52 Books in 52 Weeks: “The Widow of Larkspur Inn” by Lawana Blackwell

Welcome to week 31 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I read “Widow of Larkspur Inn, The (Gresham Chronicles)” by Lawana Blackwell.

The main character, Julia Hollis, is living a comfortable life in London as the wife of a doctor.  Though not really in love with her husband she has a comfortable life and concentrates mostly on running their extensive household and managing the social calendar.  All of this comes crashing down when her husband dies and she discovers he has extensive gambling debts that have now come due.

Everything they own is sold to repay the collectors.  The only remaining asset is an old broken down hotel, The Larkspur Inn, in a small town hours away from everything they know.  Rejected by society she picks up her children and the one staff member who refuses to leave them and heads out to open a lodging house- hoping the lodgers will pay the bills since she has no skills.

The challenges of learning how to run a house after a life of comfort is a challenge but a colorful cast of townspeople and lodgers make for a fantastic story.  Watching her character turn from a coddled young lady to an independent woman was a wonderful experience.  It was a great historical Christian fiction read.

At the time of this posting you can download Widow of Larkspur Inn, The (Gresham Chronicles) for FREE to your Kindle, PC or Smart Phone.  I am not sure how long that will last- hope you can grab it free!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Book in 52 Weeks: “Kate’s Song” by Jennifer Beckstrand

Welcome to week 30 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I read Kate’s Song: Forever After in Apple Lake by Jennifer Beckstrand.

I admit I might have enjoyed this book more than normal people.  The lead character is an opera singer (which I adore) and Amish (which I am fascinated with).  I was able to get an interesting insight into both of those cultures.  Additionally it was fascinating experiencing the battle between the two.

Kate Weaver returns home to her family’s farm in Apple Lake, Wisconsin, battered and bruised and carrying a secret. She is not yet baptized and has spent the past year at a music conservatory in Milwaukee, living among the English. Music is Kate’s passion, and she is very good, so she faces a difficult choice; she must either give up her family and home to pursue her talents or come home and be baptized and give up on her dreams. And with Nathaniel King, the handsome neighbor boy she grew up with, paying attention to her, the choice of whether to return to school in the fall is even harder. Kate wins a starring role in an upcoming opera, and as she wrestles with pressure from her family and her newfound feelings for Nathaniel, she is also haunted by what happened to her just before she left school: she fought to protect her friends against an angry ex and landed the man in intensive care. Will the consequences of that battle be the end of everything she’s ever wanted? Will Nathaniel wait around while she tries to figure out God’s plan for her life?

Anyone who has ever struggled with making a decision with no obvious answer can relate to the main character in this book- while her struggles may not be the same as ours but the battle is the same!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Books in 52 Weeks: “September Fair” by Jess Lourey

Welcome to week 29 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I read September Fair (The Murder-By-Month Mysteries) by Jess Lourey.

I have to admit- I learned alot about the dairy business from this book.  It’s a straight up murder myself but takes place during the Minnesota State Fair with a concentration in the dairy area.  There are even sculptures made from butter.

Mira James, the main character in the story, keeps stumbling across dead bodies in her journey.  In this case it’s the beauty queen from the pageant connected to the state fair.  In addition to trying to find a murdered she eats everything deep fried at the fair, lives in a trailer with two crazy people and spends her time screwing up her one liners in front of her crush.

I thought it was a very funny book and it was PG- fun reading for everyone.

At the time of this posting you can download September Fair (The Murder-By-Month Mysteries) for FREE.  That will not last forever so be sure to double check the price before you “buy” it.

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Books in 52 Weeks: “Thirteen” by Kelley Armstrong

Welcome to week 28 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I read Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong.

I was already upset before I began reading this book.  The Otherworld Series by Armstrong is probably my favorite non-fiction series ever (well since I was reading Nancy Drew and Babysitters Club).  This was to be the last book in the series- with about 15 characters’ storylines to wrap up.  No small feat when you have rabid fans like myself.

The books contain a small group of supernatural characters- witches, ghosts, half-demons and werewolves.  A war has been brewing for some time between supernaturals who wish to remain anonymous and those who believe they should expose themselves to the human world so they no longer have to hide.  In order to move their cause forward the second group has begun kidnapping supernaturals and trying to sway them to change sides.

The remainder is a battle for rights, eternal life and protecting what is sacred- family and friends.

Overall, while it didn’t wrap the series up in a perfect bow Armstrong did her job.  And I can’t wait to see what she does next.

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Books in 52 Weeks: The Canadian West Series by Janette Oke

Welcome to week 27 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I actually re-read 4 books I had read earlier (as a teen).  One of them was (and at the time of this writing is) available for free on Amazon to download:

When Calls the Heart (Canadian West Book #1) (as of 8/11 free to download)

When Comes the Spring (Canadian West #2)

When Breaks the Dawn (Canadian West #3)

When Hope Springs New (Canadian West #4)

It turns out there is also a 5th book in the series: Beyond the Gathering Storm (Canadian West #5) but it seems to  be different characters and since I don’t own it, I haven’t read it.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Janette Oke during the 80s and 90s she was a powerhouse in Christian fiction writing.  Writing historical romantic fiction she easily pulls her (mostly female) readers into whatever world she chooses.  Oke is Canadian and this series is set in the Canadian Northwest.

The series chronicles the journey of Elizabeth,  a well-bred teacher from Toronto.  Quite comfortable in her life she has no expectations beyond teaching, marrying and settling herself into society life in Toronto.  These plans are interrupted when she receives a letter from her older brother Jonathan who is living out West.  Their area is desperately in need of teachers and he immediately thought of Elizabeth.  Through prayer and tears she decides to accept a post with the anticipation of living well and enjoying the company of her brother and his family.

Upon arrival she discovers that the school superintendent has set his sites on marrying her with no intention of her teaching.  After refusing his insanely ridiculous proposal he promptly assigns her to a poor school district hours from her family and in an area with little money or resources.  In spite of his pettiness she throws herself into her position and discovers the joy that comes from accepting a challenge set before you.

Oh and did I mention she keeps seeing this really good looking Canadian Mountie everywhere?

I don’t want to get too much more into the plot because the books flow from one right into the other but if this sounds like something interesting, you will love the series.  I always find them such a great read- a glimpse into another time and place that is so foreign to us.

 

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Books in 52 Weeks: “Tales of the Otherworld” by Kelley Armstrong


Welcome to week 26 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I read Tales of the Otherworld (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong.  I reviewed her book “Exit Strategy” earlier this year.

Before I even start writing I have to tell you- Kelley Armstrong is one of my favorite non-fiction writers.  She is one of the few that I will pony up the $25 for a new hardcover book and not even blink because I read them over and over.  I am TOTALLY biased.

Kelley has one large series of books she has written with all of society’s current favorite characters- witches, werewolves, vampires, half-demons and the humans who interact with them.  Her new book (which I just purchased on Amazon today)   is going to wrap up their storylines.  The book I just finished is full of short stories that are prequels to many of the characters in her novels.

I adored this book- so many great “how he and she met” stories and “this is how he became evil” stories.  Once you fall in love with characters you want to know everything about them.

Since it is short stories it’s a nice easy read.  I don’t think you need to have read her other books to enjoy this since it’s the beginning of everyone’s story but generally I recommend you read everything she writes.

Most of the books I write about are rated G but just so you know this is a little more grown up book.  Regardless if you like the Fantasy genre I think she is a must read!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Books In 52 Weeks: “Death By Honey Bee”


Welcome to week 25 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

I promise you I have been reading- I am just WAY behind on writing reviews!

Last night I finished reading Death By A HoneyBee (A Josiah Reynolds Mystery).

This was a deviation from the stream of Christian Romantic Fiction I seem to be devouring right now.

The main character, Josiah Reynolds, is a beekeeper who is barely paying her bills, although the town thinks she is loaded from her ex-husbands life insurance.  They didn’t know he left everything to his mistress and their child.  Single and dateless her best friend and sort of co-worker Matt lives in her cabana bringing in his current boyfriend to also keep them company.  To finish up her family she has adopted a GIANT puppy named Baby.

The book opens with her fellow beekeeper Richard Pidgeon being found dead in her hive with numerous bee stings.  The ME states that Pidgeon died of a heart attack but the detective on the case, who has a grudge against Josiah, is hellbent on proving that Josiah killed Pidgeon. Meanwhile, Josiah is being harassed with letters claiming that she killed Pidgeon. Josiah’s best friend Matt, an attorney, helps her along the way. As well, Josiah’s daughter, a rather elusive character, assists her. The reader is given little information on her daughter, but you are led to believe that she holds a very sensitive position in the government.  The book is the journey of trying to prove her innocence as well as manage her world crumbling around her.

The book ends in a cliffhanger thus challenging you NOT to read Death By Drowning (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries).   I will read it as soon as I have time!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Books in 52 Weeks: “Summer of Promise”


Welcome to week 24 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

I promise you I have been reading- I am just WAY behind on writing reviews!

This week I read Summer of Promise: A Novel (Westward Winds) by Amanda Cabot.  Some of you may remember I read her book “Paper Roses” earlier this year.

I was fully expecting to enjoy this book and really did.  Set in 1885 it’s during a time when the country was expanding out West rapidly and still reeling from the results of the Civil War.  It’s also set just a bit after Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman– one of my favorite television series so I like the time period.

The main character is Abigail Harding- a teacher in Vermont at a popular school.  Her sister, Charlotte, has married an officer in the military and moved to Wyoming.  As they exchange letters she begins to sense that her sister is no longer happy, though she doesn’t come right out and say it.  Since it is summer break Abigail begins the long journey by train and stagecoach to go visit.

On the last leg of the trip the stagecoach is attacked by bandits and Abigail meets Lieutenant Ethan Bowles- a fellow passenger who jumps up and saves them all from being hurt.  It turns out Ethan is stationed in the same location as her brother-in-law and sister so they develop a friendship.  Abigail is engaged to a fellow teacher back in Vermont but on arriving to see her frail and sickly sister she confirms she was correct to make the journey.

So while you have the blooming romances, conflicts between race, sister in law and brother in law arguments and the difficulties of just living in the West at that time you also have the underlying plot line of the stage coach robberies and who is masterminding them all.  It becomes clear inside information is being shared- the robbers always seem to know which coaches are the easy targets.

All in all it was a nice light read.  And everything gets wrapped up in a nice bow at the end!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Books in 52 Weeks: “The Pastor’s Wife” by Jennifer AILee


Welcome to week 23 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

I promise you I have been reading- I am just WAY behind on writing reviews!

The book I read this week was The Pastor’s Wife by Jennifer AILee.

Maura Sullivan is a theater person who used to be a pastor’s wife in Granger, OH.  As can easily happen her husband got so caught up in the ministry of the church he ignored his wife so she left.  She is called back to a town for the reading of a will.  It turns out she was left the theater in town by an older woman who used to attend the church.

The catch- she and her husband (they never divorced) have to live together for six months before proper ownership will be transferred.  Additionally the theater must host one church event each year.  If they can complete the six months the church in addition will receive $10,000 for projects.

Reluctantly husband and wife agree to move back in together at the church parsonage and thus begin the strange journey.  The characters are delightful and include a wide range of church members.  As a Christian I found myself slipping easily into their world of youth ministry, deacons meetings and opening nights.

The author throws a wrench in the mix right about the time I figured the book was going to wrap up and I thought it made the ending even better.

If you are looking for some light reading and the religious undertones won’t bother you, check out The Pastor’s Wife!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Books in 52 Weeks “Wedded To The War”


Welcome to week 22 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

I promise you I have been reading- I am just WAY behind on writing reviews!

One of the other books I read recently had a character that was a nurse during the Civil War.  She was treated HORRIBLY when she returned home from the war because as a woman she had “no right” to be around men who weren’t properly clothed or could possibly have bad thoughts as a result of seeing her while they were sick.  I thought surely the author had found a small segment of the population who believed that during the late 1800s.  How could anyone think it was disgraceful for someone to help the sick during a war?

But this past week I read Wedded to War (Heroines Behind the Lines) and discovered that this was in fact the norm.  The main character, Charlotte Waverly, is a wealthy New York Socialite who decides to leave the comfort of her family home and volunteer as a nurse for the Union during the Civil War.  The whole process of even being accepted was insane- the women had to be over 30, married and unattractive.  As a 28 year old single female she had to try to keep her head down and not draw attention to herself (she was not very good at this).

Even after completing her training she was treated as a second class citizen by the doctors in the field hospitals.  While men were dying around her the doctors would make her spend days cleaning bed pans or doing other tasks in an attempt to wear her out and try to get her to go home.  The conditions were deplorable making me wonder if we lost more men to illness in these wars than we did to bullets.

A secondary character in the book is Ruby- an Irish immigrant who came to the US to escape the death caused by the potato famine.  She has been reduced to living in Five Points- the largest slum in New York City.  She and Charlotte end up being friends through a strange series of events.

The book is yet another example in my country’s history when women were treated as second hand citizens at a time where their contributions were the difference between life and death for thousands of people.  In my modern view point it is almost impossible to imagine nurses overwhelmingly being male.  With both battlefield and hospital conditions being so horrible I would have thought the comforting expressions, beauty and organizational skills of women would have been welcomed.

Overall I thought the book was a good read.  At the time I am writing this the book is still available to be downloaded for free.  Since this is Amazon it won’t last long but maybe this will give you a chance to grab a good book at a great deal!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Books in 52 Weeks: “In The Presence Of My Enemies”


Welcome to week 21 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

I promise you I have been reading- I am just WAY behind on writing reviews!

I openly wept while I was reading In the Presence of My Enemies.  So much so that my cat came out from her spot where she had been soundly sleeping to make sure I was okay.

In The Presence of My Enemies is the story of Martin and Gracia Burnham, who spent over 15 years of their lives as missionaries with New Tribes Missions.  They worked in the Philippines.  Martin was a pilot and flew supplies (such as medicine, food, schooling materials etc) to tribes who could not be reached by road.  He had the incredible ability to land his little planes on short runways surrounded by trees.  For many people he was a lifeline to letters from families in the states, medicine that saved lives and food.  His wife, Gracia, worked as a radio operator with Martin and other pilots.  She kept everyone organized in the sky.

To celebrate their wedding anniversary (she tells their love story in the book) they left their three children with trusted friends and rented a room for one evening at a resort in the Philippines.  Gracia states in the book that she thought about cancelling several times because the $200 for the evening was extravagant on their budget but she and Martin had spent so little time together between the children and their jobs they decided one night couldn’t hurt.

That night the resort was taken over by Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim extremist group in the Philippines.  For just over one year the couple was held hostage and moved almost daily around the jungles.  They were not the only hostages taken and they watched as ransoms were paid for some, some of the women were taken as wives for the extremists and some were killed.  Gracia’s book is an account of their day to day life- the events that held them together and the things that made her want to fall apart.

Eventually the Philippine army breaks in to rescue them and Martin dies next to Gracia during that rescue (she points this out very early in the book so I promise that is not a spoiler).   After such a long journey where their marriage, friendship and faith endured to read of his death from her perspective was heart breaking.

Gracia finishes the book with her story of being home, how her children are doing and the ministry she now has.  She speaks candidly about trying to learn to forgive her captors and the healing she and her family has gone through.  She talks about being angry with God and the struggle to understand why bad things happen.  And while she doesn’t have all the answers there is a trust you can read in the undertone of the story that speaks volumes about her journey.

 

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Books in 52 Weeks: Week #20 “Where Wildflowers Bloom”


Welcome to week 20 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I read Where Wildflowers Bloom (Sisters at Heart) by Ann Shorey. This was one of the free Amazon downloads from a while back- love these free books. It’s not free right now but hopefully it will be again!

The War Between the States stole a father and brother from Faith Lindberg– as well as Royal Baxter, the man she wanted to marry. The only relative she has remaining is her grandfather. With so many bad memories in Noble Springs, Missouri she wants to take her grandfather and head out West to Oregon. She spends her time trying to talk her grandfather into selling their family store so they can leave with nothing holding them back.

When Royal Baxter suddenly returns to town, Faith allows herself to hope that her dreams might come true. As he begins to court her he tells her of HIS desire to go to Oregon. But rumors of his trysts in other nearby towns make Faith doubt his sincerity.

Meanwhile Curt and Rosemary, a brother and sister, are in town and Faith has be-friended them. Rosemary was a nurse during the Civil War and is treated horribly by the towns people because she worked on men. (This INFURIATED me as I read the book.) Her brother Curt received a significant knife injury during the war so has a nasty scar down the side of his neck. Both have sweet spirits and are true friends.

Will Faith choose Royal just so she can leave town or decide to stay where her family has lived for generations and run the local store?

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Week #19: “Paper Roses” by Amanda Cabot


Welcome to week 19 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series! If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

I am playing catch up so it has been a few weeks since I read “Paper Roses” by Amanda Cabot but I have still thought about it a few times. And that says a lot for a Christian historical fiction novel. Most of them I have found pretty shallow and forgetful.

The main character, Sarah Dobbs, immediately seemed almost real to me. A well bred girl from the East her parents had died leaving her to care for her very young sister. In an act of desperation she became a mail order bride and surprised herself by falling in love with a man through his letters, which she call her “Paper Roses.”

After a long train trip she reaches his hometown only to be met by his brother, Clay, at the station. Her love has been murdered. Going home for her is not an option so she is forced to depend on the family that should have been hers to keep a roof over her and her sister’s head.

The book is the story of her struggle to establish herself as an independent woman in Texas, find the man who murdered her love and find a new family and home.

It’s the first of 3 books in the “Texas Dreams” series so I will be trying to track down inexpensive copies of the other two!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Books in 52 Weeks #18: “Before The Scarlet Dawn”


I owe you guys two book posts so I am playing catch up today!

Welcome to week 18 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

The book I read this week was Before the Scarlet Dawn: Daughters of the Potomac, Book 1 (The Daughters of the Potomac).

The book’s description on Amazon is pretty reliable:

 In 1775, Hayward Morgan, a young gentleman destined to inherit his father’s estate in Derbyshire, England, captures the heart of the local vicar’s daughter, Eliza Bloome. Her dark beauty and spirited ways are not enough to win him, due to her station in life.   

Circumstances throw Eliza in Hayward’s path, and they flee to America to escape the family conflicts. But as war looms, it’s a temporary reprieve. Hayward joins the revolutionary forces and what follows is a struggle for survival, a test of faith, and the quest to find lasting love in an unforgiving wilderness.

Because I am working on 1776 right now I was very interested in this book because the time periods are pretty close together.  It was a great picture of what life would have been like for Abigail Adams.

The book was completely riveting for the first 75% of the content.  Then a HUGE turn takes place in the plot and it felt like the author needed to wrap it up so she just rushed through the wrap up.  I was really disappointed in the ending.

This is only the first of a series though so I will keep my eyes out for the follow up.  I don’t know that I would pay $9.99 for it but its a definite read from the library or if it pops up FREE on Amazon!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #17: Saving Hope: Men of the Texas Rangers Book 1


Welcome to week 17 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

The book I read this week was Saving Hope: Men of the Texas Rangers Book 1.  It was free a little while ago on Amazon so I downloaded it to my Kindle Fire.  

I REALLY enjoyed this book- it was a great light read.

The main character Kate is barely paying the bills while running “Beacon of Hope School”- a home for girls, most of whom were either abandoned or were victims of human trafficking.    When one of her girls runs away she meets Wyatt, a Texas Ranger with a teenage daughter.  As can expect there are sparks.

Wyatt’s daughter ends up in danger from a local trafficker who takes Kate as a consolation prize.  Wyatt must save Kate and the missing girl before it is too late!  (How was that for a dramatic description?)

This book is aptly described as a Christian Romance Mystery novel.  It was a nice, easy read.  It didn’t change my life but it sort of makes me want to take a trip to Texas and meet a Ranger!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #16: Out of Control (The Kincaid Brides) by Mary Connealy


Welcome to week 16 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I read Out of Control (The Kincaid Brides) by Mary Connealy.  The book description was pretty good on Amazon:

Julia Gilliland has always been interested in the natural world around her. She particularly enjoys her outings to the cavern near her father’s homestead, where she explores for fossils and formations, and plans to write a book about her discoveries. The cave seems plenty safe–until the day a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to find her way out.

Rafe Kincaid has spent years keeping his family’s cattle ranch going, all without help from his two younger brothers, who fled the ranch–and Rafe’s controlling ways–as soon as they were able. He’s haunted by one terrible day at the cave on a far-flung corner of the Kincaid property, a day that changed his life forever. Ready to put the past behind him, he plans to visit the cave one final time. He sure doesn’t expect to find a young woman trapped in one of the tunnels–or to be forced to kiss her! 

Rafe is more intrigued by Julia than any woman he’s ever known, but how can he overlook her fascination with the cave he despises? And when his developing relationship with Julia threatens his chance at reconciliation with his brothers, will he be forced to choose between the family bonds that could restore his trust and the love that could heal his heart?

Overall the book was good.  I have to be honest though- the Julia character drove me absolutely crazy.  Sometimes I wondered if the writer portrayed her with PTSD or some other underlying issue that she just failed to mention.  She switches back and forth between being an adult and being a spoiled 13 year old girl.  There were several moments in the book I wanted to reach through the screen (I was reading on my Kindle) and smack her.

What Julia lacks in continuity the other characters in the story make up for.  Rafe is portrayed as the cowboy every girl wants to meet when she thinks of the old West.  Connealy’s description of the land and culture of the time make that time period seem romantic and dangerous all at once- a great combination when you want to get lost in a book.

Overall I would say if you like romantic western novels this is a good bet for you!

 

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #15: “Murder On The Rocks” by Karen MacInerney


Welcome to week 15 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

The book I read this week was Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney.  At the time I am writing this, the book is still available for FREE to download to your Kindle, PC or Smart Phone.  As always this can change at any moment!

This is the first free book I read on my new Refurbished Kindle Fire – which I love.  I think part of my reading experience may have been connected to the fact that I was reading in a new medium.

The book is set in Maine and the main character, Natalie Barnes, is running a bed and breakfast on tiny Cranberry Island.  (I really enjoyed the parts about the B & B in the book- when I travel with my mom we try to stay in Bed and Breakfasts often so it was nice to read something from the perspective of the hard working people who run these establishments.)  Natalie is barely making ends meet after picking up her life and investing in the Inn.  To make matters worse a large investor comes to the island with his sites set on destroying all the natural beauty and building a giant resort.  For reasons unknown the developer decides to stay at the B & B instead of in a larger hotel on the mainland along with his assistant and a few other guests.

A few days after his visit begins Natalie discovers his body while out for her morning walk and becomes the prime suspect.  The remainder of the book is her, along with the police, sorting through the various characters on the island to discover the real murderer.

All in all I thought the book was pretty good.  This was the debut book for the author so I am sure she had ironed out some of the kinks in her newer novels.  I felt like the writing was bit choppy at times but the characters were very relate able and there was just enough romance without it being ridiculous.  The struggle of a small business owner to keep herself afloat was also something many people can relate to.

She mentions several mouth watering dishes in the book and I was very pleased to find the recipes in the back.  Not that I would cook them or anything but I have friends who like to do such things.

So if this sounds like something you would like, check out Murder on the Rocks (Gray Whale Inn Mysteries, No. 1) (Gray Whale Inn Mystery)!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #14: “A Little Bit Wicked” by Kristin Chenoweth


Welcome to week 14 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I spent a hilarious hour and a half this week reading “A Little Bit Wicked- Life, Love and Faith In Stages” by Kristin Chenoweth.

As a singer and actress myself I generally enjoy reading autobiographies of successful performers- especially those as ridiculously talented as Kristin Chenoweth.

She is an opera soprano who has branched into movies, Broadway and television with great success- well liked by her co-workers and amassing a very loyal following.

She also originated one of the most famous Broadway roles in history by being in the original cast for Wicked (no she is not the green one- who is also incredible).

Here is a taste of some of the humor in the book:

It turns out Kristin is also hilarious. Her autobiography was probably the fastest I have ever read a non-fiction book.

Raised in a conservative Christian home in Oklahoma her parents were very supportive and completely unimpressed with her unbelievable talent. She was adopted at 5 days old and became a little sister to 3 year old Mark- who provides much of the comedy in the book. It’s easy to picture myself laughing so hard at their dinner table my stomach would ache.

There are a million hilarious stories in the book some of them from backstage at Wicked and Pushing Daisies.  There are also two incredibly easy, high fat, high taste recipes that only a 4’11” thin actress can eat without blowing up like a balloon!

But perhaps the most daunting story is one of the lowest points in her life.  She was becoming disillusioned with some of the elements of Broadway.  She had a television show she thought was amazing that was cancelled in under 10 episodes.  She was in New York, wallowing in her disappointment and eating ice cream late into the night.  In the morning, only a few hours after going to bed, she was awakened by sirens that seemed to never end.  Unable to get back to sleep she turned on the television to see the events of 9/11 unfold in her city.  She watched her beloved Broadway dark as tourism died.  It changed her whole perspective on performing in New York.

If you like Kristin or love reading about performers I highly suggest “A Little Bit Wicked.”  You will be laughing out loud!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #13: Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong


Welcome to week 13 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

Last week I reviewed a book from one of my favorite non-fiction authors, Mark Batterson.

This week I re-read a book by one of my favorite fiction authors, Kelley Armstrong.   While she is most well known for a series of fantasy books she has one series that are great crime reads.

The first book in that series is Exit Strategy.  It was published in 2007 so you can get used copies REALLY cheap and hopefully your local library will have a copy!

I absolutely love the main character in these books.  Her name is Nadia Stafford, a former cop who now owns a wilderness ranch in Canada.  She was “released” from the police force for taking matters into her own hands and killing a suspect.  The wilderness ranch was struggling and one of her guests had noticed what an excellent shot she was with a rifle.  It turns out he was connected and had a man who needed to be taken care of.  He offered her an excellent amount of money to help them out and in desperation she agrees.  It’s the first step that leads her to be a contract killer- only for that family and only if she agreed to the job.  She sort of creates her own sense of justice.

She is eventually discovered by a very successful hitman who decides to mentor her and they maintain a mysterious relationship.  A serial killer operating in the United States as the Helter Skelter killer has now released the information that he is a hitman.  Recognizing the threat to everyone who makes their living in this dangerous occupation Nadia knows that they must catch the serial killer before he brings a full on police investigation into all of their lives.

Armstrong builds a phenomenal cast of characters that allows her to easy write the sequel Made to Be Broken (Nadia Stafford, Book 2).

I have probably read this book a half dozen times.  I just LOVE the characters and it’s easy to relate to a strong female lead.  She also somehow manages to communicate very well the inner struggle of someone who finds great satisfaction in her job when she knows she shouldn’t.  The characters are like-able and relate-able.

So check out Kelly Armstrong- you might find a new author you like!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #12: Soulprint by Mark Batterson


Welcome to week 12 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week for my book I read Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destiny by Mark Batterson.

For those of you reading this is a Christian book.  It talks about God and has many references to Scripture.  I gave you that disclaimer so you can quit reading if you will be offended- which is not my intent!

Below is a video that explains exactly what the book is about:

I used this book as a supplement when I did my daily Bible reading. Now I have to give you a warning I LOVE Mark Batterson’s books. He is one of only two authors whose books I buy every time. His newer book The Circle Maker is sitting on my night stand ready to be read as well.

Soulprint opens with one of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis:

” The dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship… it is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities… that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ‘ordinary’ people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.” 

Trying to narrow down what I learned from this book into something readable is insane.  There is no way.  So here are a few thoughts I had while reading, just to give you an idea of whether or not it would be a good read for you.  These are lessons I learned and am trying to use in my life:

1.  God sees potential in every person.  One of the interesting things about my job is the lack of human interaction face to face and the boldness of people online.  People send me e-mails and messages with some of the most interesting things in them and it is hard to imagine they would be so bold in person.  And because they are a faceless person it is easy just to delete the e-mail and move on.  But as a fellow blogger reminded me once- every single person that visits my site represents a household that I have the chance to make a difference in.  And I believe that God has a plan for every person and sees potential in them.  I want to strive more and more to see the potential in everyone around me.

2.  When we look back at life we can see a blue print.  Occasionally I will sit back and ponder how I got where I am.  The story of how I ended up being a full time blogger is amazing.  How activities I did when I was in my teens prepared me for public speaking, being comfortable on television and radio and helped me develop my frugal attributes.  How decisions I made about not getting into debt on anything that wasn’t necessary 10 years ago mean that I can survive on the money I make now.  I believe that nothing in life happens on accident and so many things had to happen for me to be where I am now.  God had a plan.

3.  Sometimes you just have to be willing to make a fool of yourself.  I have a REALLY hard time with this.  I like looking like I have everything together.  One of the hardest things for me to do as an actress is play the part everyone laughs at.  I prefer being the villain- it’s just easier.   But the bottom line is without taking a chance you never grow. Without the risk of falling flat on my face what gain could I possibly receive?  For me personally I need to take more risks- both at work and in my non-coupon life.

Those were probably my three biggest thoughts during this series- although there is much more written in my prayer journal and on my heart.  Thanks for taking the time to read such a serious post- it’s part of my journey to be willing to make a fool of myself!

It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.