Monday, October 17, 2022

A Quilt for Christmas Book Review

 I was excited to get a chance to read another Melody Carson Christmas book. A Quilt for Christmas by Melody Carlson was a great book to add to my Christmas reading pile. I have enjoyed a few of her books in the past and certainly can't turn down a good Christmas book or movie.  My favorite type of book to read because it really has the spirit of the season to get my in the mood for the holiday. I look forward to reading these great piece of the holiday spirit.

 

A Quilt for Christmas: A Christmas Novella

Christmas should be celebrated with family. But for Vera Swanson, that's not an option this year. Widowed and recently relocated, she is lonely in her condo-for-one—until little Fiona Albright knocks on her door needing help. With her mother seriously ill and her father out of town, Fiona enlists Vera's help, and when she finds out her new neighbor is a quilter, she has a special request—a Christmas quilt for Mama. 

Vera will have to get a ragtag group of women together in order to fulfill the request. Between free-spirited artist Tasha, chatty empty nester Beverly, retired therapist Eleanor, and herself, Vera has hopes that Christmas for the Albright family will be merry, after all—and she may find herself a new family of friends along the way. 

Bestselling and award-winning author Melody Carlson invites you to cuddle up this holiday season with this cozy story of giving, forgiving, and a little bit of romance.

I started off the story thinking that it was going to be sad and was a little worried but as always, there is a quick pick up of hope. I was instantly won over by Fiona Albright who was an adorable little girl that was coming to a neighbor that she didn't even know to ask for help for her mom.  Vera Swanson stepped up to take care of three neighbor children that she didn't even know because their mother was in the hospital and their father was working out of town.  Vera was brought back alive from the short few days with Fiona by starting a project to make her mom a Christmas quilt.  Vera put herself out into the neighborhood and gets to know some people who are interested in learning how to quilt and might be able to help her finish this big project by Christmas in order to bless this family who was new to the area.  It was a fast read that was an emotional story that had you hoping for all of the characters in the story. There were all the members of the Albright family, Vera Swanson and the Quilting ladies and their families.  It was a great mix of characters and all of the interactions brought more information to the surface.  The characters in the quilting group were all very different and they brought out qualities so that you could learn about everyone while making the Christmas quilt but you have to pick up the book for yourself to find out what happens. As with many shorter stories, I sometimes get to the end and wish there was a little more but that might be true with many books. I hope that you check out this book by Melody Carlson and a bunch of her other Christmas stories.

* I was given a copy of this book for my review but all opinions here are honest and my own.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Sunburst Book Review

I have loved all of the books by Susan May Warren that I have read so I was excited to read this one. Sunburst: Book 2 Sky King Ranch by Susan May Warren is the second book in the series and I was so excited to find out what brother this book was going to be about. After reading about Dodge in the first book, I was excited to read about the next brother. The cover looks amazing and seemed like it would be another good flying book. I was ready to get to know all the ins and outs of this interesting family even though the cover clearly isn't set in Alaska.



When former Navy SEAL and lifelong bachelor Ranger Kingston is called upon to take part in a rescue mission to save his brother Colt, who has been kidnapped by terrorists in Nigeria, he is shocked to find among the hostages a woman he knows and could never forget.

Noemi Sutton was attempting to return a young girl to her family in Boko Haram territory when she and the girl found themselves taken hostage, along with several others.

And while Ranger Kingston may be able to get the hostages away from their captors, he'll need Noemi's help if he ever hopes to get out of Nigeria alive.

Her solution? Pose as husband and wife. But when her uncle discovers the union, he insists on a traditional Nigerian wedding--binding Noemi to a man destined to break her heart. Worse, she's discovered the real reason she was kidnapped, and anyone around her is bound to be caught in the cross fire. Including her so-called new husband. She'll need to figure out a way to leave the man she loves if she wants to save his life.

This book is about Ranger who is one of the Kingston triplets.  It follows his career as a NAVY Seal. The amazing background story starts to pull you in and make you really want the best for this life long bachelor.  Ranger goes on a mission to save his brother in Nigeria and ends up saving the women that he had fallen for. Noemi Sutton was a mystery women that Ranger met at a hotel while in Seal training.  I was so excited as they got to know each other again even if it was while running away from terrorists who were trying to kill them.  It made it really hard to put down the book to do anything because there was always something happening from trying to get through a check point to getting married in traditional Nigerian wedding.  Through it all, I was hoping for Ranger and Noemi end up together but you have to pick up the book to find out what adventures they have and how it ended.  I thought it was a great story with even better characters. I hope that you check out this book and the rest of the series.  I know that you will enjoy it as much as I have.


*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Sunrise Book Review

 I have enjoyed all of the books by Susan May Warren and I was excited to get to start a new series.  The first book in the series was Sunrise by Susan May Warren. The cover alone looked really fun with the snow covered mountain and the plane.  This is the first book in the Sky King Ranch where you get to know the wonderful Alaska wilderness and the great Ranch where the story is set.

 


Pilot Dodge Kingston has always been the heir to Sky King Ranch. But after a terrible family fight, he left to become a pararescue jumper. A decade later, he's headed home to the destiny that awaits him. 

That's not all that's waiting for Dodge. His childhood best friend and former flame, Echo Yazzie, is a true Alaskan--a homesteader, dogsledder, and research guide for the DNR. Most of all, she's living a life Dodge knows could get her killed. One of these days she's going to get lost in the woods again, and his worst fear is that he won't be there to find her.
 
When one of Echo's fellow researchers goes missing, Echo sets out to find her, despite a blizzard, a rogue grizzly haunting the woods, and the biting cold. Plus, there's more than just the regular dangers of the Alaskan forests stalking her . . .

Will Dodge be able to find her in time? And if he does, is there still room for him in her heart?

I thought this was a great start to the series.  The book started right in the middle of the action and had you pulling for Dodge right away. Dodge was in the military after a family fight and left home for 10 years.  He only returned after he got a call that his father had an accident.  It was a tough choice to come home but he even decided that he would stay until his father got better and help run the family business.  Of course after returning home, we meet Echo who is the reason Dodge left home.  Echo lives in the wilderness of Alaska training sled dogs and taking care of her father. The beauty of Alaska is wonderful and it makes you feel like you are in the cold and snowy winter. You have to read the book for yourself to find out what happens but I promise that you will love this fast moving story where there is always something going on. It made me want to pick up the next book in the series immediately.  I hope that you check out this book and all the others in the series and enjoy them.

*I received a copy of the book for my review but all opinions here are my own and not positive reviews were required.

Monday, July 11, 2022

The Sweet Life Book Review

 I was excited to check out this new series by Suzanne Woods Fisher. I thought from the picture on the cover that it would be a light summer read so I was surprised by the beginning of the book.  It was about the break up of a relationship that was headed towards marriage and about getting over the death of a loved one.  This was a lot deeper then an ice cream cone on the cover suggested. I think that the lighter ice cream cover suggests a lot more because of the name of the Cape Cod Creamery.


Dawn Dixon can hardly believe she's on a groomless honeymoon on beautiful Cape Cod...with her mother. Sure, Marnie Dixon is good company, but Dawn was supposed to be here with Kevin, the love of her life (or so she thought). 

Marnie Dixon needs some time away from the absolute realness of life as much as her jilted daughter does, and she's not about to let her only child suffer alone - even if Marnie herself had been doing precisely that for the past month. Given the circumstances, maybe it was inevitable that Marnie would do something as rash as buy a run-down ice-cream shop in the town's tightly regulated historic district. After all, everything's better with ice cream. 

Her exasperated daughter knows that she's the one who will have to clean up this mess. Even when her mother's impulsive real estate purchase brings Kevin back into her life, Dawn doesn't get her hopes up. Everyone knows that broken romances stay broken...don't they?  Welcome to a summer of sweet surprises on Cape Cod - a place where dreams just might come true. 

I thought it was an interesting book that started out with a deep sadness.  It was hard to get started on the book because it was sad because Dawn lost her father and broke up with her fiance. Marnie lost her husband and got breast cancer. I knew that starting off on such a negative note meant that anything had to get better.  Both women decide to go on a vacation together (which happens to be the honeymoon that Dawn was supposed to go on). There is a lot of hurt and sadness and they spend most of their time apart doing things that make them both feel better like laying on the beach or walking around the small town they are staying in. Both Marnie and Dawn are on the very slow road to healing and the small Cape Cod town is helping them to do that. Although this isn't a light and uplifting book, it is still a book of hope and rebuilding after something bad happens in your life.  I know that many people use books as an escape from the things that are going on in our lives and if a heavy book is not what you are looking for, I totally understand.  However, I promise that you will want to keep on going to find out what happens in the lives of all those involved in the Cape Cod Creamery.  Marnie and Dawn bring a lot of people into their lives through this story and they all make the story great.  I know that there are a few surprises worth sticking around to find out.  I hope that you check out the book and see for yourself.

**I got a copy of the book for my review but all opinions here are my own. No positive comments were required.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

A Season on the Wind Book Review

I picked this book because I love the author and have loved everything that she has written.  When I finally started it, I realized that it wasn't exactly what I expected.  Although I know that Suzanne Woods Fisher does a lot of different books, this book was about birds.  I wasn't very interested in reading about birds but I knew that if I hung it, it would be a great story with great characters. Season on the Wind by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a stand alone book about an Amish town and the people who live there.

A Season on the Wind

Ben Zook had only two loves in his life: books and birds. In a stroke of good fortune, he'd stumbled onto a way to cobble together those two loves into a career, writing books about rare birds. He was as free as a bird--until a chase for a rare White-winged Tern takes him to the one place on earth he planned to never return: his Amish home in Stoney Ridge. Desperate for photographs of the elusive tern, Ben hires a local field guide, Micah Weaver, and boards at Micah's farm, planning to "bag the bird" and leave Stoney Ridge before anyone recognizes him. But he neglected to plan for Micah's sister, Penny.

One long-ago summer, Penny had introduced Ben to birding, even sharing with him a hidden eagle aerie. That was when she knew true love. She'd always hoped he would come back to Stoney Ridge. Back to his Amish roots. Back to her. The only problem? Ben has absolutely no memory of Penny. Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes her readers to the Amish community at Stoney Ridge in this engaging story of discovering just who the rare birds are in life. 

Whether interested in birds or just in the Amish culture, I hope that you check out this book and enjoy it for yourself. There was lots of interesting information about birds and bird watching. There was even more great characters in the wonderful small town in Stoney Ridge. Ben Zook is immediately the center of all of the attention when Penny recognizes him as former Amish. I couldn't wait to find out why he stood out so much in her memory. I was excited to read the rest of this adventure and you should check it out for yourself.

 ** I was given a copy of this book for my review but all opinions here are my own and a positive review was not required.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

A Christmas in the Alps Book Review

 The cover looked amazing and I knew that I had enjoyed the author before so I was excited to read A Christmas in the Alps: A Christmas Novella by Melody Carlson. I love a good Christmas story and one set in the Alps sounded like the perfect first Christmas book of the season. I like being surprised by a book so I took a quick look at the summary to see if it would be something that sounded interesting and promptly forgot what it was about. I was excited to pick up the book and find out if it lived up the cover.

A Christmas in the Alps: A Christmas Novella


After a time of heartache and loss, Simone Winthrop discovers a tantalizing letter from her French great-grandmother, which seems to suggest that she is heir to a family treasure. Ever practical, Simone assumes the claim is baseless, but her best friend encourages her to find out for sure. Despite her deep-rooted fear of flying, Simone boards a jet to travel to Paris at Christmastime to uncover the truth.

During the long flight, Simone meets the charming Kyle Larsson, who's on his way to France to become an apprentice clockmaker. Though they abruptly part ways, an unexpected rendezvous in the French Alps at Simone's family's clock factory may lead to the discovery of the family treasure . . . and so much more.

For anyone who is wearying of staying home, Melody Carlson invites you to spend Christmas with her in the beautiful French Alps this year. So pull on your mittens, tie your scarf tight, and prepare yourself for a magical mountain holiday.

Simone Winthrop is going through her great grandmothers house after her passing and trying to get all of her things in order but it was so hard since everything seem to hold memories.  Her friend helped her go through some of the things and found a letter that was addressed to Simone but it was sealed and they were both very confused on why that would be in boxes of old things. It was a letter telling Simone that she had to go to France to the small town where her great grandmother grew up and find a treasure. The biggest problem is that Simone is too scared to fly.  Her friend doesn't give her a chance to back out by getting her new clothes, new luggage and going so far as to book the tickets. Simone is under way on the great journey when she meets Kyle in the seat next to her.  He does an amazing job of helping her calm down and make it through the plane ride.  Although there is a layover in Iceland and it turns out that he is getting on a plane to Norway while she is getting back on the plane to France.  Simone gives Kyle her information and hopes to hear from him again.  Simone makes it to France and you really need to pick up the book to find out if she talks to Kyle again and what the treasure is that she finds in her grandmother's hometown. I know I had my ideas what it was going to be from the beginning but I was ready to read and find out.  I hope that you check out this book for yourself to follow the adventure and enjoy this wonderful Christmas story of family and coming back after great loss. I thought it was a great book and I can't wait for the next Christmas story from this fun author!!

**I was provided a copy of the book to review but all opinions here are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Beyond the Tides Book Review

 I knew the author sounded familiar when I saw this interesting cover and was immediately drawn in to find out what the book was about.  I didn't look her up until after completing the book that I have previously read The Red Door Inn and A Dazzle of Diamonds both written by her.  Beyond the Tides (Prince Edward Island Shores) by Liz Johnson is the first book in a new series about Prince Edward Island and growing up with the island life. I couldn't wait to get started and find out more about it.

 

Beyond the Tides (Prince Edward Island Shores)

 

When Meg Whitaker's father decides to sell the family's lobster-fishing business to her high school nemesis, she sets out to prove she should inherit it instead. Though she's never had any interest in running the small fleet--or even getting on a boat due to her persistent seasickness--she can't stand to see Oliver Ross take over. Not when he ruined her dreams for a science scholarship and an Ivy League education ten years ago.

Oliver isn't proud of what he did back then. Angry and broken by his father walking out on his family, he lashed out at Meg--an innocent bystander. But owning a respected fishing fleet on Prince Edward Island is the opportunity of a lifetime, and he's not about to walk away just because Meg wants him to.

Meg's father has the perfect solution: Oliver and Meg must work the business together, and at the end of the season, he'll decide who gets it. Along the way, they may discover that their stories are more similar than they thought . . . and their dreams aren't what they expected.

I thought this was great book with wonderful characters that made it really hard to put it down.  I started reading it before bed one night just to see what it was about and ended up staying up half the night to see what was going to happen next.  From the relationship between father and daughter and the relationship with the boating community, this book made you wonder what was going to happen next for these characters. I was immediately taken with Meg Whitaker and felt everything she felt through the story. She gave up her dreams to move home when her mother got sick and gave up even more when her father decided to walk away from the business.  She decided that she couldn't let her father sell the company that she has known all her life that was her family legacy.  She quit her job as the high school teacher in the community to go to work on the fishing boat.  The biggest hurdle was that she got seasick so just setting foot in the boat was hard to handle but the worst part is that the person she hated the most was the person that she had to work with every day.  Not only that, if she gave up the family business then he would be the one that got to buy it.  Meg was determined not to let her bitter rival, Oliver Ross, take away her family company. Oliver was equally relatable because he was a nice guy who had a tough time growing up with his father leaving when he was young and his brother leaving more in the past 10 years to pursue his hockey career playing in the NHL. Both had left and never looked back to the small Canadian town of Prince Edward Island.  Oliver's whole life has been working on the boat and he wasn't willing to give it up without a fight even if that meant that he would have to work along side the person that was his biggest regret.  I don't want to ruin the story but there are amazing twists and turns with the great characters of Meg's mom and dad and Oliver's mom and younger brother as well as all the other people in the small town. I know that you will want to pick up this book and be transported to the small ocean town and learn all about what the lobster business means to both Oliver and Meg and everyone else in the small town.

 

**I was given a copy of the book for my review but all opinions here are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.