Book review: All Summer Long

Even though All Summer Long is the second book in the Follow Your Heart series by Melody Carlson, you don’t need to read the first book first. This book opens with Tia, a culinary school graduate, working at a restaurant in a small town wishing for something more. Then she receives a call from her aunt in San Francisco asking her to come help remodel an old yacht into an upscale floating restaurant AND to be the chef.

She jumps on the opportunity and flies to San Francisco only to find that her aunt’s All Summer Longhusband is in the hospital. So who picks her up at the airport? Only that cute boy she met at a camp 10 years earlier. Leo. Small world, huh? And he’s still just as good-looking and nice.

The book takes us on a trip through remodeling the boat, planning menus, and meeting new people. There’s also a little drama when Tia gets caught in the middle of some uncomfortable secrets. I got a sympathetic pit in my stomach when Leo’s fiancée asks her to keep some secrets from Leo.

It’s an easy read, and hard to put down. The plot is a little predictable…you’re pretty sure you know how it’s going to end but you’re not exactly sure how. Will everyone still be talking to each other at the end?

If you like a good clean romance with a little faith thrown in, you’ll like this book.

My only “complaint” is that I wish it had included some recipes. LOL! Some of those dishes Tia prepared had me drooling…

I received a free book from Revell Publishing (a division of Baker Publishing Group) in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Book review: Every Bride Has Her Day

Another quick book review for you! This was a fun read.

Katie has been engaged for less than a day and already everyone has a plan or idea for her wedding to pro-basketball player, Brady James. She can hardly get a word in edgewise as her friends, co-workers, and family members begin planning her big day. How does a girl get the wedding she wants without hurting feelings?
Every Bride Has Her Day

This book, Every Bride Has Her Day, written by Janice Thompson, is the third and final book of her Brides with Style series. You don’t have to read the earlier books to enjoy this one, but if you want to know how Katie gets her wedding dress and meets Brady, you really should read them all.

This is a sweet romance with some fun and quirky characters. Because Katie works at a bridal shop in Dallas, there are several stressed-out brides, proposals, and weddings throughout the book. There’s also some tension, conflict, and drama.

It’s a fun, easy read and will make you smile.

I received a free book from Revell Publishing (a division of Baker Publishing Group) in exchange for an unbiased review.

Book review: Murder Comes By Mail

In Murder Comes By Mail, Michael Keane is a deputy sheriff in the small town of Hidden 51nasamaf5l-_sx322_bo1204203200_Springs who does a good deed that goes very bad.

After saving a suicidal man who is trying to jump from a bridge, Michael becomes the town hero (which is embarrassing) and the target of the murderer (which is scary). Soon after the event, a woman is murdered and a package with photos arrives in the mail.

Michael begins to wonder if the man he saved from the bridge is somehow responsible. On the bridge, the man said, “You’ll wish you’d pushed me.” But now they can’t find him… As the body count increases, Michael must find the culprit and stop him.

This is a good story. It fits into the category of a cozy mystery, even though there are a few murders. There is also an element of faith as Michael struggles to trust God. Oh, yeah, and a little romance, too.

The author, Ann H. Gabhart (writing as A.H. Gabhart), has a nice and easy-to-read style. The characters are interesting and some a little quirky. I figured out who the murderer about halfway through the book but I couldn’t wait to see how they were going to catch him. This book is going into the church library.  🙂

I received a free book from Revell Publishing (a division of Baker Publishing Group) in exchange for an unbiased review.

So many books, so little time…

You know I work in my church library, right? And you have to know that I love reading, right? I’ll read anything: books, magazines, food containers…you name it.

Several years ago I joined an organization called Pacific Northwest Association of Church Libraries (PNACL). It’s a small group, but it’s an awesome group. We all love books and reading, and we want to share the love of these books and the knowledge (or the entertainment) we get from these books.

Yesterday I attended the last meeting of the fiscal year and we all talked about the best books we’ve read recently. The list included fiction and nonfiction, religious and secular, adult and children’s books. I’d read some of them, but added many of them to my already long TBR (to be read) list. Happy sigh…

Last week I also received two books from Revell Publishers to read and review this month.

So I guess I’d better get busy. I’ve got a lot to read!

My problem with reading

Book Review: The Memory Weaver

Holy cow! Where did the summer go? I took a break from reading books to review, and read a few of the books sitting on my bookshelves and floor and chairs…  If you like stories that take place in the Pacific Northwest before the states were states, you may like this book.The Memory Weaver

The Memory Weaver is Jane Kirkpatrick’s latest novel and once again she builds a story based on true people and events. This is the story of Eliza Spalding, the daughter of prominent Presbyterian missionaries with the Nez Perce in the Pacific Northwest.

Her parents worked closely with Dr. Marcus & Narcissa Whitman in the Washington territory, and 10-year old Eliza was there at the mission when they and 12 others are murdered by the Cayuse. Eliza acts as translator for a month for the 45 women and children who are held hostage and the Indians. Big task for a little girl.

The book starts Eliza when is 13 years old, her mother (also named Eliza) has died, and she is living in Oregon territory with her difficult father and younger siblings. While she continues to deal with flashbacks and memories, she meets and marries Andrew Warren and they have children.

The story asks the question, how does trauma affect a marriage, a mother, a life…?

Like many women, she longs to know her mother and her thoughts. When Eliza is finally given her mother’s diary, she is stunned to find that “what we remember isn’t always what happened.” Her mother’s diary corrects many of the things she thought she remembered and provides some context to other things.

This wasn’t a light-hearted or easy read. It’s a little somber and sad, but there are threads of joy, forgiveness, love, and hope. (Watch the video trailer here.)

Once I got into the book, I had a difficult time putting it down. Watching Eliza work through the memories – good and bad – was like watching a butterfly come free of its cocoon, or a flower slowly beginning to bloom. And it was worth it.

Disclosure: I received a free book from the Revell Books in exchange for an unbiased review.

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