Book Review -Written in the Stars & Written in the Dust Duology

SUMMARY 

No one is happy about beauty queen Brooke Landgon’s return to Hope Canyon, Arkansas, least of all Brooke herself. Not her old friend Holly Christian, nor Holly’s friend Hunter Pierce, and definitely not Brooke’s first love Gatlin Moore. But after her marriage fails and her grandmother dies leaving Brooke her house, return she does. Brooke has a lot of fences to mend in Hope Canyon, but she would rather hole up at her grandmother’s house and ignore everyone. But that’s almost impossible in a town this small.

Holly is dealing with her own wish to hide after her fiance dies without telling anyone he had broken up with her. She just can’t tell the truth about the town’s golden boy without hurting everyone. So she strikes an odd bargain with her estranged childhood friend. She will give Brooke a place to stay and help Brooke while she fixes up her grandmother’s house if Brooke will act as a buffer for all the well-wishing citizens of Hope Canyon.

But these two ladies are as different as chalk and cheese. Not to mention, there are two men harboring some long-simmering feeling towards these two opposites. Hunter has always been in love with Holly, but was the third wheel in a lopsided friendship with Holly and her fiance Chad. While Gatlin is still boiling mad at Brooke’s abandonment of him years ago.

It’s amazing what the return of a prodigal can stir up in one small town. Change is on the horizon for four people who have forgotten how tight the past can tie people together. Continue reading “Book Review -Written in the Stars & Written in the Dust Duology”

Book Review -Where Hope Begins

SUMMARY

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.” -Anne Lamott

Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations.

Still reeling from a family tragedy years before, Savanna Barrington is just barely holding it together. When her husband leaves her for another woman, she runs away to the solace of her family’s home in the Berkshires to lick her wounds.  Though angry, she must hold it together while she acts as the mediator for her children and her family with the husband who betrayed her.  But Savanna feels as barren as the winter snow outside her front door.

Then she meets her next door neighbors, the elderly but spunky Clarice, her reclusive nephew Brock and his daughter Maysie.  These three invade her solitude and provide her with solace in their own ways. Maysie with her childlike faith and laughter, Clarice with her mature faith and offer to tend a dead garden and Brock with his appreciation and attraction to Savanna.

But running away only offers a temporary reprieve. Savannah must eventually face the problems which led not only to the breakdown of her marriage but also to the breakdown of her family. Continue reading “Book Review -Where Hope Begins”

Book Review -The Heart Between Us

SUMMARY

Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota hometown and living with her parents, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.

When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.

As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most. Continue reading “Book Review -The Heart Between Us”

Book Review -The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

SUMMARY

After her seemingly perfect life falls apart, Sarah Hollenbeck reinvents herself as a successful author of steamy romance novels.  At the height of her fame, Sarah becomes a Christian. Determined to leave her old life behind completely, she experiences culture shock as she throws herself into a new lifestyle.

But her old identity isn’t so easy to leave behind. Her fans and her publisher are clamoring for a new release. Meanwhile, Sarah’s past is one she tries to keep quiet at her new church, especially when she begins dating her pastor. Sarah is sincere in her desire for a complete personal transformation. But navigating the expectations, demands and privacy concerns of her new life presents a challenge. Continue reading “Book Review -The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck”

Book Year 2017 Review

Another year has passed and as usual it was full of good books. Although I didn’t quite reach last year’s book tally of over 100 books, I still managed to become finish over 65 titles. I think this is a pretty good number considering I went back to work full time this year.

I read a lot of really great books this year, many of them by authors who are new to me. But I managed to condense my favorites list down to a manageable size. Continue reading “Book Year 2017 Review”

Book Review -The Girl Who Chased the Moon

The girl who chased the moon SUMMARY

After her mother’s death, Emily Benedict moves south to Mullaby, North Carolina to live with the grandfather she never knew she had. But soon upon her arrival she notices some oddities about the town, not the least of which is her literal giant of a grandfather. Perhaps the worst, is the way many in the town respond to her. Their responses seem tied to her mother’s history in Mullaby. They leave Emily with more questions than answers about her mother’s past.

While Emily has just arrived, her adult neighbor Julia, is counting down the days until she can leave. She returned to Mullaby upon her father’s death.  Emily has been managing his famous barbecue restaurant until she can earn enough to pay off the mortgage and sell the business. Julia’s dream is to open her own bakery, but she tells no one the reason why. Her last six months can’t pass quickly enough, especially when a man with whom she shares a tragic history starts pursuing her. Continue reading “Book Review -The Girl Who Chased the Moon”

Top Ten Tuesday -Book Recommendations for Arm Chair Travelers

Aside from reading one of my grand passions in life is travel. I love exploring other countries and cultures. However, in the last several years I haven’t been able to travel as much as I would like for various reasons. Luckily for me, I can still experience the world through my arm chair travels and so can you.

For today’s theme from The Broke and The Bookish  I’ve chosen books which feature settings from around the world. I’ve tried to feature more contemporary than historical books, to mimic what the current geography and culture of these countries would be if you were physically there. But since historical fiction is my jam, some of those titles have slipped in. Click on the title for more information on each story.

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Book Recommendations for Arm Chair Travelers”

Most Anticipated Books of 2017

As an avid reader I have an exorbitantly large TBR pile of books which have already been released that I plan to read. I think this list is now in the hundreds, but I don’t let that stop me from also having a list of as yet unreleased books which I desperately want to add to that pile.

Here is my partial list for 2017:

The Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden -This debut book by a new author has a contemporary story that sounds interesting. Plus, I love the cover. Continue reading “Most Anticipated Books of 2017”