Monday, March 16, 2009

Montsna Creeds: Dylan by Linda Lael Miller

Dylan Creed, the Middle Creed Brother, returns to Stillwater Springs, along with his 2 year old daughter Bonnie. He finds Bonnie abandoned in his truck left in an alley late one night, and resolves to have permanent custody of her. He gets back together with his old girlfriend, Kristy, the town librarian. Kristy is dealing with alot in this book because she discovers there are two bodies in sugarfoots grave. The drifter that her daddy killed when he broke into their house, and the body of Ellie Clarkston. Later in the book, it is revealed that Frieda Turlow witnessed Sheriff book killing the drifter, and Frieda herself killed Ellie Clarkston. The book ends with Dylan and Kristy getting married, and Dylan and Logan forming a partnership to buy the old Madison Place.

My thoughts:

I didn't like this book as much as Logan's story. I loved Dylan and Kristy's storyline and loved hearing more about Logan and Briana's life. I am anxious to see what happens with Tyler. And if Kristy is really pregnant like she suspects.

Finished on 3/16/2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Authors,Books, and Series

Authors/Books I like

Debbie Macomber...My favorites were her Heart of Texas Series, Blossom Street Series, Cedar Cove Series, and I liked the Dakota Series. I also really enjoyed Thursdays At Eight. I plan on reading her Midnight Sons series soon. I have found though that I haven't liked alot of her I will stay away from those in the future.

I have really enjoyed the Montana Creeds Series by Linda Lael Miller. I definitely want to read her McKetrrick Series, Springwater Series, Stone Creek Series, and Primrose Creek series. I have alot of those books already.

Obviously I LOVE Robyn Carr. I still say she should continue her Grace Valley Series. I have Never Too Late, Blue Skies (which we had a very interesting discussion about at her book signing), and House On Olive Street her that I want to read very soon.

Sherryl Woods- LOVED her Sweet Magnolias Series and Seaview Inn--I also have the Trinity Harbor Series and the Charleston Trilogy here to read, as well as Flamingo Diner.

I've recently gotten into Stef Ann Holm- She reminds me alot of Sherryl Woods.

Susan Wiggs----I have read many of her books. the Lakeshore Chronicles Series is my favorite, but The Ocean Between Us is the book that got me hooked on her. Just Breathe was great also and I loved Summer By the Sea--probably because I'm Italian too. Table For Five was ok- but it wasn't my most favorite.

Barbara Delinsky---I like her too. I've kept up with her newest books starting with Family Tree, Secret Between Us, and currently While My Sister Sleeps. I've also read a few of her old ones. My highschool Math teacher is the one who got me hooked on her when she let me borrow Coast Road. The Woman Next Door was also a good one.

Other authors I like include Danielle Steel, Nicholas Sparks, Karen Kingsbury.

Series/books I want to read soon are: Shenandoah Album by Emilie Richards
Kendrick/Coulter/Harrigan Series by Catherine Anderson
Calder Series by Janet Dailey
Hawk's Way series by Joan Johnston
books by Jodi Thomas

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Above the Line:Take One by Karen Kingsbury

Keith Ellison and his best friend, Chase Ryan are on their way to Bloomington, Indiana to begin filming their movie, The Last Letter, which is about a college kid who loses his father, and doesn't quite know how to cope with his loss, until his mother finds a letter that his father had written for him. Some of the residents of Bloomington, especially students attending Indiana University, are used as extras in this film. Keith's daughter, Andi, is Roommates with Bailey Flanigan, and some members of the Baxter Family (which is my absolute FAVORITE!) make an appearance on the set as well.

The thing about this film is that their company, Oak River Films is an independent filmmaker and they're using money from investors to make this film, as opposed to a studio, and their budget is Two Million dollars and they're giving themselves four weeks to finish filming.

Keith and Chase live in San Jose, California with their families. Keith lives there with his wife, while his daughter Andi attends school in Indiana, and Chase has a wife and two daughters who he must leave behind for a month.

As they start filming, they run into several problems. A few of the cast members claim this film is targeted for the Christian Market, and threaten to walk off. The lack of funds for this movie hangs over Keith and Chase's heads, and the union finds out about this and threatens to stop production, until Luke Baxter steps in and draws up a contract that everyone agrees with.

Bailey Flanigan ends up getting a part as the girlfriend of the main character. When the original actress walks off the set, her and Andi both read for the part, but in the end, Chase and Keith decide that Bailey is really the better choice.

Andi is struggling with trying to decide who she is. All her life she's been a sheltered missionary kid, and she desperately wants to live on the edge a little. All this leads to almost getting herself raped, and showing up to a fraternity party and getting drunk, and ruining her reputation with her peers, and humiliating herself in the process.

Bailey is confused by her feelings for both Cody and Tim. She and Tim are dating, but she's not 100% sure he's the one she's meant to be with. Cody has told her that she deserves someone better than him. Bailey is definitely attracted to him, despite this. And what she doesn't know, is he has since realized that he was wrong and that he is in love with her too, but since she is with Tim, he will never tell her his feelings. Andi was somewhat attracted to Cody too, which made Bailey a little jealous. But unbeknownst to Bailey, Cody really doesn't share Andi's same feelings.

During the 4th week of filming, they come to the realization that they're not going to make it with the funds they have. So they agree its time to have a meeting and send everyone home. Right before this meeting is scheduled to start, Chase recieves a fax from Ben Adams, who has decided to invest in this film, and every film following. His daughter, Kendall, had seen their interview on Entertainment Tonight, and it caught her attention. She also informs them that a author of a book on the New York Times Bestseller list, wants to give them movie rights for her book, and that Brandon Paul, a disney star popular with the young generation, wants a lead part. Lastly, Kendall becomes their production assistant.

My thoughts on first half:

Well as of today, I'm almost halfway through. But so far this book is AWESOME.....I kinda get the feeling that this might turn out sort of like a couple books in the Sunrise Series....Rita the lead actress has tried to make a move on Chase once already, and I'm sure she'll try again. I'm interested to see how that turns out.

In the Baxter Family Saga, I didn't really like Bailey that much. But, for some reason I like her better now. She is still torn between Tim Reed, who's her current boyfriend, and Cody Coleman, who she can't stop thinking about. Then, she gets kind of jealous when she gets the feeling that Andi is attracted to cody. I think Bailey is used to being the spotlight as the girl that everyone loves, and now Andi has come on to the scene, and perhaps Bailey sees her as competition. That's the vibe I got. But then, I often feel as though Andi is Jealous of Bailey because of her innocence, and the family that she has.

I can't wait to read more of this book, and I definitely can't wait for the next two books in the series. Take Two comes out in June 2009, Take Three comes out in Spring 2010, and Take Four comes out in Summer 2010. AND she also has a book, Shades of Blue, coming out in fall 2009, so I'm definitely looking forward to that as well.

My thoughts on second half:

Well Luckily, I was wrong about the book turning out like the books in the Sunset Series. I thought for sure Chase would end up having an affair with Rita. His marriage to Kelly sounds like it has some issues. It was also interesting reading about Andi and all that she's going through. I loved how things that happened in the end of the book set the stage for the next book, so to speak. I'm interested to see what will happen next. If that play will be in Bloomington, how things will go with production, also how big of a role the Baxters will play, and what will happen with Andi and Bailey, and last but not least, what happens with the Bailey/Cody/Tim triangle.

I finished this book on March 14, 2009.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

One Perfect Day by Lauraine Snelling

Nora Peterson wants this Christmas to be perfect, because it is their last Christmas as a family before her twins, Charlie and Christie go off to college. She goes all out in preperations. A couple days before Christmas, Charlie is killed in a car accident. He has marked on his license that he wishes to donate his organs.

Jenna is worried that this might be her daughter Heather's last Christmas. She is awaiting a new heart. By some miracle, they get a call right before Christmas, that a new heart has come available. They fly to Omaha, Nebraska for her surgery. Of course, Jenna can't begin to imagine what the other family must be going through right now, but she is so glad her daughter has been given another chance to live.

My thoughts:

This was my first book by Lauraine Snelling. I had heard about it in my Christianbookreaders group and I'd been wanting to read it for a long time. Much to my pleasant surprise, this was a recent acquisition of my library. I snatched it up right away! I really enjoyed the story. It definitely opened my eyes to organ donation and the way I react to death of a loved one. I couldn't imagine being in Christie's shoes; losing a twin, not to mention just the loss of a sibling. And losing a child....though I don't have children yet, I hope I never have to experience that. I did feel for Christie at times, she had no one to talk to. I also couldn't understand why they bought Charlie a car and not Christie.

As for Jenna and Heather, I loved reading about them too. I'm not sure what I think about Jenny marrying her brother in law though. I was glad to hear the ending. When Heather's new heart was going through the rejection, I thought maybe the ending would've been different.

I would've liked to have heard the Petersons' reaction to Heathers Letter. I think if I had an organ from donor, I'd want to meet them too. I also wish Jenna and Nora, and maybe even Heather and Christie could've met somehow.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Beach House by Sally John

This is the first book in The Beach House Series. On her 40th birthday, Joe decides to call her three friends from school, Molly, Andi, and Char, and invite them to stay with her at a beach house for a week. This will be the first time in 12 years. These ladies' lives have all changed and their trying to decide where to go from here.
Jo is single, an ob-gyn and a recovering alcolholic. She is grieving the 16 year old patient who died while under care due to complications of abortion (which she did not perform). She also grieves for her own child she lost due to miscarriage.
Molly has 4 children and is trying to rekindle the love with her husband. When they first arrive at the beach house, she is very worried about calling home and making sure her family is doing ok. But, as time goes on, this becomes less and less of a worry for her. While at the beach house, Molly finds out she is pregnant with her 5th child. She is NOT happy about this, her husband, however, is.
Andi is realizing that she's really not her husband's doormat to walk all over. She arrives at the beach house afraid of everything, but soon braves the ocean and finds that she loves Boogie Boarding. She also decides to give him an ultimatum of leaving the girlfriend and seeing a marriage counselor, or ending their marriage. Unfortunately, he chooses the second. Andi moves into a condo with her two sons, and continues her work as a reflexologist.
Char has two teenage children, and seems to be drifting apart from her husband as well. She also enjoys nightly flirty phone chats with the single guy, Todd, who lives next door to her and her family. On her birthday, Todd surprises her by showing up in San Diego. They spend the day together, and that night he tells her that he's in love with her and wants to sleep with her. This makes Char very uncomfortable, and she immediately calls her husband, Cam, and tells him what has been going on. Cam hightails it out to San Diego and they have the talk they've needed to have for a long time. Cam assures her that he really does love her, he just may not always do a great job of showing it. He also expresses his desires to open a restaurant.
My thoughts:
I had been wanting to read this book for awhile, after hearing so much about it from the ladies in my Christian book group. I finally grabbed it from the library. When I first started reading it, I wasn't too sure if I would actually like it, because of the age difference between myself and them, and thinking I might not be able to relate to what they are dealing with, since I am not yet married and have no children. For some reason, I see Char as the strongest person out of this group. And sometimes Molly as well. Andi and Jo seem to be a little more timid and reserved, perhaps weaker. But as I got further and further in this book, I realized they all have strong points and weak points. I think Andi had the biggest growth of them all, by moving on her own. I was glad to see Cam and Char work out their issues. It was also interesting to see their relationships with each other and how they interacted with each other. At times, I felt that Jo could not relate to the other three because she was not married and had no children, but then other times it felt like Char was the outside because she came along after the other 3 had known each other. Molly, at times, seemed to get to people with her devotion to God. In the beginning, Andi let alot of things keep her experiencing life. But they all overcame these things.
I finished this book on March 5, 2009.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Waiting For Morning by Karen Kingsbury

One Sunday, Hannah Ryan is waiting for her husband, Tom, and two daughters Alicia (15), and Jenny (13), to return home from their yearly summer camping/fishing trip. As it starts getting later and later, Hannah starts getting more and more worried. Finally, two police officers come to her home, and tell her there has been a horrible accident. Tom and Alicia die instantly and Jenny is in critical condition. They also tell her the other driver was drunk. She rushes to the hospital, where she says her goodbyes to Tom and Alicia, and goes to be with Jenny. She immediately sets out on a mission to make sure the other driver, Brian Wesley will pay for what he has done.

Jenny makes a full recovery, physically, but emotionally, is another story. In her desperate attempt to make Ryan pay for what he has done, Hannah pretty much ignores Jenny, and makes her take care of herself. Despite the fact that Jenny is 13 years old, Hannah grows frustrated with Jenny for not being there for HER, when in reality, it should be the other way around! Jenny feels like Hannah wishes it was HER who had died, instead of Alicia and even contemplates suicide, so she can be with her dad and sister, the only two people who she feels still love her. Jenny and her mom grow further and further apart as time goes on, and Jenny continues to contemplate suicide, while Hannah ignores people's attempts to get her to notice that Jenny is withdrawing more and more from everything as time goes on. It isn't until the day the verdict is read, that Jenny tries, unsuccessfully, to kill herself. Luckily Matt and Hannah find her and Matt is able to save her life by performing CPR, then getting her to the hospital just in time.

They reach the day of the trial, where Brian is found guilty of the crime of drunk driving, and gulity of the crime of first degree murder of Tom and Alicia. This was the most severe punishment anyone had ever recieved for drunk driving in the State of California, which was what Hannah and her attorney, Matt, had been hoping to accomplish all along.

During this time, Hannah also lost all faith in God. She felt that since God took her husband and her daughter away from her, that she didn't want to believe any longer. She shrugs off anyone who tries to tell her to pray, and refuses to even look at a Bible. It isn't until Jenny is in a coma, that she finally gets the urge to pray, and finds God again.

She also insisted that once Brian was found guilty, she would find peace within herself. However, it isn't until she finds it in herself to forgive Brian, that she finds that peace.

My thoughts: I could not put this book down. I finished it in right around 24 hours. And I'm very eager to read the next two books in this series. The thing that got to me the most was Hannah's reaction toward Jenny. Hannah was really not there for Jenny in the months after the accident at all. Hannah claimed that Jenny was being really selfish for not wanting to help put Brian behind bars, when really I felt that HANNAH was the selfish one. Jenny was only 13 years old, and no way could she have or SHOULD she have been able to deal with all those emotions on her own. It really bothered me how Hannah blew off everyone's warnings that Jenny wasn't doing so well and to get help immediately. I'm looking forward to reading the next books to see how their relationship is going.

I finished this on 3/1/09