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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.