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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Book Reviews

Regularly, I post a book review on my blog. Recently, I've begun reviewing books from my school library for a column in the school newsletter. I read and review the usual elementary grade reading level books, and occasionally stumble across a true gem of a read.

Published in 2003, The River Between Us by Richard Peck is one of the most riveting stories about the Civil War I've read outside of Gone With the Wind.

As the story opens, we are traveling in a Model T-Ford in the year 1916 with a young boy, his brothers, and his father to visit relatives. When they reach the home of Aunt Tilly, Peck takes the reader to the Pruitt farm in Illinois where a young Tilly and her family take in two mysterious southern ladies. When Tilly's brother goes to war, she and Delphine, one of their guests head to Cairo, Illinois to bring her brother home. What transpires there and back in the year 1916, kept me riveted to the pages. Peck sheds a whole new light on bigotry and racism and pride in one's family tree.

This may have been a "Young Adult" novel, but The River Between Us can hold it's own with any book I've read intended for more "mature" readers.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Something to Write About

Not a whole lot going on that's fun to write about. A lot that isn't. One of these days I'll let ya'll know how much this ol' gal has had to endure since Thanksgiving. Good thing is, my novel, Buried Beneath the Midnight Blue, has finaled in the Great Expectations contest. I don't know when the final judging will take place, and I don't want to. Then, I'd just be watching the calendar and fretting. That call came when I needed it the most. Now...if I could just get THE CALL. If you know what I mean.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Trouble with Tulip

Mindy Starns Clark has delivered a funny, witty story with an unforgettable character.

Josephine Tulip struggles to keep her grandmother's hint column alive, dealing with issues of the modern woman. When a neighbor winds up dead, confusing the police with the abundance of shower caps, tomato juice and cucumber paste, Jo is called in to advise. Reeling from the shock of being stood up at the altar, Jo dives in to solve the case with her bestfriend, Danny.

Eternal life, empty promises, the search for love, a dog who loves throw pillows...all these and more make up this delightful and suspenseful read. I recommend Mindy's books to anyone who enjoys a quirky heroine and a sweet love story.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Weekends

This is fitting, since it rained this past weekend.

Weekends:
The two days of the week with the greatest chance for rain.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Excitement in the Neighborhood

Had a bit of excitement last night. At least for us. For the last two nights, someone has been sneaking into the backyard of the vacant house next door. My husband decided to check things out and spotted a sleeping bag and other proof that someone was sleeping in there. Being the conscientious neighbors that we are, we called the police.

They sent a young rookie with shaking hands and a trembling voice. He snuck around to the back of the house, peeked over the block fence and said, "Sir, would you mind watching the front? Yell, if someone comes running out." Bless his heart, he sounded terrified. Anyway, the young officer was waiting for backup before entering the house. Wise, choice, don't you think?

A tough, burly officer joined the young man and, together, they searched the dark house. No one was home, but they found evidence that several people were staying there, at least part time.

It was quite fun. My husband watched the front of the house, and me in my bathroom, watched our backyard in case someone scaled the fence. I am glad no one happened to be there, but we're to call if they make an appearance.

I think I could probably use this in a book.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pressure

Under pressure, eggs crack and coal makes diamonds. The same can be said for people.

Which are you?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Remember to Forget

When Maggie went to the liquor store for her boyfriend Kevin, she had no idea how stepping out her door that morning would set her free. When her car is carjacked, and she's left stranded, she heads West with nothing but twenty dollars in her pocket. Fear drives her to lies and deception. Guilt burdens her as she settles in Clayburn, Kansas and finds a place to call home, wanting to accept the love that is offered her.

In, Remember to Forget, Deborah Raney takes the reader into small-town life, God's forgiveness and acceptance, and a simple love story as Maggie embraces the love and life-style God designed for her. A pleasurable read for those who enjoy a warm-hearted love story. Beautifully written.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Front Porch Princess

A small town where everyone knows everything about everyone, and one woman has dreamed her entire life about escaping Pritchett. Having won a beauty title in her teens, Elise dreamed of becoming a model or an actress. Life had different plans in the form of a handsome farmer. Elise settles reluctantly into small-town life, wanting more for her daughter. When her daughter enters Elise into a Mrs. Proverbs 31 pageant, Pritchett, Wisconsin pulls out the red carpet, complete with a parade and an ice cream social.

As Elise prepares for the pageant, she discovers much more about love, beauty, friendship, and God, learning to be content in her circumstances.

Front Porch Princess is a delightful read. Kathryn Springer has the reader running a gauntlet of emotions. Don't read this book unless you're prepared to not be able to put it down! Absolutely wonderful.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Stress

Doctors say extreme stress is bad for your health. Great, just one more thing to worry about.