Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Comfort and Joy by Fern Michaels, Marie Bostwick, Cathy Lamb, and Deborah J. Wolf

Comfort and Joy by Fern Michaels

Angie Bradford took over her mother's gift wrap business in Eagle Department store, and ever since her and the store chief Josh Eagle have been butting heads and going to court multiple times. The store is failing and so she needs to get things renovated hopefully if Josh will agree to it. But with Josh leaving the store at the first of the year and unexpected snow coming, Angie never expects an miracle to come out of the blue.

This is not my first story by Ms. Michaels and certainly won't be the last. I am intrigued and definitely want to read more of her work. Her characters are full of emotions and stand up for what they believe. If only they can work together and get past some of the issues that hold them back.

A High Kicking Christmas by Marie Bostwick

Kendra Erickson needs a break from Christmas. Being a Rockette for the last ten years has drained all the joy out of Christmas for her. But breaking her leg sends her off to a small town in Vermont, she may just right smack in the middle of a Christmas pageant that needs help. Kendra just might see Christmas in a whole new light.

Re-birth of Christmas in Kendra's heart is such a great story that Ms. Bostwick has won me over. I am so glad I have another one of her books on my shelf cause I want to read it soon! Definitely an author who will warm your heart in every word she writes.

Suzanna's Stockings by Cathy Lamb

Suzanna's life has all been planned out. But waking up floating over her own body wasn't part of it. Now she's in a coma, how she isn't sure and she needs to figure out how to get her life back. Jack Benson never leaves her side but she isn't sure why. Can she figure out what to do in time?

The searching that Suzanna goes through keeps this story very poignant. She reflects on all that is going on around her. Ms. Lamb keeps things focused on everything in this small town as well as the wanderings of Suzanna. A story that will warm your heart.

Family Blessings by Deborah J. Wolf

Things seemed odd when Kacey's mother seemed to stare off into the distance or repeat herself. But when in the middle of September, Kacey visited to find her mother decorating for Christmas something just didn't add up. Reuniting her family isn't going to be easy but their mother is dealing with something serious. It just might bring the family together again.

Heart wrenching is what Ms. Wolf is good at. There is light at the end of the tunnel. This family must come together to let go of the past. It's a journey none will ever forget.

These four stories touched on the hope, love, peace and family that is so much a part of Christmas. I will certainly not forget these stories. I hope to read more by this authors soon.

Fern Michaels, Marie Bostwick, Cathy Lamb, Deborah J. Wolf, Christmas story, Romance, Family, 352 pages, 5 out of 5

Definitely a good book to end the year on! I'll post my year's book records tomorrow! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Season of Angels by Debbie Macomber

Three angels, Shirley, Goodness and Mercy are sent to earth to help three people realize their prayers might just come through if they stop holding onto them so hard. There is a memorable lesson in it and these angels will have the most difficult time getting through to their assignments. Now if they can keep on track and not get distracted along the way that would help too!

Ms. Macomber writes Christmas stories that will melt your heart. Wishes may come true but it takes time and patience to see them through. The angels are far from perfect and have to battle their wants for their assignments as well. This heart warming story will have you laughing and crying.

I definitely want to read more of this series! I am so glad I finally found time to pick it up. If you have never read this series, like me, take the time. You won't regret it one bit! These angels get into scraps and try to put their charges on the right path but is it what they want or what God wants?

Debbie Macomber/ Christmas Romance/ Angels/ Wishes/ 346 pages/ 5 out of 5

I hope to get in one more Christmas story for this month!! We'll see. :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Last Noel by Heather Graham

The O'Boyle family has a get away every year on Christmas Eve. Skyler, the matriarch of the family finds this very important. This year though will leave them wondering what will happen when three men show up on their doorstep. It's Boston, there is a storm coming, and one man is out for blood. Can this family play the games that they are asked and survive?

Ms. Graham always delights whether in romance or suspense. The characters are diverse and keep you guessing. The story line is amazing! The twists and turns this woman can come up with will leave you in the edge of your seat.

Between Skyler and David, Frazier, Jamie, and Kat this family is something else. Then you add in Uncle Paddy and it shows a completely different side of things. This family is going to have to stick together and make the best of things before losing their mother.

Even though it is a Christmas thriller, the family realizes that what is more important is their family. But is it too late? Can they save their family and can Kat get help to where they are at. It is storming and snowing, the prospects are not likely.

Heather Graham/Suspense/ Christmas story/Family/ 346 pages/ 5 out of 5

I am hoping to fit in a few more christmas books! LOL We'll see. :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Nascar Holiday by Kimberly Raye, Roxanne St. Claire, and Debra Webb

Ladies, Start Your Engines by Kimberly Raye

Savannah Calloway wants to prove she is more than just a beautiful face. She has power in her that can make an engine sing. So she asks Mackenzie Briggs to help her, but can they find out what to fix in time? They just might see that love is more important that winning.

I love this story! Ms. Raye had me captivated. I was rooting for Savannah to get her act together. But she had a few battles up ahead of her. What a great christmas story!

Tis the Silly Season by Roxanne St. Claire

Nascar Busch Series driver Clay Walker wants to impress a potential sponser and will do anything to do it! Lisa Mahoney isn't sure how she fits into his plan but to give her sons their first Merry Christmas she is willing to go along with it. Even if that could include a kiss under the mistletoe.

Ms. Claire certainly held up the good things I have heard about her. This story kept me on the edge of my seat since there had to be lies told and children were involved. Enough said!

Unbreakable by Debra Webb
Dr. Maxine Gray didn't mind helping out for a study on a NASCAR racer. But little does she know how this man works. She's done her research but is it enough? Someone is out to hurt Rush Jackson but with Max watching him every second of the day, she's not sure how that could be possible. But can she see how fun it is through it all?

Ms. Webb shows how crazy things in the Nascar world was back then just a few years ago and still is today! Vying for driving positions, sponsors, the whole thing. Some do it because they love it others for the money. This story showed both sides and I really appreciated that. 99.9% is for the fun of it and because it is all they have ever known. Great job!

These four stories were a blast to read. I saw some of the authors had follow ups written with some of the minor characters in other stories and I hope to read those soon!

Kimberly Raye, Roxanne St. Claire, Debra Webb, New Authors, Christmas Romance, Nascar, 384 pages, 5 out of 5

Got this one finished up yesterday but was out with friends. :) Good stories! I am working on another Christmas story. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Red Hot Santa by Cherry Adair, Leanne Banks, Pamela Britton, and Kelsey Roberts

Snowball's Chance by Cherry Adair

Kendall Metcalf is decking the halls for a client. Little does she know that there is a serial killer on the loose. Someone comes to protect her and she cannot deny that she has feelings for him. Getting naughty with him just might be on her list.

Ms. Adair is a fantastic author and though rather suspenseful still has Christmas at the heart! Definitely a good story that I enjoyed immensely!

Santa Slave by Leanne Banks

Hilary is determined to find where her best friend went. She thought it was too good to be true and now she is taking the same path. She has to find her friend only problem is meeting a man who is sent to protect her. Can she find out what she is looking for or not?

Ms. Banks has a way with words that just envelopes you itno the story. The struggle between Hilary and Rick is something else. You keep hoping that Hilary will be successful but then you wonder if it will be possible. Great emotional story here!

Bad, Bad Santa by Pamela Britton

Dr. Kaitlyn Logan is finally finding a way to track a birds' migration patterns. But someone wants to use it for the wrong reasons. Now she must find out what is going on and Chance Owens is sent to protect her. But can he protect her heart?

Ms Britton puts you on a fast paced thrill ride that is down right sexy. It's pace will keep your heart racing to find out what will happen next. These characters are up and down but they might just find their place ... in each other's arms.

Killer Christmas by Kelsey Roberts

Someone wants Meghan Beckham dead. Now the sole owner of the prestigious store by the same name, someone wants her dead. Her brother dead not that long ago, and she ruled it an accident. But it seems after a few more suspicious deaths, something just does not add up. In comes Jack Palmer, and he's about to turn everything upside down.

Ms. Roberts writes a romance that centers around two people kind of thrown together. The characters get into your heart and pull at your heart strings. Definitely a story that won't soon leave my mind.

All four stories center around an operatives agency and I loved how well they tied together. Even some repeat characters were a blast! All four authors did a wonderful job and I definitely want to read more by each one of them.

Cherry Adair/Leanne Banks/ Pamela Britton/Kelsey Roberts/ Romantic Suspense/ Christmas Romance/336 pages/ 5 out of 5

Off to go get some sleep. Merry Christmas every one!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Letters by Debbie Macomber

Katherine O'Connor loved helping people by writing their Christmas letters. Now she comes face to face with the man she believes is ruining the lives of her twin nieces. Now if only she can keep calm, but things aren't looking up for her. Dr. Wynn Jefferies has never been so insulted in his life. Yet there is something between them if they could only calm down to take the time to find out.

Ms. Macomber ties in her other shops so well with this story. I've read the other ones in this series and this one certainly didn't disappoint at all! This is one more wonderful story by this author. I couldn't put it down for nothing.

Katherine is as pig headed as they come but she has met her match in Dr. Wynn. Dr Jefferies is not about to take criticism lying down. But their neighbor connives to get them together. Sparks could just fly. They learn to agree to disagree and find they like each other. But will it be enough?

I fell in love with these characters right away! I loved revisiting old ones from the Blossom street series. Ms. Macomber knows how to suck you into a story till the last page is turned! I have a few more of hers to read at least two more Christmas books. I hope to read them this month!

Debbie Macomber/ Christmas Romance/ 256 pgs/5 out of 5

With getting behind yesterday with cleaning and then hurting my wrist, this book was definitely a much needed retreat. Up another Christmas anthology! I am so excited!!

The Wedding Secret by Michele Dunaway

Cecile Duletsky hadn't been with a man in awhile. Her last boyfriend Eric had turned out to be less thean expected not to mention the relationship flopped. Now going to little sister's wedding, she's not looking forward to it. But meeting one of the groomsmen is about to change her world. She just has no clue how much it will affect her life.

Ms. Dunaway is a fantastic author. I loved this story and how sexy it was. The characters truly must figure out what is important to them. There are struggles ahead and I was curious to see how they'd deal with them.

Cecile is a woman who knows what she wants but never really seems to take the time for it. After her last relationship soured, she decided to focus on her career. Luke Shaw, on the other hand, isn't afraid to throw caution to the wind no matter what. These two have so much in common but can they make it work?

This was a great story just bummed that again it's labeled as a holiday escape but no holidays mentioned really. Ms. Dunaway has captured my attention for sure! I look forward to reading her next work.

Michele Dunaway/Romance/256 pages/ New Author/ 5 out of 5

Okay got a Christmas book up next! So excited!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tempted By A Texan by Mindy Neff

Becca Sue Ellworth's luck with men hadn't always been the greatest. Her best friend Colby hangs around but it's torture. After ending their relationship, now seven years ago, she wonders if he remembers their drunken promise. But with the chance of him leaving, there's no reason to stick around. A chance encounter brings him back into her life but is it for good this time?

Ms. Neff is a fantastic author! I loved this story and would love to read the preceeding books in this series even just to see how the other ladies' faired and how they made their relationships work.

I'm not sure I would classify this as a holiday escape because not once was Christmas mentioned or even Thanksgiving. It's a great book but perfect for any time of the year. :)

Mindy Neff/ New Author/ 256 pages/ Romance/ 4 out of 5

Okay read this one faster than I thought I would. :) Going to read another Holiday Escape novel tomorrow. I just hope this one has to do something with the Holidays. :)

Santa Baby by Lisa Plumley, Elaine Coffman, Kylie Adams, and Lisa Jackson

Merry Merry Mischief by Lisa Plumley

Katie Moore has always longed for her relationship with Jack Brennan. But they had decided to let it fizzle out. When his baby niece shows up, could this be the one thing that could rekindle what they have while making a baby's first christmas the happiest ever? The party girl and the work aholic sure have a lot on their hands.

Ms. Plumley is a fantastic writer that sweeps you into the story with love and laughter. The characters are compelling but the situations will have you in stiches. A great love story that will keep you turning pages definitely!!

Holiday Stud by Kylie Adams
Audra Jarecki is dreading going home. After breaking up with her last boyfriend, she must have someone on her arm. That's where Colby Douglas comes into play but it just might be the best mistake she's ever made.

Ms. Adams has a hot sexy number on her hands. Professional giglos isn't what I would use for a dating service if I had the need. But boy is Audra in for a surprise or two. Definitely something to savor.

Under the Mistletoe by Elaine Coffman

Stanley Levine was looking forward to a nice quiet life in the small town. He got anything but that. His new neighbor has seven daughters and they sure make a lot of noise. Christmas may be coming but Stanley is not wanting to have anything to do with it and the unruly clan next door will not be able to change his mind.

Ms. Coffman has a fabulous story here. The changes that take place in the story are just a blast to watch unfold. Definitely an author I want to read more by.

A Baby for Christmas by Lisa Jackson

Annie McFarlane is finally over last year's christmas. Losing her hubby and no more babies in sight, she settles down to her new life. But a baby dropped off at her door step and an angry man to follow, turn her life upside down. What is she going to do now with Liam completely irrantional? The only man her sister dated that she found hot!

Ms. Jackson beats the last one with this one. Desires flare up and they have to figure out can they run away from them or not. I love how Annie cannot lie to save her life. This is a great story!!

All four stories had me laughing and crying. These authors sure know how to keep you entertained and loving what they write! I definitely need more books like this before Christmas.

Christmas/Lisa Plumley/Elaine Coffman/Kylie Adams/Lisa Jackson/New Authors/ Chunkster/416 pages/5 out of 5

Off to read another Christmas book shortly! I need some lunch first. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Indemnity Only by Sara Paretsky

Indemnity Only by Sara Paretsky

Victoria, Vic to her friends, Warshawski is a Private Investigator who doesn't always get so far. Her father was a cop but she never saw herself doing that. Now she is asked to help on a case and comes face to face with a dead body. Then she is beat up on, this woman's job isn't going to be easy. But can she figure out how a bank, a mob, and a union are all linked?

Ms. Paretskey definitely writes a character that you root for. I loved Vic. She was tough as nails. This book is a little out of date but I still really enjoyed it. The characters and the action kept me turning pages. This is definitely a series with a lot of potential.

Victoria wasn't all stuff and nonsense. She had a heart too. Certainly not the type to keep a person hanging but her job came first especially if she was paid no matter the amount. I loved Lotty, her best friend and doctor extraordinaire. She was a hoot and kept keeping on Vic's case if it was needed. Definitely a good mother figure to have around.

All in all, I am glad I have the next one but might wait till January. I have some other books calling my name. But this is an author that won't soon disappoint you.

Sara Paretsky/ New Author/ 162 pages/ Mystery/ Chicago/ Thugs/ 3 out of 5

Off to start another Christmas story!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Letter by Richard Paul Evans

In the conclusion to this series, MaryAnne is tired of feeling all alone. Since the death of their daughter Andrea, David has a difficult time dealing with it all. Now with the upcoming wedding of her brother, MaryAnne decides to go visit to take a break from it all. A letter found on Andrea's grave will take them all on a journey they won't soon forget.

Mr. Evans definitely knows how to grab of your emotions. This book did it for me more than the others. Having to figure out how to deal with the emotions of the time as well as what was going on in the lives of the main characters. As well as knowing the issues of the time period of the main story and making it all believable without being too crude.

MaryAnne is a woman who is so heart broken but knows she needs to move on with her life. David buries himself in work and never takes time for what really matters until its too late. These two have a lot to go through and realize how their love can get them through anything. It may take some time.

This book moved me and I loved seeing the full love story of this couple and how much it affected the lives of the man and his wife Kerri. I appreciated the whole thing and the understandings of the time were phenomenal. Definitely a new author that has completely won me over. A Christmas reading with emotion and heart.

Richard Paul Evans/ Christmas Story/ 336 pages/ 5 out of 5

Off to go get some writing done and then hopefully watch a movie tonight. :)

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Timepiece by Richard Paul Evans

A timepiece that has meaning is given to the man in the first story. He reflects on the story that surrounded it. MaryAnne is young and expecting and meets her future husband David. It is their life building together that has them get to know Lawrence who repairs clocks. All three lives will be entangled forever after one simple event.

Mr. Evans does it again! I love the bit of back story we get on MaryAnne and her Husband. I could see how she had become the woman she was in Christmas Box. The characters are full of such emotions. I was immensely pleased with his writing style.

Both MaryAnne and the father in the story again truly need to see the message not only in the timepiece but in life itself. There are a lot of lessons to learn and to see how life can be changed in an instant. This is a story that I'll not soon forget and an author that I have completely fallen in love with his writing.

Richard Paul Evans/Christmas story/ Adult Fiction/ 272 pages/ 5 out of 5

I was pleased that it flowed as similar as the movie since I had not read the book before. Now I hope to catch this month to compare it once again. :)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans

A young father tells the story of the Christmas that he'll never forget. Having to move into someone else's home is never easy. At first, it is difficult for this man to get over. Most of all, the change is most affecting his wife and little girl. The woman they move in with may just help this man figure out what he truly wants and needs for his life.

This story is heart warming. Mr. Evans has written a classic with this one. I've had it for awhile just took me forever to read. I am so glad that I did because it gave me the true meaning of Christmas to share with others and to love. This is one author that I will read more of.

Richard Paul Evans/New Author/ Christmas/ Family/ 83 pages/ 4 out of 5

I read this one yesterday but never got a chance to do anything since I wasn't home. lol I thought this was very close to the movie.

The Exchange by Inga C. Ellzey

Jewelle Dawson needed a break. Being in the witness protection program had been draining. She needs a break and wants to get out. Against the advisement of her friend, she decides to go ahead and go. She knows she will not be watched over but she doesn't think anything of it. Meeting two wonderful men, Max is a playboy gambler and wants Jewelle to come along and take risks with him. While Paul is a laid back kind of guy and just gently woos her. This trip will be one that she'll never forget.

Ms. Ellzey made me laugh. It all came back to mentioning the small town in Minnesota as well as Duluth. Being someone who has been there just made me smile cause it fit so well. There were a few grammatical and spelling errors but nothing major. I was pleased with how well the plot flowed and the surprises along the way. Ms. Ellzey has a new fan and I cannot wait for the sequel to come out.

Jewelle is a woman who just wants to embrace life. She never knew how a simple testimony could change her life. Now she wants to take a break from the life she had to start. Meeting other people on a cruise seems like the ideal spot. Little does she know that she'll change lives along the way.

This is a fascinating book that grabbed me from the beginning. It jumped from Jewelle to another character a little here and there. It never bothered me and I felt it flowed pretty well. It was a good well written story that the sequel to come out next year is definitely a must read after the cliff hanger you are left with at the end.

Inga C. Ellzey/New Author/ Adult Fiction/ Romance/ Chunkster/401 pages/ 5 out of 5

I would have posted this sooner but we lost power yesterday and forgot to copy this onto something so I could post it. lol Oh well! :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ghost Hunting by Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, Jan

Awesome book! Okay serious it was, I got a glimpse into more of what they do and how they go about doing their work. There was some repetitiveness that drove me crazy from time to time, but I truly felt that they wanted to make sure they said things correctly so people would understand that this is serious work. It truly is, I used to watch the show. I say used to because I have a very vivid imagination.

I remember my first episode, I believe it was last year, all I remember is that they were at this old Physic Hospital that is now abandoned. I think that is what it is but what sticks in my mind is how there was a black form that they saw down the hallway. It “floated” out and “floated” back into the shadows. Steve and Brian (at least I think that is who it was lol) had to go over this a couple of times to make sure that they had seen it. It freaked me out till no end!!! No joke.

Reading about some of their old cases that I had never seen was interesting cause I got a better glimpse of how they did this. They do their best to find out what is really going on and that is what kept me going back to the show time and time again. But well having a young child in the house, not wise to watch it till he is asleep. That meant I couldn't watch the show till 10pm. Umm yeah, bad idea for me!

But I truly appreciated what these guys did and what they are doing now. They truly make sure they try to figure out what is going on whether it is faked, stuff in the house that is making the noises, or it is really real. So yeah, definitely a book to read if you love this show or if you're curious at what they do and not sure you can watch it. :) It still has some jumpy moments but not so scary at least for me. :)

Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, Jan Michael Freeman, Non Fiction, Ghost stories, 5 out of 5

November Reads and Stats

Very slow month. Working 4 day weeks kept me hopping. So here is my list:
190. The List by Steve Martini 10-30-08 through 11-03-08 C
191.The School Run by Sophie King 11-03-08 through 11-05-08 B
192. A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva 11-05-08 through 11-08-08 B
193. The Murder of Helen Jewett by Patrica Cline Cohen 11-08-08 through11-16-08 B
194. The Christmas Husband by Mary Anne Wilson 11-17-08 A
195. Once Upon A Christmas by Brenda Novak, Melinda Curtis, and Anna Adams 11-17-08 through 11-18-08 A
196. Prince of Fire by Daniel Silva 11-18-08 through 11-30-08 A

Total Books Read: 7
New Authors: 6
Fiction: 6
Non-fiction: 1
TBR: 2
Chunksters: 3
Books I Reviewed: 0
Christmas/Winter: 2
Romance: 3
Mystery: 3
From the Stacks: 7
Books I Bought: 2
PBS Sent: 6
PBS Received: 10
Total pages read: 2717 pages

Well, I have another book review to type up. This one read pretty quick. :)

Prince of Fire by Daniel Silva

Gabriel Allon is ready to do some work for a friend when Ari comes looking for him. This time there is more at stake than even Gabriel thinks. Can he play by the rules?

Mr. Silva does it again and the real situtaions that happened in this book were taken from history. He just tweaked a little. But then it is fiction so it is entirely possible. Once again I was swept up into this book.

I truly felt for Gabriel. He had to start with a new team and figure out how to solve the problem that was coming. He was also torn between Chiara and his wife Leah. Tough choices for a man who loves his art.

This is a good book but not as good as the last one. Though that one was more heart wrenching. This one had me on the edge of my seat. I will definitely have to get the next one in the series!

Daniel Silva/ Chunkster/ 400 pages/ Spy story/ 4 out of 5

I enjoyed this one. It was not easy to read at times but was interesting. Off to read a review book and then my first Christmas book for December!