Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hip To Be Square~ by Hope Lyda

"The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."
~Exodus 14:14

Mari Hamilton is a twenty-nine year old who has set the goal to have her dream job, home, and life by age thirty. As time gets closer to her birthday she takes stock of her life and realizes that she is very far from her goal. Instead of working in a spa she is the events coordinator for a retirement center and her social calendar is far from "exciting". So she, with the help of a "friendly intervention", decides to overhaul her life and really go after the things she dreamed about, but is the end result really what she wants?

This book was a very entertaining read. I loved Mari's off sense of humor and how she would observe others reactions to her off the wall comments. This story definently is about accepting God's will for your life and how good things can come from unexpected places.

Next on my reading agenda~ Cow Crimes and The Mustang Menace- A Ruby Taylor Mystery~ by Sharon Dunn

Monday, August 21, 2006

Forever Friends...a collection of novellas by Kristin Billerbeck, Colleen Coble, Carol Cox, and Gail Sattler

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths."
~Proverbs 3:5-6

I used to hate to read short stories when I was younger. I felt like they were too short and they always left me wanting to find out more about the characters and what was going to happen next in their lives. During the last couple years, I have actually grown to appreciate short stories. In between classes, papers, exams, rehersals, work, etc. I found myself not having large chunks of time to lose myself in a book like I used to. Short stories provided the perfect solution. I could read and reach a good stopping place so that I still had time to do the work that I would rather have put off. Anyway, to make a long story short...(ha ha) I have to say I am a short story convert and this selection didn't disappoint.

Forever Friends is about the lives of four friends who met at church camp when they were kids. While there they formed a lasting bond that keeps them connected as they get older even when they are living far apart. They keep intouch through letters, monthly conference calls, and yearly camping trips. My favorite stories from this book were the ones about Belinda and Collette.

If you are in the mood for more quick reads here are two other selections of stories that I enjoyed.

Blind Dates: Four Stories of Hearts United With a Little Help from Grandma ~by Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, Bev Hutson, and Colleen Coble.

San Francisco: Four Romances Blossom in the City by the Bay ~by Kristin Billerbeck

Next on my reading agenda~ Hip To Be Square by Hope Lyda

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Chateau of Echoes by Siri L. Mitchell

"I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well."
~Psalms 139:14

I finished Chateau of Echoes a few days ago and am still feeling jet lag. This book completely transports you. I like the way that Melody Carlson (a writer) puts it. "Reading Chateau of Echoes is like taking a European holiday in an unforgettable inn, with only the finest cuisine- and all for the price of a book!"

In this book Frederique Farmer a young widow buys a chateau in France after the death of her husband and turns the place into a bed and breakfast. The chateau turns out to be a place of historical significance after some journals, written by a woman who lived five hundred years ago, are found. So inspite of her desire to be left alone Frederique finds herself inundated with people wanting to see the place where this woman lived. The story of Frederique is interwoven with the story of the woman who wrote the journals and the combination provides an excellent escape from the everyday. Another thing I loved about the book was Frederique is also a chef. Since I love to cook it was neat to hear about her preparations/meals and at the end of the book there were some recipies for items she prepared, which I can't wait to try. So if you have always wanted to take a vacation to France, but can't find the time, I highly recommend this book.

I chose this book because I recently read another book by Mitchell called Kissing Adrien. So if you want to read more by this author this is another of her books that I recommend.

Next on my reading agenda~ Forever Friends; a collection of novellas by Kristin Billerbeck, Colleen Coble, Carol Cox, and Gail Sattler

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante
by Sharon Dunn

"But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint"
~Isaiah 40:31

"When a professor at the local university dies, Ruby Taylor is hired to fill his shoes. Along with a frozen corpse and midnight intruders, this sassy Cinderella has to deal with lost love and a family that defines the word dysfunctional. Deadly university politics turn personal as Ruby works to straighten out a mystery that has more twists than a silly straw."

This book kept me guessing at every turn. Ruby Taylor was a character that you can identify with. I loved her prayer chants when she was faced with someting she felt was difficult. The struggles she went through forgiving her mother and keeping her eye on Christ added a dimension to the story that I really enjoyed.

I actually finished this book a while ago, but it took me a while to get around to writing this post because I have been busy. My Mom went out of town to visit my Aunt and Grandma so I had to kind of take her place cleaning, and preparing meals, etc. My brother is so spoiled. He even got me to make him a milkshake at 11pm at night because both he and my Dad said "Mom would" :)

As summer is coming to a close I feel like I need a vacation so I will be taking one, with the next book I read, to France.

So, next on my reading agenda "Chateau of Echoes" by Siri L. Mitchell

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Jade.....Book 2 of the Shades of Style Series

"Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love"
~Psalm 44:26

Jade by Marilynn Griffith

I loved this book. The story is about Lily Chau a pattern maker at the fashion house Garments of Praise. Things start to unravel as Lily feels pressure from work, family obligations, and her love life. As she tries to keep her head above water her friend/co-worker/second mom enters her in a contest for a place on "The Next Design Diva" , a reality show for designers, to give Lily an oppourtunity to make her dream of having her own line a reality.

This book continues with the same characters that we met in Pink, the first novel of the series, and is a great story. It not only includes the ups and downs of romance and family, but also shows that sometimes God has a different plan for you than what you may have imagined for yourself.

Anyway, this definently makes the recommendation list.

Next on my reading agenda~ Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante by Sharon Dunn

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Blind Dates Can Be Murder ...and other mystery recommendations

"I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help, His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish."
~Psalms 146:2-4

Thanks to waiting at the dentist, chiropractor, and at my brother's school (while he picked up his parking permit) I finished reading Blind Dates Can Be Murder by Mindy Starns Clark. It was definently a good read, with an excellent combination of mystery, suspense, romance. For more info. on her book check out her website at If you decide you are interested in reading this book I would recommend that you start off with the first book in the series The Trouble With Tulip. I always hate when I accidently read the second book in a series first so I thought I would pass this information on to you so you don't do the same:)

Speaking of mysteries here is another recommendation for you. A Table by the Window by Lawana Blackwell. This story is about a woman named Carley Reed who recieves news that a grandmother she hardly knew died and left her a "substantial inheritance". As she goes to her grandmother's town she not only finds a new life, but also family she never knew she had. However, as the back cover of the book says, "a mysterious murder threatens her newfound happiness". This book kept me guessing the entire time and is also a good choice for any food lovers out will know why if you read it.

Next on my reading agenda~ Jade by Marilynn Griffith