lucy Banning

Back Cover:
She has a secret to keep. But will she give her heart away?
Lucy Banning may live on the exclusive Prairie Avenue among Chicago's rich and famous, but her heart lies elsewhere. Expected to marry an up-and-coming banker from a respected family, Lucy fears she will be forced to abandon her charity work and squeeze herself into the mold of the well-dressed wife who spends most of her time and money redecorating.
When she meets Will, an unconventional young architect who is working on plans for the upcoming 1893 World's Fair, Lucy imagines a life lived on her own terms. Can she break away from her family's expectations? And will she ever be loved for who she truly is?
Get swept away into the lavish world of Chicago's high society as Olivia Newport brings to life an age of glitz and grandeur, stark social contrasts, and one woman who dares to cross class lines for what she believes.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Book Review for Chasing the Sun...5/5

I haven't given a rating before but this one is definitely a 5 outta 5.

Here is the back cover:
Hannah is desperate for help..
William is determined to regain his family's land...
When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but also for the Texas ranch her father recently acquired. A marriage of convenience could ease her predicament... but is it the true desire of her heart?
Wounded soldier William Barnett returns home only to find out that his family's ranch has been seized. Though angered at this turn of events, he's surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.
Despite these circumstances, Hannah and William form an uneasy truce... and an undeniable attraction builds between them. In a land where loyalties are divided in a country ravaged by war, is there any hope that the first blush of love can survive?
I loved it, absolutely loved it. The main character is Hannah. Hannah has had a hard life but she doesn't seem to partake in the "Drama Queen" role (that many of us seem to slip into so easily). She simply does what needs doing and follows God. The book is set during the American Civil War in Texas. Hannah has two younger siblings that she cares for so selflessly. During one scene a group of Comanches (or Numunuu, the people, as they call themselves) arrives in her yard. She walks out to them and greets them as if they were dropping by for a cup of sugar. This earns respect from the leader of the leader of the Numunuu and me the reader.

The hero, William, is equally as inspiring. He reminds me of my hubby. =) He is peace loving and gentle and kind.

I loved the book, did I say that already?? This one is a winner, thank you Tracie Peterson and Bethany House for a delightful experience.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Organizing on the cheap: spices

I've been doing a lot of organizing lately. It's been fun. For some reason it soothes me. Here are some of my projects:

My spice cupboard is my pride and joy. I am immensely practical and this situation works. There is a three tier shelvy thingy (I believe that that is the technical term). So I think I picked something like this up somewhere. Knowing me I bought it on sale or second hand.

And then I bought spice jars at Dollarama, as you can see they are 3 for a dollar.

And then I used my handy dandy labeller that I got for free with a mail in rebate. I have a pt-2100 and it allows me to plug it into my computer and print labels with icons on the computer. I don't think you can see but there is a little salt and pepper shaker next to the name of the spice. I have 2 shelves of this many spices and the great thing about is that spices come down for a recipe and then they just have to find the right empty spot to be home again. this is the final look:

Book review "In Too Deep"

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

I love this series by Mary Connealy. The first in this series was Out of Control. The series is about 3 boys, raised in the west in the 1800s. As children, their parents were distant and non-caring. So they explored the countryside with no restraints. There was an incident that scarred the three of them in different ways. The first born (in Out of Control) learned to deal with the world by trying to control his environment. The second born, Ethan (In Too Deep), reacted to the incident by not allowing himself to feel for anyone. Anytime he felt any emotion he would slap a big old smile on his face and not feel the emotion anymore. 

I thought it was very much like how we all cope with whatever life throws at us. Some people pretend that it never happened and doesn't affect them. Some people, like me, try and control every situation so that we never get hurt again. And some people just break. 

I love this book. Imagine a real hero. A person that for all his grinning is incredibly broken inside and avoids emotions like the plague. But despite his fear, does what is right. Ethan agrees to marry Audra because of circumstances. And then Audra helps him to see that his views about himself are not accurate. I don't think you necessarily need to read the first book to get this book but it sure makes some stuff easier to get.

Here is the back cover bit:

In 1866 Colorado, Ethan Kincaid agrees to a marriage of convenience with the same casual disregard he gives every decision. Audra Gilliland, young mother of two, accepts his proposal because she wants to stop being a burden to her newly married stepdaughter.

And suddenly both of them are in far deeper than they'd planned.

Ethan doesn't expect Audra to affect him so profoundly, and when she begins to, he's terrified of the pain he's felt before when someone he loved was seriously injured on his watch. He's determined that his new wife will do as he says so he can keep her safe from the dangers that lurk on their ranch.

Audra has been cared for all her life by one man or another--and they've done a poor job of it. Now she's planning to stand up for herself. And her new husband had better agree or get out of her way!

What will it take to transform two wayward hearts fearful of getting in too deep into two trusting hearts ready to risk falling deeply in love?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Book Review "Confident Heart"

I have no idea why this book is not appealing to me. It is not that it is not relevant to my life. I need more confidence in God's truth in me. It is not that it isn't well written, it is. I cannot put my finger on why I cannot read more than a couple of pages without putting it down. I guess I cannot connect with the author. I connect with her circumstances, but when she explains her thoughts and feelings, I cannot relate.

Maybe it is the wrong time for this book. Maybe in another season it will work for me.

Book Review "The Doctor's Lady"

This was a great book. Two very strong characters with a plot based on a historical story. Priscilla and Eli are two young Christian's that are determined that God has called them to be missionaries. Unfortunately the missionary board has decided that unmarried missionaries are not to be sent out. Which puts them in a bit of a pickle, so they decide to get married.

They are sent west. Not a lot of women have made it west. The journey is fraught with danger. Disease, famine and freezing temperatures are all endured and survived. The love story between them was complicated (of course). He did not think that a woman could make it, and she thought that his opinion meant that she was not worthy. Throughout the trip, he was pushing them to keep up with the wagon train. But through misadventure and sickness they were not able to keep up. She was given custody of a baby along the way, and then a ruthless man tried to blackmail her into coming with him to be with the baby. He learned to lean on God instead of the wagon train. And she learned that she was all that God wanted and to trust God despite all.

At the end she was re-united with the baby and the her husband. Sigh...