Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dare to Love Again, A Trip Back in Time for the Price of a Book!

Cover ArtNob Hill, Barbary Coast, Fisherman's Wharf, Cable Cars, Ghiradelli Chocolates...need I say more? Dare to Love again captures the sights and sounds of San Francisco in the early 20th century.  You will find intrigue in Chinatown, opium, plenty of unsavory characters and romance.

Allison McClare, the heroine in our story is a feisty, independent woman with a temper to match that of Detective Nick Barone, her nemesis from page one. The two become an unlikely pair as Allison flaunts danger by her desire for a cable car ride after working late. She teaches at a girls school recently started by her mother. As luck would have it, she is forced to be under the watchful eye of Barone, who turns the tables on her plans and saves her from a terrible fate.

Enter Allison's family, a large bunch who live at the top of the hill, far from the life of the city below until Caitlin McClare opens the Hand of Hope School for girls. The story is rich in characters who have their own stories to tell giving hope there will be a third book in this series by Julie Lessman.

Barone and Allison have both been unlucky in love, each have an aversion to any ideas of ever loving again. Neither can give any thought to trusting a member of the opposite sex again. While there are serious sides to this book, the sparring between Barone and Allison kept me wondering what they would say or do to each other next!  If you like colorful surroundings and plenty of things going on to keep your interest, you will enjoy Dare to Love Again.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Calling

TheCallingLast night I finished reading the Calling, Suzanne Woods Fisher's latest book in the Inn at Eagle Hill series. I had been anticipating the release of this book since reading the first book, The Letters.

The Schrock family lost everything with the downfall family business, Schrock Family Investments, forcing them to move in with their grandmother; their oldest son, Tobe disappeared and their father died in an accident, all within a year.  Leaving more questions than answers, we meet with the surviving Schrock family members once again and how they are surviving at Eagle Hill.

Bethany Schrock, the main character in this book is a young woman faced with many trials. She has lost her father, her brother is missing and she still feels the blight of being abandoned by her mother. Her heart aches from the realization that her romance with Jake was one sided. She meets with unbelievable acts at his hand that prove what a scoundrel he truly is.

Intertwined through the story along with Bethany is Geena, a recently fired Youth Minister. She came to the inn for a breather, happily staying on as a summer heat wave brought cancellations to the inn. Both young women will find their own calling as the story unfolds and their friendship deepens.

The Calling is full of romance, mystery and the importance of family, friendship and trust. I like how Suzanne develops the characters in the story. Bethany and Geena, as expected grow within these pages as expected. Carefree Jimmy Fisher, who is in love with Bethany, must prove himself to Bethany throughout the book.  Edith, Jimmy's mother also shows a glimpse of who she really is. The Sisters are delightful, showing how much love and determination can do for us all in the spirit of their generosity.

The book opens itself to another novel that I hope will give more insight into the lives of these wonderful Amish people who seem more like friends than characters in a novel. I am looking forward to the release of The Revealing in July 2014. Six months seems a long time to wait when I get hooked on a series, but I waited for The Calling and it was worth the wait!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Everyday Confetti

Product DetailsI have been reviewing Everyday Confetti by Karen Ehman & Glynnis Whitwer. Over the years I learned the hard way that I book too much for the holidays. All holidays. From the days I made every cookie for Christmas to the time I made my then two-year old daughter an Easter dress the day before I just pushed myself. What did I get? Tension, extra stress and the anxiety of not having the best for everyone at my table.

Everyday Confetti is a book that makes sense for perfectionists like me.  Karen and Glynnis have captured the essence yet simplify the special days of our lives. In this book you will find a recipe for Overnight Sticky Buns (a personal favorite), highlights to make an day special comments by Lynn Cowell  and other Proverbs 31 Ministry speakers.

Something that is an aha moment for many of us is that we can't do it all. Our family doesn't care if we serve a Crown Roast with paper crowns on all the ribs...or what dishes we use. I recommend this book to all women who want to enjoy time with the family on these special days rather than being stuck in the kitchen.
Everyday Confetti has great ideas for more than just Christmas and Easter. It gives great ideas for last minute celebrations of ordinary days that we can implement with things on hand and within budget.

As we look back on family time well spent I think most of us remember simple times with laughter and love.  Everyday Confetti will be released on January 21st. You can pre-order it at  I recommend it for every woman who celebrates life!

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year New You?

New Year's day is a time of reflection on changes I want to make in my life. I have never been one to
actually write a list of resolutions, thinking that every day can be the beginning of change. I have several areas where I can improve my life but it is a daily thing. I can struggle minute by minute to lose one pound or a week to actually get active and ride my stationary bike two days in a row. I can look at the daily bible reading plans and hold true to the schedule for a few days. 

If I had one resolution for this year it would be to resolve to see things through for more than a few days. I am blessed with the gift of perseverance so I don't  understand how some things are just so hard to stick with. Life changes frequently. I embrace change so what gives on lifestyle change? All things are possible with Christ yet I still find these little areas where I have to take charge and not let God guide me. 

Later this month I will begin an online bible study with Proverbs 31 Ministries. We will be going through Lysa TerKeurst's book Made to Crave.  I have read this book before...well most of it because as I have said, change can be hard for me to stick with. The ladies at my church will also be studying this book so I will have their camaraderie in addition to the ladies posting in the online study. I look forward to this study and commit to check in occasionally on my progress.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Suspense and Intrigue....

Cover ArtI love to read. My mother instilled this in me at a very young age although for years I was lax in pursuing this passion. Fast forward and I can't get enough of a good mystery. I just finished reading No One to Trust by Lynette Eason. The book hooked me from page one. Imagine waking up to find your husband gone and a stranger looming over your bed. Take it another step and discover all that you held dear is nothing but lies and betrayal. For Summer Abernathy the world as she knew it ricocheted like a bullet into a nightmare of organized crime and a husband she hardly recognized. The book is one suspense filled page after another.

Lynette's fist book in her new series, Hidden Identity, won me over as a new fan after a late night reading a book I couldn't put down.  The story is full of hidden identities that emerge as part of one big puzzle that seems disconnected until the end of the story.

This is romantic christian mystery is action packed but contains no sex or coarse language; none of that is necessary. I can't wait to read the next book in the series, but have to wait until fall! I hope you will join me in my quest for better reading.  This book is published by  Revell, a division of Baker House Fiction, a company that has been in business for 75 years. Check out their website for more good books.