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Carla Loves To Read

WWW Wednesday (September 19, 2018)

WWW

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

Redemption Road   Dreams of Falling

Audio                                  Tablet                         Physical Book

What did you recently finish reading?

Since last Wednesday, I finished reading and/or listening to 5 books/novels. If you click on the cover of a book, it will take you to my review.

A Christmas by the Sea Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mystery, #15) Murder in G Major (Gethsemane Brown Mysteries, #1) Finding Love in Big Sky, Montana (Resort to Love, #2) Six Feet Under (A Kenni Lowry Mystery Book 4)

What do you think you’ll read/listen to next?

I still have not gotten to this one yet. I will try again this week.

The Lightkeeper's Daughters

The Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol

Though her mind is still sharp, Elizabeth’s eyes have failed. No longer able to linger over her beloved books or gaze at the paintings that move her spirit, she fills the void with music and memories of her family—a past that suddenly becomes all too present when her late father’s journals are found amid the ruins of an old shipwreck.

With the help of Morgan, a delinquent teenager performing community service, Elizabeth goes through the diaries, a journey through time that brings the two women closer together. Entry by entry, these unlikely friends are drawn deep into a world far removed from their own—to Porphyry Island on Lake Superior, where Elizabeth’s father manned the lighthouse seventy years before.

As the words on these musty pages come alive, Elizabeth and Morgan begin to realize that their fates are connected to the isolated island in ways they never dreamed. While the discovery of Morgan’s connection sheds light onto her own family mysteries, the faded pages of the journals hold more questions than answers for Elizabeth, and threaten the very core of who she is.

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Dear Mrs. Bird

Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce

London 1940, bombs are falling. Emmy Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent seem suddenly achievable. But the job turns out to be typist to the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs Bird is very clear: Any letters containing Unpleasantness—must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant letters from women who are lonely, may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men and found themselves in trouble, or who can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write letters back to the women of all ages who have spilled out their troubles.

Prepare to fall head over heels with Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are spirited and gutsy, even in the face of events that bring a terrible blow. As the bombs continue to fall, the irrepressible Emmy keeps writing, and readers are transformed by AJ Pearce’s hilarious, heartwarming, and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times.

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A Mother's Love

A Mother’s Love by Charlotte Hubbard

For widow Rose Raber, it s been a year of tragic loss and difficult decisions. She thought providing for her young daughter was the greatest challenge she faced. Until her dying mother revealed that Rose was adopted and her birth mother is someone with much to lose if the secret comes out. As Rose struggles to reconcile the truth with her faith and her troubling curiosity outgoing newcomer Matthias Wagler is another surprise she didn’t expect. His optimism and easy understanding inspires her. And his prospective partnership with wealthy deacon Saul Hartzler promises a possible new life for them together. But with this second chance comes yet another revelation for all involved.

When Saul’s wife unexpectedly turns up at Rose s new job, their bond as mother and daughter is instant and unmistakable. And it isn’t long before an unforgiving Saul discovers the truth, threatening Matthias s livelihood and Rose s future. Now with more than just their happiness at stake, Rose and Matthias must find the strength and courage to stand strong and trust God’s enduring miracles of motherhood, forgiveness, and love.

Have you read any of the above books. Let me know what you thought about them. What are you going to read next?

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A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson

A Christmas by the Sea4.5 Stars

Published September 4th 2018 by Fleming H. Revell Company 

Every Christmas season I look forward to Melody Carlson’s newest holiday book. It was a quick story (only 167 pages) but it was packed with emotion, family love, and second chances. Wendy and her son are struggling financially after her husband died several years ago from cancer. Left with medical bills and student loans, finding out that she had inherited her grandparent’s beach house seems like a true blessing. Heading to the small town of Seaside, Wendy plans on fixing it up the cottage and quickly selling it and moving back to Ohio. What she doesn’t plan on is that her son Jackson will fall in love with the cottage, the town and the people. A friendly and slobbery dog rounds out the picture of the new home that Jackson is hoping will be theirs. With the help of local craftsman, Caleb, Wendy tries to make a living using her craft skills and shells she and Jackson find so she can remain in Seaside. When Jackson finds out that his mother wants to move back to Ohio, he does what an adolescent does, he tries to force his mother’s hand. Will Wendy be able to financially support her small family with the crafts she makes or will she and her heartbroken son have to return to Ohio?

This is a sweet story of family, second chances, independence and romance. What could be better than spending the holiday season in a gorgeous beach town that feels like home and the bonus of a new possible romance for Wendy. Can God answer their prayers to be able to start a new life in this small town that feels more like home than Ohio ever did. The story flows beautifully and is well paced. The characters in the story are all helpful in trying to get Wendy and Jackson to stay, all except for the pretty Crystal, who seems to have her own feelings for Caleb. This is a beautiful story about spiritual and personal growth. A magical Christmas story that can be read in a day by a warm fire. The publisher, Revell, provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, opinions and ideas are my own.

Continue reading “A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson”

Murder in G Major (Gethsemane Brown Mysteries #1) by Alexia Gordon

Murder in G Major (Gethsemane Brown Mysteries, #1)4 Stars

Published September 13th 2016 by Henery Press

This is is a new series for me and has started well. Classical musician Gethsemane Brown has left Dallas to travel to Ireland for a position with an orchestra there. Once she arrives, she finds out that the job was given to someone else and she is stranded. Her luggage has been lost and she has not money to return home. She accepts a position turning a rowdy bunch of schoolboys into an award-winning orchestra. For living arrangements, she ends up housesitting in a lovely cottage that once belonged to one of her musical heroes, Irish composer Eamon McCarthy. As she settles in, she comes face to face with the ghost of the cottage’s murdered owner. He is thrilled that not only can she see him, but she can hear him as well. Many years before, he was falsely accused of killing his wife then committing suicide. He begs Gethsemane to clear his name so he can rest in peace.

I love the character of Gethsemane Brown. She is a brilliant African American woman, who is an accomplished violinist and conductor, is quite beautiful, is athletic and has a great sense of humor. I also loved the setting of this story. The cozy village of Dunmullach is inhabited by a delightful cast of characters – a priest with a rather eclectic taste in reading material, a flashy psychic, a good-looking and hard-working police inspector, the attractive fellow teacher, who is known for his historical practical jokes, schoolboys who are either shy, or pugalists, yet very talented, and some less than savory gentlemen who try to intimidate Gethsemane, but do not have a lot of success. We can’t forget the local village pub and all its customers.

As a newly conscripted amateur sleuth, Gethsemane sometimes gets in over her head, but her near scrapes only serve to make her even more tenacious. The dialogue in this story is one of the best parts of the story. The witty, light-hearted banter between her and Eamon’s ghost sparkles and entertains. The boys and the way Gethsemane puts them in their places is so honest and refreshing, no wonder they like her so much. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, so I am glad the next book is already on my kindle to read. The mystery and investigation do not have a lot of clues; it is one of those, being in the right place at the right time, asking the right questions and using intuition to solve the crime. It was a bit unexpected, but the motive was true and the reveal was well done. I definitely recommend this cozy mystery to lovers of mystery with a little paranormal twist, Amateur Sleuths, and/or the Irish Setting of a small village.

Continue reading “Murder in G Major (Gethsemane Brown Mysteries #1) by Alexia Gordon”

Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mystery, #15) by Nancy J. Cohen

Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mystery, #15)4 Stars

Expected publication: September 25th 2018 by Orange Grove Press

Each book I have read in this series gets better. Marla Vail, her detective husband Dalton and step-daughter Brianna are all involved in solving this mystery, which has so many suspects that it takes them all to solve this whodunnit. This book takes us away from the salon and spa to a local fall festival, where Marla enters a bake-off hoping to win the cash prize to add a lunch cafe to her salon. The competition is stiff, with bloggers and amateur cooks all vying for the prize. Marla never expected that it would be tough enough to result in murder.

I like the relationships between the characters. The Vail family relationships are developing with Marla’s step-daughter growing up and becoming an independent teenager. She is more involved in the mystery than in other books and it gives us an insight into her personality and the relationship that is continuing to develop between her and Marla. Detective Vail, Dalton, really relies on his wife’s instinct and intellect to assist him in his investigations, especially since he knows he can not keep her from snooping and trying to find answers. Will Marla’s nosiness and questioning make her a target? Marla and Dalton are also trying to have a baby, which adds another dimension to their relationship.

The biggest problem in this investigation is discovering the motive, If they can figure that out, it will help them figure out who wanted the victims dead. There is a lot happening in this story that muddies the waters and makes it difficult to figure out who the murderer is. The plot moved quickly and I learned a few things about the food industry that I was not aware of. This was an enjoyable story, that was well researched with great characters and of course a wonderful setting. I recommend it to cozy mystery lovers, especially those who enjoy those with family dynamics that add to the story. The author provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, ideas and opinions are my own.

Continue reading “Trimmed to Death (Bad Hair Day Mystery, #15) by Nancy J. Cohen”

Stacking the Shelves, September 16th

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga Reviews and  Marlene of Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course Ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

Here goes, I have received 14 books from Netgalley, 1 from Edelweiss, 5 from Amazon and borrowed 2 from the library. I have a lot of reading ahead of me, 22 altogether.

Netgalley:

             

Edelweiss:

Amazon:

A Flair for Chardonnay (Sadie Kramer Flair, #1) Ten Little Girls (Rebekka Franck #9) Finding Love in Sun Valley, Idaho (Resort to Love #1)

Library:

Liar Liar (Helen Grace, #4) The Lightkeeper's Daughters

What do you think of my selections this week? Any appeal to you?

I hope some of them entice you to take a look at them. I hope you are all enjoying your long weekend.

 

Monday Thoughts

I wanted to start by letting everyone know that I am falling behind reading all your wonderful blogs. I was baking last week and then away for the weekend, so I am now trying to catch up with all the blogs I follow as well as comments on my own posts.

This past weekend, I was at a Women’s Retreat with a couple of dozen ladies from my church. We went to a wonderful place called Crieff Hills and Conference Centre about 3.5 hours from my house where we learned about The Sabbath and how to find joy in Sabbath moments whenever we can, especially with how busy many people’s lives are.

  

 

Needless to say, I did not have access to check email and blogs. I did refresh my mind, my heart and soul with music, reflection, discussion and scripture.

This week I have some appointments (optometrist today where he dilated my eyes, then froze them) to find out that I am beginning to develop cataracts which is why my eyesight has been blurring somewhat. Tomorrow I am going out of town again with my sister to visit my 94 year old aunt who I try to visit with at least 6 times per year, then off to Grand Bend (a few hours away) on Thursday to see a production of Holiday Inn at the Huron County Playhouse.

Huron Country Playhouse

Well, that is what I have coming up. I hope you all have a great week ahead and take time for yourself reading, reflecting or just finding joy in the world around you.

 

Six Feet Under (Kenni Lowry #4) by Tonya Kappes

Six Feet Under (A Kenni Lowry Mystery Book 4)4 Stars

Published March 13th 2018 by Henery Press

There is so much going in this book, that I couldn’t put it down and finished it in one day. Kenni Lowry is sheriff of Cottonwood and her mama, is the typical Southern Mama. In the last book, she won a cooking contest for her Chicken Pot Pie. Celebrity chef Frank Von Lee from the television show Southern Home Cookin’ has come to town to taste it as well as another contestant in a nearby town. He will then decide which of the two, he will feature on his show. Kenni’s mama is so sure that she is going to win, she gets some work done. She attends an unlicenced botox party and ends up with more problems that she needed. Add in bogus handicapped parking permits and the surprising murder of Von Lee and Kenni has her hands full. Kenni’s mom becomes the prime suspect, as Chef Von Lee dies with poison found in his stomach within the remnants of a chicken pot pie and a scathing review partly written. It is going to take everything Kenni and her ghostly grandfather, Poppa, can do to clear her of the crime.

This is another fun addition to the Kenni Lowry series. I love how Finn and Kenny work together as well as how their personal relationship is developing. When the town wants to kick her off the case, she agrees so she can investigate on her own. Finn has some reservations, but he still wants to work with her. This book is filled with southern charm, humour, delightful characters, a bit of romance. I love the southern colloquialisms in the speech and expectations of the characters. Once again, Kenni gets a lot of clues by listening to local gossip and the help of her long dead Poppa. This is a well paced and plotted story. This is truly a fun read filled with a terrific cast of characters and that is what keeps me coming back for more. If you love Southern Mysteries, especially cozies should read, not only this book, but the whole series.

Continue reading “Six Feet Under (Kenni Lowry #4) by Tonya Kappes”

Finding Love in Big Sky, Montana (Resort to Love #2) by Angela Ruth Strong

Finding Love in Big Sky, Montana (Resort to Love, #2)4.5 Stars

Published September 1st 2016 by Mountain Brook Ink 

I was very lucky to follow Angela Ruth Strong’s facebook page at the right time. She had some copies of Finding Love in Big Sky, Montana available and I requested one. I am so glad I did. This is the first book I have read by this author, but will definitely be reading more.

Who doesn’t love a holiday story, especially one with love at Christmas! Josh Lake was a driven businessman, living in Chicago. The last thing he wanted was to be running home for the holidays with his tail between his legs. Suspended from his job and allowing his ex to stay in his apartment, he leaves for home with few possession, driving his fancy, new Mercedes. After driving for 30 hours, he stops in Big Sky for a coffee break. When entering the small coffee shop, the first person he sees is Paisley, a friend from high school. Reluctantly, she is convinced to let him rest in her bunkhouse at her ranch. And then there is Paisley. What do you do when your dreams are shattered? You follow a second one. That is exactly what Paisley is trying to do. However, until money starts flowing, she could use some free labor. Running into Josh Lake just might fit that agenda.

This story shows the reader how these hurt souls heal with the love of God in their lives. They do not have to do anything to make themselves acceptable to God. They had to learn to love themselves first, before they would be able to accept God’s plan for their lives. I loved that the characters in this book were real, relatable and developed. Josh and Paisley were both wounded and vulnerable. Sam, Josh’s brother was a hoot and really helped bring them together, even though Paisley wanted him to shield her from her feeling for Josh. Add in two quirky coffee house ladies with an agenda all their own who are also rooting for Josh and Paisley. This is a story of forgiveness, heartache and healing. It teaches us not to hide our feelings or hold our secrets inside, but to trust and share with others in order to understand God’s plan. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series.

Continue reading “Finding Love in Big Sky, Montana (Resort to Love #2) by Angela Ruth Strong”

First Line Fridays – September 14th

FLF Fall

Welcome to First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books!

My First Line comes from Christmas By the Sea, by Melody Carson.

A Christmas by the Sea

Wendy Harper never considered herself a deceitful person.”

Have you read this book? Does this first line entice you to check it out? 

NOW IT IS YOUR TURN! GRAB THE BOOK YOU ARE CURRENTLY READING, OPEN TO CHAPTER ONE, AND POST THE FIRST SENTENCE (OR SECOND SENTENCE) IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

 

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