Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tuesday Tales: Reviewing The Innocent

the-innocentI have read a few of Ann H. Gabhart's books and I have to say that The Innocent is quite a change for me from Summer of Joy or Love Comes home. Imagine you are a young woman waiting two years for the return of your missing husband from the Civil War. Although the war is long over, she keept alive the hope thathe is still alive.  After all, He was eported only missing, not dead. Barely able to survive on her own and care for their farm, she persisted in working hard only to lose her home.

The story unfolds into a bittersweet tale of one lone woman against the odds. Unable to support herself after losing her farm, Carlyn Kearney makes a decision to join the Shakers at Harmony Hill.  I was surprised to learn everything she had to give up to to move into the quiet, secure Shaker community, including her dog.  Life is peaceful there until strange, unsettling things began to happen within the village that cast newcomer into a Carlyn a natural suspect.

Sheriff Mitchell Brodie knows that there are strange things happening at Harmony Hill and he believes everything goes much deeper than the arrival of a young, beautiful widow. He is determined to solve the mysteries, prove her innocence and, hopefully, safe.

I have been  having a hard time not spilling out the whole story but you will want to read it yourself. I read it in two days with a lot of interruptions. Ann is a master at hooking you into a story and tackling difficult topics. I have no prior knowledge of the Shaker lifestyle and associate them with beautiful wooden boxes and a calm demeaner. I believe a good witer influences us to dig deeper into part of the story. I plan to do a little research on the Shaker lifestyle.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fiction Friday with Melody Carlson!

Melody Carlson's Once Upon a Summertime has so much appeal for the young reader. Have you every had a dream only to have roadblocks detouring the high road to the alley with ruts you clearly want ed to miss?  When Anna Gordon finished graduate school she never dreamed she would be back in Springville managing the Value Lodge!  Her dream was to visit the world and manage a 5-star hotel not sleep on her grandmother's sofa and manage a -1 motel. 

Her career takes a  right turn when she bumps into Marley, an old friend who happens to be helping out at her family's restaurant for a couple of weeks.  Marley leads an exciting life in New York as an international flight attendant.  While Anna may be embarrassed to share her current career, Marley is not shy about offering advice about getting Anna out of Springville and onto the fast track at a boutique hotel opening up in New York.  Anna Get a call for an interview for the Rothsberg, but before she can take her references to New York she is fired from her job a Value Lodge. Trying to make changes at a motel that was content to be just a cheap spot on the road backfired.                                                                                                 Without references for the past two years she can't compete with Sean O'Neil, former manager of a boutique hotel in Dublin. Anna lands a good job at the Rothsberg. Sean, who is also from her hometown of Springville, is falling for Anna and she is doing her best to avoid a strict policy on office romance.                                                                                                            There are a lot of wonderful twists to the plot and I don't want to spoil any one of them for a reader considering this book for purchase. I recommend this as a good addition to your summer reading list. You will share with Anna's joys, fret with her worries and find joy after all. Pick up a copy at your favorite bookseller or get an ebook to read it right away!  As with her other books Melody Carlson develops her characters into people you can identify with as yourself, a friend or someone else who had that dilemma you shared between the pages. Once Upon a Summer time is the first book in her new Follow Your Heart Series.  Enjoy!