Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Gathering Place- Thomas Kinkade

I just laid down to start reading A Gathering Place and was reading the introduction from Thomas Kinkade and he says "In A Gathering Place you will see hard times for Lucy and Charlie Bates...moments of suffering and doubt for Reverend Ben...hard decisions to be faced by Emily Warwick and Dan Forbes...and the entire town will experience a sad and profound loss."

I usually wait until after I finish the book to write down my thoughts, but after reading that paragraph, I wanted to start this entry a little differently, with my predictions, then come back after I'm done reading and see how close I was in my predictions.

I think Lucy and Charlie Bates will continue to have problems in their marriage.....I'm not sure if Lucy will end up leaving him or not...I know she was considering it in the last book, so it is a possibility.

I think Reverend Ben's will be centered around his son, Mark. I predict that Mark will continue to stay in contact with them, but continue to let them down, as he already has.

I think that Emily and Dan will get into a relationship, but Emily wants to start a family, and based on the synopsis on the book cover, she isn't so sure that Dan will want to start all over again, so I think the decisions they will face will have to do with that.

And the profound loss that the entire town experiences will either be something happening to one of the town's landmarks- Possibly another storm. Or it could even be someone moving away or dying. My first thought was Lillian, but then I just realized there was talk in the last book about Gus Potter not doing too well.

I can't wait to start reading and find out what really happens.


I finished the book on 9/30/07 at 12:00am.

A lot happened in A Gathering Place

The book begins on Thanksgiving Day, the day that Digger went missing for the first time. Everyone goes out to search for him and it is Luke that ends up finding him. He has this feeling that Digger is there, and everyone else dismisses his feelings and goes on. Luke ends up being right. It is then that the doctors do some tests and discover that Digger has been having little strokes that have been causing forgetfullness, and as a result, he can't be allowed to leave the house on his own anymore. This causes a tough time for Digger and Grace. At one point Grace let him go to the store to get paint, and Digger thought he was supposed to go to work, so he ended up missing again, this time they found him at the cottages.

Sarah gets a job at The Messenger. She was really excited at first, but it's not as easy as she expected, but as time goes on, it gets better. And she even agrees that she's going to stay in Cape Light and keep her job.

Carolyn and Reverend Lewis still are dealing with Mark, which causes then a lot of tension and frustration Carolyn is on her way to the hospital to see Rachel, who has gone into labor, when she has a stroke while driving. She is then in a coma for a couple days. It is then when Mark finally decides to come home. Rachel has her baby, and despite some complications with the baby's position during labor, the baby is fine.

Elizabeth and Dan have their share of problems. Dan is too stubborn to admit his feelings for Emily. Since finding Sarah, Emily realizes that she's missing something in her life. She wants a second chance at life. She wants to get married and have a baby, so she can have a chance to raise a child. She's too afraid to confide in Dan because she thinks he's ready to rush off on his trip once his foot gets better. Dan is a little taken aback, but soon realizes he doesn't want to think about Emily being with anyone else.

Sarah and Luke have a similar problem. Both are too stubborn to admit their feelings for one another. Sarah is thinking that she won't be around for long and thinks that with everything else going on in her life, she can't deal with a relationship strong as her feelings for Luke may be. Luke loves her, but is too stubborn to admit it, instead he gets jealous when he sees Sarah with Wyatt. He ends up leaving Cape Light for a new job, because he figures Sarah will be leaving soon anyway. He ends up coming back though, because he realizes how strong he was. Luckily for him, Sarah is not leaving either. predictions and whether I was right or not...

Lucy did end up leaving Charlie and taking her boys to her Mother's house for awhile....I think Charlie learned a big lesson, and agreed to seek counseling and learn to control his temper. At the end of the book, Lucy did go back to him. I'll be interested to hear more about this in the next book.

And my predictions about Reverend Lewis and his family were mostly true. Mark did continue to let them down. I thought it was pretty callous of him to accept the offer for the plane tickets and then not come...I can understand how Carolyn felt, although I don't really agree with the way Reverend Lewis handled it when he and Mark finally did come face to face at the hospital. I was surprised to hear about Carolyn and her strokes. I sure wasn't expecting that. And I was especially happy that she survived and was able to meet her grandson. I'm hoping that she and Mark can sit down and have a talk and come to terms with each other. I hope for Carolyn's sake, Mark continues to keep in touch with them.

Emily and Dan's situation didn't really surprise me. I was right, for the most part. I think Dan was too stubborn to realize his feelings. But, in my heart, I knew he wouldn't end up going on the trip anyway. I'm so happy for Emily that she's finally getting a second chance. I hope she and Sarah can also become closer than they already are. I think I'm even starting to see a softer side of Lillian too. Maybe it is just me. I was surprised that she came to Jessica and Sam's on Christmas Eve. I thought for sure she wouldn't. The fact that she did says a lot. And I was very touched when she gave Sarah that photo album for Christmas. Back to Emily and Dan, I predict that in the next book, they'll get married. I would also like to see her get pregnant. I could see them adopting too. Maybe J essica and Sam could have a baby at the same time, so they'd have cousins the same age.

Aside from those things though, I really didn't see what great loss the company suffered. At times, I thought Reverend Lewis was going to leave the ministry, or that Digger and/or Carolyn were going to die. I also predicted that Dan would sell the Messenger, the community's newspaper. But I'm not sure what loss there was.

I loved Lindsey...I was so happy when Dan came to his senses and gave her the paper. It was obvious from the beginning that Wyatt wanted nothing to do with it. Why didn't Dan ever think of offering Lindsey the paper? I think that really hurt her? I didn't really like Wyatt and felt that Jessica was much better with Luke than with him. I think Luke's jealousy was a definite sign that he was in love with Jessica no matter what he said.

I didn't really like Molly...she seems really hard-tongued and hard to get along with....she seems like one of those people where you never know where you stand with them.

I didn't really like Sarah's adoptive parents. They seemed really selfish and they didn't realize how hard this was for Sarah. I was glad that Sarah stood her ground and decided to stay in Cape Light.

So my predictions for A New Leaf would be a couple weddings in the future: Emily and Dan, and Jessica and Luke. Not sure who will make it to the altar first.

Started 9/26/07
finished 9/30/07 12:00 am

Moving on to: A New Leaf

Home Song- Thomas Kinkade

I have so many books I want to read NOW, yet there's something about this series that has me absolutely HOOKED!!! Home Song centered mostly around the upcoming election and the race between Emily Warwick and Charlie Bates to see who would actually win the election.....I was really not sure who would end up winning, though I really hoped it would be Emily. I didn't really like Charlie...he was too hot-headed...A male chauvinist, you might say. Lucy was so sweet, I don't know what she was doing with a husband like him. Another big thing that happened, right before the election, in fact, was that Sarah finally revealed that Emily was her birthmother. I'm sure that had to be hard to do. Jessica finally put her feelings about her mom aside, and agreed to marry Sam, which I was glad to see. I don't think anyone could ever be good enough in Lillian's eyes. And then there was Luke McAllister and his project New Horizons, a project that works with at-risk kids, and gives them a chance to get to a more rural community and get a new outlook on life and also gain some skills that they might not otherwise be able to be exposed to. This idea was met with a lot of opposition, but eventually people started changing their minds.
Things I noticed:
It seems like Molly Willougby has definitely warmed up to Jessica. She acted so coldly toward her in the first book.
Like I said, I really didn't care for Charlie. I thought Lucy was sweet though.
I knew right off the bat that Elixabeth and Dan has feelings for each other. I think they should get together.
I also want Sarah to STAY in Cape Light and get together with Luke.
A few more things I look forward to finding out in A Gathering Place:
I'm looking forward to seeing how Jessica and Sam adjust to married life. I want to see them start a family.
I want to know what happens to Lillian. I hope she comes to her senses and reaches out to her girls and her grandaughter.
Again, I'm interested to see what happens with Sarah. Will she decide to stay in Cape Light or move back to Maryland? How will her relationship with Emily change? How will her relationship with Lilliann change?
I'm interested to see what happens with the Reverend and his family...will Mark ever come back and visit Cape Cod? Will Rachel and her baby be ok?
I want to know what happens to Charlie and Lucy Bates. Lucy mentions that she wants to either go to marriage counseling, or talk to Reverend Lewis....will Charlie agree to go? Will they end up divorcing?
Dan's Son Wyatt- He's new in town....I'm looking forward to hearing more about him and what he does?
I can't wait to hear how the New Horizons project turns out. Will peoples' opinions of that program soften or will they remain the same?
What are some things that will kick off Emily's second term as Mayor? Will she get in a relationship with Dan? How will that progress?
Based on the cover artwork, and the title of this book A Gathering Place, it seems like a lot of the stories will be centered around things that happen in or around the church. The 4th book in the series, A New Leaf, seems like it will be more about change.
I picked up both books at the library today and the librarian commented what a great series this was. She also noticed the Debbie Macomber book I was holding and mentioned she had just read her first book by Debbie Macomber. I told her how Debbie was my favorite author and that I was lucky enough to meet her this past June.
Started Home Song : 9/22/07
finished: 9/26/07
Now, moving on to A Gathering Place

Friday, September 21, 2007

Cape Light- Thomas Kinkade

This book is set in present day in Cape Light, Massachusetts, just an hour north of Boston.

I'm gonna do what Debbie Macomber Always does at the beginning of her Cedar Cove Books

Warwick Family- well-known family, involved in scandal in the past.

Emily-Current Mayor of Cape Light. Has been married for last 2 years. 41 years old. Currently not married and has no children. Emily was previously married; her husband was killed in accident. Emily was Pregnant at the time, but was forced to put the baby up for Adoption.

Jessica- Emily's sister, 32 years old, came to Cape Light just for the summer to help their mom, who recently had a stroke, but ends up staying, despite her job offer back in Boston. Works at the bank. Before she moved to Cape Light, she was seeing Paul Copperfield, and that relationship seemed like it had potential, until he had to go She ends up getting engaged to Sam Morgan.

Lillian- Mother of Jessica and Emily. Wife of Oliver . Recently suffered a stroke.

Betty Bowman- town realtor

Charlie and Lucy Bates- Have a 5 year old son, Charlie Jr., and own The Clam Box Restaurant, a very popular spot in Cape Light, by threatened by the beanery, a new coffee shop. Charlie also plans to run for Mayor in the upcoming election. Lucy decides she wants to return to college and take nursing classes. Charlie is opposed to the idea at first, but eventually changes his mind.

Sophie and Gus Potter- well known for their annual Barbeque, held every Memorial Day, and Pick-your-own Peach Orchard. Sophie was also notorious for her cooking.

Reverend Ben and Carolyn Lewis- Ben is the Reverend at Cape Light Bible Community Church.They have two children Rachel and Mark. Mark has been at odds with his parents, but toward but ends up trying to improve his relationship with them. Rachel has just announced that she is expecting her first child. Carolyn also teaches piano lessons.

Harry Reilly- friend of Reverend Lewis. Works at the boatyard. Ends up giving Digger Hegman a job, since he always seemed to end up there anyway.

Digger has a Daughter named Grace who owns The Bramble, an antique shop. Grace had a daughter named Julie who was killed in an accident 5 years ago.

Dan Forbes- Owns and runs the local newspaper, The Cape Light Messenger, which was first published by his great-grandfather.

Felicity and Johnathan Bean- Owners of the newest restaurant in Cape Light, The Beanery, a coffee shop, located right next door to the Clam Box, much to Charlie Bates' Dismay.

Tucket Tulley- Senior Officer in the town's police force, and also Charlie Yates' best friend.

The Morgan Family-

Joe Morgan- Married to Marie. Father of Sam and Molly, as well as 2 more sons and 2 more daughters. Plays the Banjo. Ancestors were among the town founders.

Molly Willoughby- Divorced, mother of 13 year old Lauren, and Jill . Lauren takes piano lessons from Carolyn Lewis.

Sam Morgan- eventually starts seeing Jessica Warwick and asks her to marry him. Helps Molly with her kids a lot.

My favorite character was Lillian....She was such a crack up and very entertaining to read about. I didn't really care for Grace.....she was too uptight. I was glad that she finally changed her mind about the Piano and let someone enjoy it instead of letting it sit and collect dust. It was her daughter's piano, but letting someone play the piano would be like honoring her memory, in my opinion. Charlie Bates was another firecracker. He was pretty entertaining too. And as far as Jessica is concerned- I never liked Paul, I thought she could do way better....I know that she and Sam would end up together right from the start. I can't wait to hear more of their story in the next books. I wish Emily could find someone to love. She seemed lonely at times. I can't wait until Sarah finally tells Sarah who she really is. Thats a story I'm anxious to hear more about.

I heard a lot of mixed reviews on these books, but I really enjoyed it and definitely plan to read the other books in the series. I also think that Jan Karon's Mitford similar to the Cape Light Series, and after reading this book, I want to check those out as well.

What I'm looking forward to finding out in Home Song:

I want to hear more about Sam and Jessica.

I want to hear the results of the upcoming election.

I'm eager to hear what happens with Mark Lewis and whether he returns to Cape Light and what happens between him and his parents. I'm also interested to hear what happens as Rachel's pregnancy progresses.

I want to hear about Lucy Bates returning to school.

Started: 9/16/07
finished: 9/20/07

Up Next: We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Cage of stars was about a Mormon family whose 2 daughters, Ruthie and Rebecca, were murdered by this guy, Scott Early, who was said to be Schizophrenic. That's basically how the book starts out. It goes into great detail about how the family deals with it....Everyone has different ways of coping....they have an older daughter, Ronnie, who was 13 at the time, and she kind of gets "forgotten" about at times, and shortly after the girls are murdered, Mom gives birth to a baby boy. She is so caught up in her sadness that she really doesn't pay much attention to the baby boy. Dad's' way of coping is by walking around and thinking...The judge didn't order rule capital punishment, or even a prison sentence; Instead he ordered Scott to be placed in the custody of the maximum security facility for the criminally mentally ill for a period of no less than 3 years and no more than 7 years. He ends up spending 3 years and 11 months. He is married, and he and his wife end up having a baby girl toward the end of the book.

This book is set in Utah, and it's set in the current day.

Eventually, Mom and Dad find it in themselves to forgive Scott for what he has done, and even go see him and his wife. Forgiving them really helps them feel free. Unfortunately, Ronnie does not feel the same way. She eventually moves to San Diego and manages to track Scott and his family down, and becomes the nanny for their baby girl. She gives them a false identity and changes her appearance so they won't be able to figure out who she is. Her parents also do not know she is doing this. They think she is in San Diego going to school to become an Emergency Medical Technician.

She contemplates kidnapping the baby to save the baby from any harm that Scott could do her. She actually starts to do this one weekend, while Scott's wife is away. But in the end, she changes her mind and brings the baby back to scott, who is trying to commit suicide, but Ronnie is able to save his life. Quite Ironic that she wanted him to be killed, but ended up saving his life.

Ronnie ends up moving back to Utah and ends up marrying Miko, and they have a daughter. She coincidentally runs into Scott and family in an emergency room during her internship, several years later, when the baby girl is 9.

I didn't really have an opinion of each character like I have in other books I've read. This was really a different type of book than what I normally read. My thoughts and opinions are more centered around the events that happened and the outcome.

I can only imagine the guilt that Ronnie must've felt when the girls were murdered. She was babysitting at the time and they were playing hide and seek. It was when Ronnie was hiding that the girls were murdered. I can also understand how she didn't want her baby brother to be a sister, because she worried that she wouldn't be able to love them. Her love for her baby brother Raf, and later her baby brother Thor was quite obvious, just as her love for her sisters were. I can understand why she wanted scott to be punished.....I agreed with her opinion, and thought he should've been sentenced the death penalty, even though he "didn't know" what he was doing. The whole time I was reading, I thought she wanted to move to San Diego so she could kill him. I didn't expect what actually happened. I'm also glad she was able to finally move on with her life and settle down, pursue a career that she loved and start her family.

For Mom, I think the turning point was when she planned that huge surprise party for Ronnie. It was her way of acknowledging that Ronnie had been neglected all those years and that she needed to move on with her life. She also didn't really seem that interested in Raf when he was born. I was also surprised when she got pregnant again.

It was interesting reading about all of their friends and acquantances and seeing the relationships they all had with each other. They seemed to live in a very close and tight-knit community...not like the typical city where you might only know a neighbor or two.

I enjoyed the book, but it was definitely different than the types of books I normally read. I'm ready to get back into those fluffy romance novels.

STARTED 9/11/07

FINISHED 9/15/07

Up next Cape Light by Thomas Kinkade

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Homecoming Season by Susan Wiggs (part of More than Words 3)

Since I recenty started reading the Lakeside Chronicles series by Susan Wiggs and enjoyed it so much, I went to Susan Wiggs' website and was looking at the message board. One of the threads was all about the Lakeside Chronicles series, and there was a list of books in the series. Come to find out, there's a Novella thats also part of the lakeside Chronicles series in the More than Words 3 Anthology. Of course, none of the libraries in my area had this book, and none of the used bookstores had it either, so I had to buy it.

A little background on the More Than Words series......There's a letter from the publisher in the front of the book and it talks about the More Than Words says that More than Words is dedicated to celebrating and rewarding ordinary women who make extraordinary contributions to their communities. Each year, women are nominated for the Harlequin More Than Words Award, and 5 women are selected.

I'm still reading my other book Cage of Stars, so I only wanted to read Homecoming Season for now, and come back and finish the rest later. I thought it might help me to not forget the characters in the series. However, that book can actually be read at any other...though Chronicly it would fit in right between Summer At Willow Lake and Winter Lodge, which is the order I read it in.

Homecoming season was only about 100 pages long, so short that I was able to finish it all in one sitting. And also so short that it was kind of hard to form an opinion of the characters, and decide whether I liked them or not. For a short Story, it was very well written, and ended in a good spot, though I do hope that they will be mentioned in the books I have yet to read.

Before the story actually starts, there are a few pages that talk about a lady who opened this wonderful place called Cottage dreams, which is a place where Cancer Survivors can go to spend some time and kind of move on with their lives. I read that the organization provides, at no cost, an opportunity to move on to emotional, spiritual, and physical recovery. So far, this program is only in Ontario, but they do hope to expand it to be nationwide by 2010. They have already helped many families get through everything and it has been a huge success. They did list a

The reason why I mentioned this first was because this seemed like such an awesome place, and I do plan to check out that website. It also directly relates to Homecoming season....

Homecoming season is about the Sweeney Family. Miranda Sweeney, and her husband Jacob, and their two kids Andrew, who is 10, and Valerie, who is 15. Miranda was diagnosed with breast cancer and has just finished all her treatment, and everything went very well. The treatment was very successful. However, As a result of her being sick, other priorities kind of got pushed a side, and now Miranda wants to put everything back together. Her husband, works for a beverage sales company to large grocery chains, pretty much hid behind his work, and doesn't seem to think about much else these days. Her son Andrew, found this computer game that lets you make your own was one thing that allowed him to be in control and not have to deal with so much. Miranda's daughter Valerie pushed her friends away and got a job T at the theater, and as a result, began hanging out with a different crowd. Miranda recognizes how her cancer has affected her whole family, and wants to help bring everyone back together. Her best friend, Sophie Bellamy-who is Greg Bellamy's ex-wife, and Daisy and Max's mom- suggests the family goes to Willow Lake for a week and the Bellamy family extends the invitation to stay at their recently renovated cottage at Camp Kioga. Miranda thinks this is exactly what they need, and works hard to persuade her family to agree to this. It takes a lot of persuasion, and despite everyone's hesitation, they go. Since there's no computer, no phone, and no cell-phone signal, they all have a chance to have fun as a family and become close again. Miranda is able to have talks with each of them and is able to get through to them. And things slowly start getting better, and getting back to the way they were. It is after this week that Miranda realizes that they're all going to be fine.

Some significant things that happen in this story include......

Andrew: He has recently lost his beloved dog Gretel, and was too upset to want another dog. He spends all his time wrapped up in the computer game. After coming back from Willow Lake, they do eventually get a new dog- a shepherd Mix, and they name her Kioga, in honor of Camp Kioga. He ends up spending all his time taking care of his their new dog, that he soon forgets about the computer game.

Valerie: She turns away from all her friends and doesn't want to go to homecoming. She was supposed to go to homecoming last year, but that ended up being the day her mom had her mastectomy. She she has bitter memories of homecoming season. But then she ends up going to the homecoming dance with Peter "The Boy Next Door" and who also happens to be her crush.

Miranda is eager to get back to the things she used to enjoy doing, gardening being one them. She also went parasailing right after she left the Dr.'s office because she wanted to have a thrill-seeking adventure (I have gone parasailing before myself- it really is an amazing experience). She also decides she doesn't want to go back to her job when she returns to work- instead she wants to become partners with her other best friend, Lucy, and open a flower shop.

Jacob didn't want to go to Camp Kioga at first, thinking they couldn't afford it, and that he didn't want to miss too much work. While at the cottage, he realized how lucky he was and how much he loved his life.

on page 117....

"Maybe so, but you asked about my dream. And that's always been you, Miranda. You and the kids. This family. Us. And that's why I'm so happy to have our life on any terms. All the rest- the work, the traffic, the bills- it's nothing but details. That's what being at this cottage has reminded me. I'm going back to the same old thing, but I'm different. I'm glad I had a chance to remember the things that are important to me."

I will end this with a qoute I found in the book. "You can't have today back so make sure you spend it the best possible way". This is very never know what tomorrow will bring, so don't put something off that you might regret not doing later.

Started 9/12/07
finished 9/12/07 about an hour or so later

still reading Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard....and will continue.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Question of the Day

If you could spend a day with a character from a book, who would it be
and why? What would you talk about?

My first thought was that I'd want to spend the day with Olivia Lockhart Griffin from Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Series because she seems very interesting. I would want her to fill me in on the Gossip of Cedar Cove, and tell me more about her job (she's a Family Court Judge). I would also want her to introduce me to everyone in Cedar Cove.

Other people I would like to spend the day with include Cecilia Randall also from Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Series, Daisy from Susan Wiggs Lakeside Chronicles series, because she's close to my age and I could relate to her.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Still Summer- Jacquelyn Mitchard

I had read a couple books by Jacquelyn Mitchard a couple years ago- The Deep End of the Ocean and The Theory of Relativity. I thoroughly enjoyed both books, so I've always kind of been on the lookout for more of her books. I also own two of her others books that I hope to read soon as well. Recently, a friend in one of my reading groups mentioned that Jacquelyn had a new book out called "Still Summer". Of course, I rushed to the library as soon as I could and picked it up. I keep up with upcoming book releases, but I hadn't seen this one.

Still Summer is about 4 women-Olivia, and her friends Holly, Tracy (Holly's Cousin), and Camille(Tracy's 19 year old daughter). Olivia's husband recently passed away and she decided to move back to the United States which leads them to all get together for a cruise in the Caribbean. Their boat was called the Opus and it was a 53-foot Trimaran multi-Hull sailboat. I looked at these types of boats in this size online so I was able to get an idea of what one looked like.

Oh, this would be a good time to mention that back in highschool their group was called "The Godmothers". They also had a friend named Janice, who was supposed to also join them for the cruise but couldn't come in the end). Anyway, a few days after departing things start to go wrong, they end up LOST at sea, losing Lenny(the captain) and Michel, and the girls then have to try and get back to shore, and in the process, they get robbed. They also lose Holly to a nasty blood infection.

I will also say that they learned a lot about each other and got to see each others' true colors as the story unfolds. The book is a good example of how things aren't always as they appear to be.

Now....for my thoughts.....

After reading the plot, I kept waiting for something to happen....I was waiting for that horrible storm. The beginning was kind of slow and seemed to jump around somewhat. In the beginning, I didn't make the connection who Ernesto and Carlos were until later. Finally, on page 96, there were hints of trouble to come. The things that caught my attention were "Michael woke in the middle of the night remembering that Lenny would choke him to death for leaving the GPS and the radio in the tender". and on page 97- "A few miles off the coast of Africa, from the direction opposite that from which the tropical storms come, the wind did not know that what was forecast were partly cloudy skies and perhaps a thunderstorm later in the week. So a wave traveled across the North Atlantic and crossed the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico. And then the admixture of water generated a vortex, a depression, which began to spin. Energy was created. The summer had been warm and the water was warm and the wave became a tropical storm that had no name and no one's eyes upon it. But Lenny felt it on the back of his neck".

Pretty much from that point on I was HOOKED....

One part that sent shivers up my spine was on page 175..."But it was still possible to hear, faintly, a voice that said, "This is Captain Sharon Gleeman, over. Lenny, you rascal. Where have you got yourself to now? Did you forget we were to rendezvous for the food exchange?....Lenny...".

Ernesto got up, staggering with the drunk and his heft, climbed out of the saloon, and, after pushing Cammie roughly against the steering wheel, smashed the SSB into shards."

(The SSB was the radio).

I stayed up really late last night/this morning reading and right before I went to bed, I had left off on page 251, the last paragraph I read being
"Finally, after covering Holly with the light quilt, even though the whole and every stitch of the cloth on it was damp, Tracy went back into the cockpit. She fell asleep with her head on her arms. No one heard the radio crackle to life and the determined woman's voice that called out "This is the sailing vessel Big Spender out of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Do you hear us, Opus? ....This is is Captain Sharon Gleeman. Please answer, Opus. Do you read us?....Does anyone have news of Lenny Amato's sailing vessel, Opus, missing since June fifteenth?Over...."

I finished the book after I woke up this morning and let me say, it was DEFINITELY not what I expected. It was very good, and definitely a page turner, but quite different than I expected.

What I thought of the people:

Camille- acted like a typical 19 year old. I can understand how upset she was when she found that she was adopted and that Olivia was her birthmother. (It had been mentioned earlier that she was adopted). It was touching how her thoughts of her brother Teddy changed as a result of everything she went through. And I was so glad to see she came around, regarding her feelings toward Tracy.

Holly- She seemed so full of life. She was the mother of twin boys. It was obvious she loved them and her husband, just from what other people said. I was so sad that she died. The book didn't focus too much on the reactions of Holly's boys or her husband. But I think that definitely brought them and Tracy's family closer together.

Tracy- she seemed very level-headed and calm. She seemed like a really good mother. I'm glad she lived. Now she'll be able to continue to work on her relationship with Cammie. and becomer closer with her husband and son.

Olivia...I HATED HER. She was nothing but a self-centered bitch. I wanted to shake her and throw her over the side of the boat on several occasions. Especially when they found out she had been hiding food. She had to have known Holly had a blood infection, yet, she STILL hid the food. She didn't seem to help much when they needed it the most, she didn't seem like she really cared. And at the very end of the book, when Cammie and Tracy were in the hospital, Cammie mentioned that Olivia had come by and said she was leaving and that she was fine....OF COURSE she was fine.....she didn't allow herself to be put in the line of danger, thats how self-centered she was.

I really wish Michel and Cammie could've gotten together. At the end of the book, Cammie mentions that he sent her a letter, and that he was, in fact, alive. I wish they could've been reunited and gotten married. In the letter he wrote to Cammie, Michel says "I am lucky it wasn't more damage, as it is my legs, but not more. The doctor says I will still be able to be a father one day, though I can't imagine a woman who would want this ghost". I think Cammie would take him no matter what. Right below this on Page 303 Cammie is thinking about the number he wrote on the letter and whether she should call him, but then she realizes that "He did not mean for her to call or come to him. He was ashamed. No one would have been more shamed by such helplessness."

I was also really sad that Lenny died. He was the father of a baby boy, and recently had found out that his wife was expecting again. He would miss his wife growing up. And Janis....says she wishes she had been there with them.

On page 267....after Janis mentions how badly she wanted to go on this trip. She is asked

"I suppose you're glad you didn't, given how things happened."

"Actually, I'm not. I wish I'd been there. I wish I could have done more. I wish I had been with Tracy, if Tracy is....hurt. I think she must need me," Janis Said.

I would definitely recommend this book to others. It wasn't what I expected, but still a page turner that kept me up until all hours of the night. (I stayed up until around 2 or 3am last night/this morning trying to finish.)

Started 9/7/07
Finished 9/11/07

Up next: Cage of Stars also by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Knit Together: Discover God's Pattern For Your Life

This was a very thought-provoking book. Not the type I normally read, but someone mentioned it to me and it seemed interesting. It had bits and pieces about Debbie's life, so I think that was the major selling point. I was actually going to take this back due to money issues, but I decided to keep it, thinking that it would be good for me to read. I found it to be very inspiring.
Some of the things that caught my attention were how she talked about setting goals, but working on one step at a time. She discussed the S.M.A.R.T. plan which stands for specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and timed goals. She also gave a worksheet in another section for making some goals at the beginning of the year/month. She mentioned that she keeps a "gratitude" journal, which she writes in whenever someone does something that she finds impressive. I would like to copy this idea in a way, and add more to it. I would like to start a happiness journal, and write anything funny that happens, when good things happen (for example finding left in a pants pocket, when I'm broke). She also mentioned the 5 Be's: Be Proud, Be Persistent, Be Bold, Be Grateful, and Be Yourself
Started 8/27/07
Finished 9/7/07
Up next: Still Summer by Jacquelyn Mitchard

74 Seaside Avenue- Debbie Macomber

first a little background on this series and Debbie Macomber.....

This is one of my favorite series...the Cedar Cove Series....I read the first book of this series-16 Lighthouse Road- in 2004 and amazingly enough couldn't get into it the first time I read it, and it sat in my car for a couple months....One day I picked it up again and started reading, and ever since I've been HOOKED!!! That was also the first book I ever read by Debbie Macomber. She only writes one book in this series per year and they always hit the shelves late August/Early September....and each year the title has to do with the number in the series that the book is...for Example.....the books go in this order: 16 Lighthouse Road, 204 Rosewood Lane, 3 Pelican Court, 44 Cranberry Point, 50 Harbor Blvd, 6 Ranier Drive, and finally 74 Seaside Avenue. Each of these addresses is a certain family's house and the book centers around that family, but mentions everyone else too. This series is set in the fictional town Cedar Cove, Washington My favorite book in the Series is actually the first, 16 Lighthouse Road...I thought it was the most interesting and entertaining out of all of them so far.

I also found out that in 2008 Debbie's Christmas book is going to be a Cedar Cove Christmas...I CANT WAIT for that!!! And then in September 2008 it will be 8 Sandpiper Way...which I'm Eagerly awaiting that one too...

And now, on to 74 Seaside Avenue. 74 Seaside Avenue focuses mostly on Bobby and Terri Polgar. Bobby is a world-know chess player and is being threatened by a Russian player that he must lose the match in order to protect the safety of himself and his wife. We also get to hear about Rachel, who's trying to decide whether she's in love with Bruce or Nate, and all the other people who live in Cedar Cove (Including some of my favorites: Olivia, Grace, Justine, Seth, and MaryEllen).

My thoughts on 74 Seaside Avenue:

I thought Bobby was way too overprotective of Teri. I thought she should've been given more freedom.

Rachel belongs with Bruce in my opinion....Nate is too self-absorbed....he doesn't deserve her. Luckily I think she realized this in the end....I want Rachel and Bruce to get married and have a baby.

I think James(Bobby's driver) and Christie should get together......James is so sweet....Christie was so mean to him, but luckily she started to realize how she was acting...I didn't like her in the beginning. She seemed too stuck-up. Luckily she realized that nothing she did would make Bobby interested in her and she gave up and left him alone.

Linette McAffie- I think she did the right thing by moving allowed her a fresh start....I loved how Debbie tied in the Dakota Series with this book through her....I was excited when I realized that!!! I read that series a long time ago.

Will Jefferson really bugged me....I hated him from the first time I heard about him. Despite what he may say, I still think he only moved to Cedar Cove to be closer to Grace.....I don't know what the big deal was and why Grace couldn't just tell Cliff that Will was moving to Cedar Cove. I'm glad things worked out for MaryEllen and Jon's new baby....I remember that was a big piece of the last book.

Olivia----I was so sad when she was Diagnosed with Breast Cancer....she's my favorite cancer, and I'm very anxious to hear what happens to her. I'm eager to find out what happens.

I was glad that Bobby won the chess match anyway in the just goes to show that you can't MAKE someone lose, fate might just make them win.

My only disappointments were that there was no mention of Cecelia and Ian Randall or Allison Cox and Family, and also Charlotte Jefferson- I LOVE her......Hopefully they'll all be in the next book.

What I'm excited for in 8 Sandpiper Way.....

I'm excited to hear what happens with Justine and her Pregnancy....

I'm eager to hear what happens with Olivia....I hope everything goes ok for her

I'm interested to see how everything goes with Will

And then there's Bobby and Teri....Teri is pregnant too....I'm excited to see them have their new baby....

And last but not least.....RACHEL AND BRUCE.....they need to get married already!!!!

Started on or around 9/1/07
finished 9/6/07

Friday, September 7, 2007

Books I want to read in the near future

I would like to continue on with Susan Wiggs' Lakeside Chronicles Series and read Winter Lodge and Dockside. There is also a 4th book of this series coming out in February 2008 called Snowfall At Willow Lake.

I also found out through the message board at that there is a Novella in More Than Words 3 (this is Anthology) called "Homecoming Season" and it would fit right in the order between Summer At Willow Lake and Winter Lodge. I'm trying to locate this book ASAP!!!

Summer By the Sea- Susan Wiggs
Lakeside Cottage- Susan Wiggs
Home Before Dark- Susan Wiggs
Sandcastles- Luanne Rice
What Matters Most- Luanne Rice (apparently this is a sequel to Sandcastles)
The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love- Joan Medlicott
The Midnight Sons Series- Debbie Macomber
Orchard Valley- Debbie Macomber
Montana- Debbie Macomber
The Wyoming Kid- Debbie Macomber
The Calder Series- Janet Dailey (or at least the first book in the series to see what it's like)
The Cape Light Series- Thomas Kinkade
MacGregor Brides- Nora Roberts (This is also part of a series)
MacGregor Grooms- Nora Roberts
The Coulter Series- Catherine Anderson

This isn't even a small fraction of my reading list....this is just a list of books I hope to read by the end of '07.

Summer At Willow Lake

This book floats between the past and present...the past being Olivia's days at the Summer Camp that her grandparents owned, and her friendship with Connor. Now, it's her grandparents 50th Wedding Anniversary, and her Nana wants her to fix up the camp to make it look just like it did in the days of Summer Camp (The camp closed in 1997...this book is set in 2006). Olivia goes to live there for the summer, along with her good friend, Freddy, her sister Dare, and her uncle Greg, and his two children Max and Daisy. A lot of things happen during this summer, including Olivia and COnnor running into each other again and reminiscing about their past.

My Thoughts:

I got these questions from I thought this would help. My thoughts on this book in general are at the end.

What are some of the feelings evoked by the phrase "summer camp"?
Have you ever been to camp? If so, what are some of the memories you have of that time? Were there friends? Rivalries? Romances?
Olivia has some unfinished business leftover from her less-than-happy childhood. How do her family and friends help and/or hinder her efforts to come to terms with the things that happened?
Do you think Olivia handled her parents' divorce in a healthy way? How did it affect her relationships with men as an adult?
As children, Olivia and Connor were from different worlds, yet at camp, they bonded. Why do you suppose they were drawn to one another?
How did Olivia's body image as a teenager affect her sense of self esteem? What do you suppose caused her to transform herself as a young woman, and how did this affect her career choice?
She's had two broken engagements. In your opinion, what caused those relationships, and the one with Rand, to fail?
Discuss some of the ways Connor's childhood shaped that man he is now. Why do you suppose he's still single?
Olivia discovers something about her father's past, and it changes the way she sees him. Have you ever thought you knew someone, only to discover something completely surprising?
What do you suppose the future holds for Olivia and Connor?

*Finished Late August/Early September 2007

Country Brides

What it's about:

Rorie Campbell has a pleasant, predictable life in San Francisco, where she's seeing a pleasant, predictable man. Then, one vacation, her car breaks down on an Oregon country road and horse rancher Clay Franklin comes to her rescue. Rorie soon discovers that a city girl can fall in love with a country man. But Clay has no right to return her feelings—because he's engaged to another woman.
Kate Logan is devastated when Clay Franklin, her former fiancĂ© and the man she's always loved, marries Rorie Campbell instead. But at Clay's wedding—and after a glass of champagne too many—Kate proposes to her longtime friend, rancher Luke Rivers. Luke accepts her proposal…and refuses to renege on his promise. What's more, he insists that Kate doesn't love Clay—she loves him….

My thoughts on this book:
This was the review that I Submitted to my Debbie Macomber reading group!!!!

I really enjoyed this book....and don't know why I couldn't get into it the first time I tried.

Rorie- I liked her...she reminded me of myself at certain times....and Iremember hearing others mentioning not liking her.

Kate- I didn't like her in the beginning....but I grew to feel sorry forher....There were a few times in the second story that tears came to my eyes thinking about her. She made me kinda mad in the second story, I wish she would've just listened to Luke and married him already!

I didn't really care for Dan....I don't know why....he just bugged me...too self-centered I guess.

Last but not least, I liked the first story better than the second story.....I don't know if it was just me, but "A Little Bit Country" Seemed very slow to develop and it seemed to drag on at the end. Still a good story, and a happy ending though. :)

Started- Can't remember when but it was a long time ago
Finished- 8/18/07

Thursdays At Eight

Thursdays at eight is about 4 good friends, of all different ages who meet through a journal-writing class(at the beginning of some the chapters are the journal entries written by each of them), and when the class ends, they decide to continue getting together once a week for Breakfast.(Debbie Macomber actually has her own Thursday morning Breakfast club with her good friends and they meet at eight o'clock too!) They are all at different ages in their lives. Karen is in her 20's and is into drama and acting. She sometimes has a hard time fitting in with her mom and sister. Julia is married and has 2 teenage children. She gets pregnant and her children and other family members aren't too happy about this news. Liz has recently lost her husband. She wants to live life to it's fullest and not let time pass her by. She has met a new guy through work, who eventually realizes his feelings for her long before she realizes her feelings for Him. Clare has two boys and is also divorced as a result of her husband's cheating. She has a lot of bitter feelings toward him and especially his new girlfriend. All of these ladies pick a word as their "motto" for the Year:
Claire- faithful
Liz- Time
Karen- acceptance
Julia- gratitude

My thoughts on Thursdays At Eight:

This is my Review that I did for my Debbie Macomber Reading Group

Who was your favorite character? I didn't have a "favorite". There were different things about each of them that I liked. I got a big kick out of Karen though...I think because she was closest to my age I probably related to her most. Who was your least favorite character? I didn't really have a least favorite character either. Clair kinda got on my nerves at times though.

Did you feel that Clair has the right to be as bitter as she was towards her ex-husband and why? This is kind of a hard a child of divorced parents (my parents situation wasn't like this though) I wish she would've thought of her sons' feelings more. It made me mad how she wanted to make that schedule for the games....think how big a soccer field's not like they had to sit right next to each other. My parents got divorced before I started schooll....and there were a lot of school functions both of them came to....sometimes it was awkward, but they made it work....they even sat by each other at my high school graduation. And I don't think they should've put the kids in the middle. I'm glad everyone came around though right before Michael Died.

Have you ever had a group that got together, such as the women in Thursday's at Eight? Tell us about it. No I haven't, but I'd sure LOVE TO someday....I wish all of us lived closer together.....I feel like I know ya'll so well already and I think about all of you A LOT doing the day. When Julie found out she was pregnant, did you feel that she was selfish for not wanting to be? How did you feel about her kids and their reactions? Not really....I think it would've been selfish to terminate the pregnancy or something like that, but she wasn't prepared to be pregnant and have a newborn around....they seemed like they were pretty set in a comfortable routine and lifestyle. I'm surprised her kids weren't more excited. I won't say they were selfish, because again I don't think they were prepared for such a huge change like that. Both of my parents had kids when they remarried and I LOVED it.....I'm 25-almost 26, and my mom and stepdad have a 12 year old daughter, and my dad and stepmom have a 8 year old son and a 7 year old daughter. I was SOOOOOO excited when my mom and stepmom each got pregnant....but they had planned to have kids when they got married, so I was prepared. Plus, with Julia's kids...I knew that once they saw the baby, everything would change...I mean, who could refuse a sweet little baby....especially the daughter.

If you were Karen, would you have handled her situation that she had w/her sister and mother differently? Why or why not? No....I'm kinda like that older sister was a straight A student, always did very well in school....then I came along and did NOT do well in school. My parents would deny this, but I always felt like I was being compared to my sister and I always felt like I had to live up to her high standards. I get the feeling that people look down on me sometimes, for not achieving as much as my sister did...even though I've been through far more in my life than my sister has. Sometimes it seems like people pay more attention to what I HAVEN'T accomplished than what I HAVE accomplished. I'm close to my mom for the most part, but her and my sister definitely have a closer relationship in my opinion.

What were your thoughts on Liz? Liz was probably my second favorite. I totally understood how she felt in the beginning of the book. And I'm glad she found happiness....That boyfriend of hers though....WHEW!!! He got on my NERVES at first...but he turned out to be very sweet....and in the end I could tell how much he really loved her.

Did this book change the way your view your own relationships? I don't know....I don't think so.

I think Debbie Should write a sequel though...called "Thursdays At Eight: A Year Later" to update on how everyone's doing.....she could tell us if Liz and Sean ever got married, How Clare and her kids are doing since Michael's death- Clare even mentions that the kids are getting ready to go off to college- perhaps how Clare's doing living Julia and her family are doing...especially the baby...and how Karen and Glen are enjoying married life....maybe have her get pregnant....LOL.

Started 8/19/07

Finished 8/22/07

Books I've read so far in 2007

Here's a list of the books I've read so far in 2007 (I didn't know what book to start my blog off with, so I thought this would help...I know there are more Harlequin type books that I read, I just can't remember the titles...I'll have to look for them and add them later).

Sisters- Danielle Steele
Navy Brides-Debbie Macomber (Includes 3 stories: Navy Wife/Navy Blues/Navy Brat)
Navy Grooms- Debbie Macomber (Includes 3 stories: Navy Woman/Navy Baby/Navy Husband)
Darling Daughters- Debbie Macomber (Includes Yours and Mine and Lone Star Lovin')
Family Tree- Barbara Delinsky
The Ocean Between Us- Susan Wiggs
Little Family Big Values- Matt Roloff (Star of TLC'S Little People, Big World)
Against Tall Odds- Being a David In a Goliath World- Matt Roloff
Morning Comes Softly- Debbie Macomber
Back on Blossom Street- Debbie Macomber-
The Shop on Blossom Street- Debbie Macomber
Ready For Love- Debbie Macomber (This includes Ready For Romance and Ready for Marriage) (I may have read this at the end of 2006...I bought it right when it came out in December '06)
Be my Valentine- Debbie Macomber (This includes My Funny Valentine and My Hero)
That Summer Place- Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs, and Jill Barnett
The Woman Next Door- Barbara Delinsky
His Bright Light- The Story of Nick Traina- Danielle Steel
All The Numbers- Judy Larsen
Me & Emma- Elizabeth Flock (this might also have been in late 2006)
Islands- Anne Rivers Siddons
The Rescue- Nicholas Sparks
Message In a Bottle- Nicholas Sparks
The Notebook- Nicholas Sparks
The Wedding- Nicholas Sparks
Losing Jessica- Robby DeBoer (this was that true story about the couple that adopted the child and then the birthmother wanted her back, which began a huge custody battle)
Family Blessings- LaVyrle Spencer
We, the Jury: Deciding the Scott Peterson Case- Greg Beratlis, Tom Marino, Mike Belmessieri, and Dennis Lear

thats about all I can remember for now

Thursday, September 6, 2007

First post

I got the idea to do this from people in many of the online book groups I belong to. A lot of the time I forget what the books I read awhile back were about, so I thought this would be a good way to help me remember them, and also to keep track of books that I have read, since I seem to forget that a lot too. Things I might write about include quotes I found in books that I found touching in some way, situations that relate to my own life, and my overall thoughts on the books. Most of the books I like to read are romance fiction. I enjoy reading books in a series, and like to read them all together so I can get to know the characters.

My reading list is ALWAYS growing....last I looked, it was 25 pages long. I go to sites like and go to books I especially enjoyed and look at the section titled "people who bought this book also bought" and go from there. I also like getting recommendations from friends.

Some of my favorite authors include: Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs, Danielle Steele, Nicholas Sparks, Barbara Delinsky, Lavyrle Spencer, and Mary Higgins Clark. I have also read books by Jodi Picoult and Jacquelyn Mitchard and really enjoyed those books.

Authors I would like to try include: Nora Roberts, Joan Medlicott(Covington Series) Janet Dailey (Caulder Series), Luanne Rice, and Fern Michaels just to name a few.