Sunday, January 1, 2012

books i read dec 2011

books i read in dec 2011
53 436 for 2011 total

All I ever wanted by Kristan Higgins
Callie works in VT at the local ad agency. She's got a crush on
the boss but he's brought in a new female and he gives her an engagement
ring. She moves on and tries to catch the new vet which they have many
hours spent together as they get to know one another.
She helps out her grandfather who only has one leg. He's falling in love with
his true love. He also makes different styles of kayaks and is an expert
at that trade.
Love the VT dialect-wicked, brings a smile to my face.
Now the boss is leaning towards getting rid of the new woman as
Callie has told him her feelings about her. He's grown up all his life
with Callie as his best friend.
Who will she end up with now?

Maine by Jay Courtney Sullivan
Family beach house in Maine where over the years the family members
have assembled. Three generations of females descent upon the house
one summer. Story starts out with how they were first married, and he
had won the land when another couldn't pay their card debt.
Alice remained and Daniel had passed away. Each of the kids and their
families would come to the house a different month for each child and
their family.
Very confusing as each person gets their own chapter and you struggle to
figure out who it is they are even talking about. Goes from the present
to the past.
It is a very good book, the setting especially.

the jewelled darkness by virginia coffman
Actress who likes one of the brothers but it's the younger one that
is stalking her. Things go wrong and the younger one dies and she ends up
marrying the older one-the one she likes. She's got a feat that is
terrifying til she blacks out. She thinks the servants are out to
poison her. A ghost in the shape of the one who died is after her.
The end of the play turns out different bringing to light all that had
transpired and the truth comes out.

The Danger of Desire by elizabeth essex
1799 timeframe in England:
Meggs and Timmy are pick pockets and they've made it so far with no
trouble, except one time where Meggs cut up her hand pretty bad.
The Captain is looking to hire a pick pocket to get some papers the
military requires.
He finds her when she takes his pocket watch. He takes her in and
gets the surgeon to do emergency surgery and then time for it to heal.
Timmy has come looking for her and he is also taken in. She is now
to learn how to keep a house so she can fit right in with her
assignment. He's also offered to teach them how to read and write.
Problem is he's falling for her and she's starting to fall for him.
Things turn around after her assignment. Some for the good and some
for the bad.

12-28 Dangerous Love by Ednah Walters
Faith is in trouble as she finds out from her customers that her rival
designer/ex finance has gotten her designs and claimed them as hers.
She calls on Ken who is into security to help try to find out how it was done.
Her aunt and her bevy of sority sisters want to help also.
Love learning about the fashion/design industry and actually have the one who
designed the outfit do the actual sewing.
Other relatives come into the picture and it's always nice to hear what's going
on in their lives as well.
She's overheard bits of family conversation and is wondering if she's really
related to any of them. Fashion week in NY was all set.
Things start to go wrong and get even worse as time goes on.

Pansley The Panda's Great Day by Christina Weiner
illustrated: Shows various pictures of what the panda does all day long. Also
shows the book covers of many other books from this author.

Mamma Sea Turtle Lost her Babies, A Silly colors and shapes picture book by Robert Stanek
illustrated: The sea tutle asks other animals to help her find her babies
in the ocean.
The comparison of shapes and colors to match up are good.
There are a lot of different sea creatures in the salt water.

TBot and Peabody Explore by Jonathan D. Fluck
illustrated: Two robot brothers go exploring at the zoo today.
The come across a lot of different animal on their travels.
Tells them where they live and what they eat. There are
other books by this author. they explore other things.

Math Candy, 7 sweet stories for early readers by Amanda Trane
Few illustrations: Danny had carried around 3 dimes all day at school and was looking
forward to spending them at the candy store after school.
One of his friends tells him that will not be enough.
The teacher said it would be enough to buy candy.
They are able to sort the candy by color and decide what they want to get.
There are other books by this author.

To Santa with love by janet dailey
Jacquie has had it with her dad. She finishes college for the term and leaves.
She takes her foreign car and travels from Texas to LA. She stops in AZ to visit
with a friend that just got married. When she leaves there she runs into a man who
has a little boy with him. The garage will fix her car but it's going to take several
days to even get the parts in. After spending almost all her money from staying at the
nearby motel she's been enjoying her leisure time by discovering the little town and
all it's treasures: museums, gardens, etc. The man she ran into comes to her help when
he offers her a job at his ranch with his dad and son so she can pay off the car and be
on her way. They figure it will take several weeks worth of work.
She wants to be independent and do everything on her own to show her parents that she can do it.
She goes for a ride on the horse and the horses leg is injured now, so she dismounts and looks
around to find out she has no idea where she is.
Things do get better but she realizes the real things in life are meant to fight for.

When a pig flies by JadeNabi Jin
illustrated: The pig's son is dying and he seeks help from others.
He also hates his short legs and thinks he is ugly. The mother pig
gives up her body parts to help get the child pig what he wants.
He gets parts of bodies donated, deer legs, horns from a bull, and
wings. She gave up her heart for the pig also, then the pig woke up.

One Little Christmas Tree
illustrated: Life from the perspective of a Christmas tree at a tree farm
around Christmas. The true meaning of the holiday comes to light.

Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis
Love the quotes in the recipe box that their mom had started in previous book and the
girls have kept up in each of their books.
Chloe, the wild one, is always up to something. She's involved with Lance who has CF
and lives on the edge. The local sheriff always seems to be right there when she gets
home. He's not yet arrested her as he doesn't want to bring bad attention to the B&B her
sisters are running. Her sisters are almost married to his best friend and his brother.
A neighbor wants to fight pit bull vs pit bull and have wagers. She and Lance say it's not
right to make dogs harm themselves to death so they crossed the wire fence to let dogs out.
She got cut up really bad and ended up having to go to the ER to get fixed up.
Find it very interesting to learn of the different natural products you can mix to help with
spa treatment areas: frizzy hair, dry skin, etc
Terror strikes when she gets anonymous heavy breather phone calls.
She tries to win over her sisters by talking about how she'd turn one room of the inn into a
spa, this way she'd NOT have to leave to do her treatments at hotels.
I like Chloe's iphone app the magic 8 ball where you ask it a yes or no question. They all
have fun with it.
She's been spending a lot of time with Sawyer, helping paint his house, bringing him lunch, etc.
Drug deals, runaway bride, kidnapping, revenge and mud springs all lead us to the finale.
What a really nice treat at the end.

post in Jan
The Summer Garden by Sherryl Woods
This book starts where the last one left off: the trip to Ireland.
Luke did stay behind and has now returned to the US and is pretty sure
he wants to open a Irish pub. He majored in history and he doesn't
want to go that route. Family members are behind him all but his father. He doesn't want to start a family feud over it. His grandmother will even teach him to cook Irish meals and even pitch in at the bar some times.
He was quite taken with Moira-his grandmother's long time friend Dillion granddaughter. Moira is now working at the bar in Ireland and gets to use her photography skills. She is wondering what is going on with Luke back in the States. She is starting to get work from the photos she took of patrons at the bar. What a great business to get into, something she really liked.
Interesting to learn about what goes in a bar.
So now we find Nell courting Dillion in her hometown and Luke is with Moira. They are only there for a short time, everybody knows. They have things to get back home to.
Nell has talked to Dillion about her declining health and he's agreed to stay on longer.
Luke is getting closer to Moira and things heat up with others as the opening night of the bar approaches.
Serious health issues strike.
Love to hear about the other members of the family and their current events. Love this series.

Yours, Unexpectedly By Susan Fox
M&M were always together. Besides being next door neighbors growing up they liked each other. She's got 3 older sisters and parents. Matt only has his mom now and she's overbearing. Merilee has all her family around her for her wedding weekend.
Problem is she sees how her other sisters and their dates are acting and she does NOT feel the spark so she calls off the wedding. They are able to either cancel or rearrange the day for one of her other sisters to go ahead with their marriage.
The cruise can not be canceled so he decides he'll just get away from it all. She also can use the time to recoup and discover who she really is. They come to an agreement to both stay in the cabin just not be together. As they go on outings from the cruise ship they find themselves really finding out about the new person.
She's gone and changed not only her hair but things she never would've done otherwise. He's also changed his hair and dress and they can now listen to what the other is saying.
Both of them accept drinks from others, dance with others and do things out of their comfort zone, very adventurous. And they discover a new kind of sex.
He had brought her to the doctors in the past cuz of her extreme pain. They found out she needed some surgery and chances are she'd never be able to conceive.
Merilee is staying in touch with her sisters to gain confidence and ask their opinions about how to discover her new self and Matt.
Everything that is happening can be explained by the chaos theory.
I love where they have been on the cruise-to places I'll never get to visit. Great details on what they find. Everything has changed, they no longer think they want to be just teachers anymore but something they've dreamed of forever when they were very young.
Now a health problem, could that mean more problems for them getting back together?
I didn't realize this was a book with others associated with it. At the back of this book are excerpts of several other that go along with the series. Now I just have to go get them, the series is not going to disappoint by any means.

Starts out with Gwen who's a teacher and off for the summer, is celebrating her birthday with her boyfriend of 2years. She's thinking he's going to propose to her but he only gives her some other jewelry. The aunt that raised her, and her S&M (not what you are thinking) board game playing friends give her a treat as one of them can't go. a trip to see Europe 5 weeks.
I find the tour guide is super. He knows where to take them, off the beaten path but also the major touristy sites. He gives them time to wander on their own if they wish or to stay as a group. Gwen does a bit of both. She describes the market place in detail that makes me want to
go just to experience the smells and colors. Her aunt tries to push her into going out more after dinner so she will forget her dull boyfriend and maybe have some fun.
Cool how one of the group is heavily into numbers and knows exactly how many steps a certain museum has, sometimes over 400. The views, gardens, parks and gondola rides sound like something I would want to do.
At a friends house yesterday and she showed me set of earrings made from
blown glass on the island of Murano=very fascinating design. In the book that is one of their stops=to see the glass blowers.
Love how knowledgeable the guide is. Would make this trip in their footsteps if I had him for a guide.
This book describes what a lot of places are like seeing them for the first time, very detailed.
You can tell the appreciation for the buildings, architecture, sounds, colors, traditions, and the story that goes along with the group on this adventure.
Between the guide and the England part of the group there is a wealth of knowledge as to what facts they know, astonishing!
Tragedy strikes on their way to play in the world wide tournament.
Gwen gets a shock when they arrive in England.
Love the ending and also the explanation of how to play the board game, thanks for adding that.
What I would have liked to have seen was the map of their journey.

CITY WEDDING By Maggie Carlise
Jessica wakes up on her wedding day in a historic hotel where there is peace and quiet. She
is ready to wed her groom, Ed. Their big fairytale wedding day, the night before the ceremony.
And all the people involved. I don't feel like I know too many of them well because there are
just way too many coming at you so fast it seems. Story was good, just very short.

Jack and the Cowstalk by Colin Anderson
Different take on Jack and the beanstalk. In this one he gets a cow and climbs to the top where
there is a castle. He did find some huge things but some other non typical things that makes
this tale a LOT different. Good outcome anyways, very innovative.

Children's Christmas Dreams by Kathy Mann
There are several chapters devoted to the Christmas holiday, reindeer, elves, Santa comes
to town, the Christmas tree, etc and the best one, Christmas dreams.
Very colorful and magical for children to follow along.

A Christmas Feral Mary Matthews
Similiar story about Scrooge but using different characters. The judge has to put some in
jail where at least they will get a free meal. THen there is the case of the cat, they are
strays. Cats were always in his life and he just hated them now. He saw the good in the cats
and when he awoke he sent a telegram that it was now illegal to killcats.

Bunny’s Homespun Christmas By Susan Ripley Rodgers
Benjamin's mother was dead and he sees the butterfly as a sunlit star and makes a wish.
He knew if he lived in the big warm stone house he would feel safe and cozy.
Betsy is playing in the garden and finds Benjamin and takes him inside where it is warm.
Love comes into your life and into your heart. Good heartwarming story.

What is that? Learn the alphabet with animals by Adam Brandt
Excellent illustrated book for children to learn their letters by using
colorful pictures of animals and their names to help them.

A Surprise for Centi - Lalgudi, Sujatha
A book about Friendship
The reason I really got this book was for my grandson. He totally just loves
bugs of any kind and Centi is a centipede. The story is of the centipede and
all his friends, a ladybug and that they hide in the leaves.
A water strider shows them how he can walk on water.
There was no way for Centi to walk on the water but his friends helped him with it.

Santa's Diary
A journal from Santa about what he does all year round to prepare for when he delivers
gifts to all the children of the world.
The one chapter I was drawn to is the one about penguins. It's one of my grandson's
best animal friends. Everything from the opening day party, drinks, food, dancing to
the letters children write.
He makes sure the reindeer are well, his sleigh is fixed and ready to go, wrapping machine
is ready. A lot of penguins came to visit the North Pole and the only way to make them move
away from the workshop was to give them candy canes.
This book should probably be read over the period of a few nights before Christmas as it's
quite long and very detailed.

REBEL By Julianne MacLean
Prequel to the Highlander Series
What got me interested in this was that it's about castles and sword fighting and
based in 1700's. Alex is in the middle of a battle when he's approached by a lad and
the lad takes a swipe at his thigh. He uses his sword and attacks him only to find out
that it's a female.
Elizabeth wakes up in pain and knows she must get back to Argyll's camp. She does not like
Scotland at all. He comes and gives her whiskey for her pain and finds out it's 10pm, she's
slept the day away when he didn't even know if she'd survive at all.
He allows her food and finds out that she's there to take revenge for her father and brother
dying in the rebellion. Problem is he's looked at her and has fallen in love with her looks
and her wit.
Others learn she is there and want to return her to her village as a spy. Alex won't allow
that to happen, she's under his protection now and he will see her back to the only living
relative she has, her uncle.
On their journey they talk a lot and find out about each others families and interests.
She now sees him as one who loves his family and wishes him no harm. He returns her and leaves
til 5 months later he is back and proposes to her because she is all he ever thinks about.
Sounds like a good series and the timeframe is ideal.

The Lonely Christmas Tree by Shannon Glenn
A lone tree is by itself where there are other trees but they are all together.
A star falls down from the sky and selects the tree to be the real Christmas tree.
Tree is no longer lonely as birds come to nest, other creatures bring nuts, they decorate
with blinking lights. Seeds were planted and after the holiday new trees were growing
so the tree would never be lonely again.

Whisper of Angel Wings By Susan R. Rodgers
There are many chapters in this book.
One snowy blizzard in Colorado she gets a revelation to stay and fight. It's a gift from God,
not the devil.
She goes through other visions that she construes as being from God also.
Little miracles of life that are taken for granted.

Christmas in Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis
This book there is actually 2 stories included along with a knitting pattern that goes with the first story and a recipe that goes with the second story.
Simply Irresistible
The story starts out with the 3 sisters meeting at Lucky Harbor to look over the resort their mother has left them. The girls had not seen each other in years and didn't stay in close touch with their mother.
I all ready love this book and know I will love it further as the decriptions of the ocean meeting the sea in the state of Washington has a special place in my heart.
Maddie arrived at the inn and her sisters were allready there. The plan was for them to go to the store to get some food for a few days. She walked and found the local bar and again she met Jax who she had run off the road earlier. They exchange a few kisses and he brings her home.
They use a tree that fell in the yard for their Christmas tree and things around the house to decorate it.
Maddie even found yarn and a book called knitting for dummies along with a scarf she and her mom had attempted to make. She's all for refinancing and getting the inn going again-she even called a few local contractors.
The others want to get back to their lives.
Maddie asked Jax for a bid on renovations.
She heads into town one day and there is a flyer for a shrimp feed, games and one gets to kiss the mayor.
Towns' shrimp feed sounds like so much fun, the parade, games and dancing and eating.
She's a bit shocked when she finds out who the mayor is.
Cards in the recipe box are priceless.
They hear back from the bank and Maddie has decided to stay and do some of the work around the house, like paint and other small tasks.
Oh hidden secrets from their mother, promises to never tell, it's not gonna go good here, a fire diaster, giving a baby away when a teenager.
Sex scenes at times are a bit hot, spicy and steamy-very good mix.
Fears and triumphs, what a treat this book is to read. And there's more.
I so love the directions for the boyfriend scarf are in this book, that was my major bond to this book.

The Sweetest Thing
This part of the book is about Tara, the one who cooks at the local cafe: Eat Me Diner.
The town is always having a festival, this time it's the Summer Arts and Mustical Fest
where the whole town comes out to participate in.
The inn is almost ready to open and she's giving away peach muffins with the inn's flyer on them to all who are on the pier. Tara had been married to a NASCAR driver but had gotten a divorce before moving back to Lucky Harbor.
Ford owned the bar with Jax and was also a world class sailing expert, gone for many weeks/months at a time. He also took care of the boats moored at the inn's dock, where his boat was kept.
Even though this book is mainly about Tara the other sisters are mixed in with everything as well. Great we can keep up with the whole family and new neighbors and townspeople.
Tara's ex husband is back, injured from racing and going to spend the whole summer there trying to win her back.
Things are just moving along and out of left field: Someone else is back in Tara and Ford's lives also and she's only got 7 weeks with them. Lot of heartwarming truths come to the surface.
Competition to win her over, accidents, ER visits to name a few things that make this a 'never a dull moment' at the Inn.
Can't wait for the next one head over heels as we get to check out Chloe's story along with keeping up to date with her 2 sisters and townspeople and other family members.

post 1/20/12
sweet stuff by Donna Kaufman

Quinn, an author, has returned to the island and buys the house he walked into while Riley was setting up a display of cupcakes for the open house. She had fallen
off the back end of the walking machine into a bush.
He used to summer there and was very familiar with the waterfront.
She is a klutz and her dog really likes him and shows it often.
He likes that she is not only a designer but a photographer and he found some of her prints at his house.
Riley and the other females and Franco have their weekly Cupcake Club meeting where they not
only get to chat but sample new combinations of cupcakes that will be in the store soon.
Like learning about writing process/business and how he goes about it all.
She goes into detail to a few at the Club and tells them about why she left Chicago, her job and her boyfriend.
He's torn between making a decision to go the easy route and give readers what they expect from his writing or to go out on a limb and do the story a different way.
She's on the beach with Brutus and he ends up in the water again.
She helps him solve a dilemma he's having about the book he's writing.
Numerous job opportunities for Riley, which will she take? one of them will bring her closer to him on a daily basis.
Reference to the Walton's was priceless!
Recipes and an epilogue and excerpt from Sugar Rush, what a great book!

Fluke Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore
Really enjoying this book as it's an audio tape and you can hear the whales
singing. Lot of field research, breakin and missing sound recordings and
notes for seminars. some saw markings on the whale but now can't really claim
it's real as they have no proof.They try to figure out if some of the callings/songs
are the mating song. There is an episode where a diver goes down to get DNA samples
from the whale and gets tailed and knocked out. Others see it and go after him with
an oxygen tank. Very interesting subject, great to learn about new things.
Science and magic, what a combination. great book!

finders keepers by Fern Michaels
Jelly has returned and he's injured. The baby is not with him.
Grace's daughter, Hannah has been taken. The dog must've ran after
the car that took the girl.
She can't believe her girl isn't there, she sewed dresses for her and
knitted her sweaters for when she returned. 18 years later he gives her
an ultimatium: he's tired of working 2 jobs and same food every night, either
htey start spending some of the money or he's out of there.
She has a girl and is there when she goes to school every day giving her
a rose. She's got every toy that is on the market, when a new one arrives at the
store, one is delivered to her also. She's so spoiled, she wants coveralls, not frilly
dresses. She wants to fit in with the rest of the girls at school.
Hannah has nightmares about 'Jelly' and her mother has no idea what it's all about.
The parents discuss sending money to the people they took the little girl from.
They got their house back and she continues to make sweaters for her little girl, who would
be 18 now. They continue to get a yearly package of money, they put it in the toy box with the lock
to never be spent. They've got 2 boys now but she still grieves for her little girl. They have to
put the dog down also.
Jessie is on her way to NY after visitng with her best girlfriend in Atlanta. She is loving the
freedom and the travel. She makes it to DC and calls her best friend a change in plans is in the works.
Their schooling and careers go on til tragedy occurs and they pull together to get through it.
Liars and running away, private investigators, pregnant and deaths, overdose of pills and gardens.
She's so glad Sophie had done things, she was always so smart, she thought of everything.
Love how tying everything together, even the name of the book, great link up!

Mistletoe Magic: A Christmas Regency Short Story by Donna Hatch
Love the reference to hand knitted muffler at the beginning of this book. Love very detailed
descriptions of the group skating on ice. Brought back memories of the family and relative
children skating on the cow ponds in the fields below our house each winter.
Race on the ice leads to a tragedy that could've been worse.
I am very happy the knitted muffler and others came to the rescue.
After Colin saved Evelyn's life he thought about how he would win her over from the one she had set her eyes on:Michael.
Artwork on the floor sounds exquisite!
Love descriptions of the flowers and mistletoe. I can almost smell them.
At the masquerade ball Evelyn thought she knew Micheal was one wearing a half gold mask. There were a
lot there with that particular mask on. She danced with many but wanted to find him and get him under
the mistletoe.
Colin wanted to get Evelyn under the mistletoe.
She danced and talked to who she thought was Michael and made plans for the dinner waltz and then they'd
site down to dinner together. Dance finally over and they strolled to the dinner, through mistletoe arch where
they kissed. upon removing their masks she found out she had been deceived and ran away.
Colin reveals something to Evie and she had a confession to make after full realization hit.
Very happy ending, that mistletoe was magic.
I rate this book a 5, very touching holiday story.

An O'Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods
Laila Riley's father ran the bank. She used to have a job there til she hooked up
with playboy Matthew O'Brien. Now she will work at the Inn doing their accounting
The whole family each had their turn at talking to her to get her to change her mind and go with the family to Ireland for Christmas.
It finally worked and she just loved Ireland and how Matthew was the tour guide and knew so much about the country. All of them would show up, 1/2 of them in the first batch. Other half in a few more days.
Love how throughout the whole book I am updated on the other members of the families and their lives as it's all intertwined. I know I've missed a few in the series but I can kinda catch up with them anyways.
Love how the scenery is described, makes me feel like I'm on the
trip with them.
And Nell, the leader of the O'Briens meets up with an old boyfriend while in Ireland and they spend some time together and even have a coming of the clans-a huge dinner party. One rebellious woman has been settled by one of the O'Briends much to everybodys astonishment.
Even though some in the family thinks there will be a wedding in Ireland there are just too many problems and obstacles to overcome with Liala and her father.
Crackers-all right! Love those things! Ah the Christmas Blessing, what a treat!
Wow, always something going on: Christmas morning announcements: a wedding, one is expecting a baby, donating gifts to the less fortunate, and another wedding in the works.
i rate this book a 5 for all the down to earth things that occur, just wish I had a fairytale wedding day.

How I Planned Your Wedding by Susan and Elizabeth Wiggs Maas What a
funny but sometimes serious book. All the details and thoughts
what went into planning the special day. You can tell the mother and
daughter are VERY close.
I never had a fairy tale wedding so it's quite interesting and SO involed
to see how it's all put together. Love the cheat sheets and am amazed as
how it was pulled off (on a budget).
They really share a bunch more than I expected one to share but it fits
right in. Really shows just how close they really are by their interactions
throughout the book.
Love what they had on the menu and love the before hand preparations: sugaring
and eyelash extensions, who knew is what E. said LOL
Susan was invited to speak with a crowd at Writerspace site one night and she
was doing Q and A with us and she told us of using 'cloud' technology so her and
E. would be on the same section. At the end my name was selected to get a free copy
of the book and it was even autographed. I found the Q and A the best part cuz it
allows you to find out about the people who wrote the book, their work schedule, home
life, etc.
I hope they are able to get together to write a 'baby on the way' book, I know it would
be such a loving, tender, hilarious colleraboration.

Knit With Love - Stories to warm a knitter's heart by Lisa Bogart
super! This book is just super. It's got the knitter's language and God's as well. The way
Lisa mixes them together makes them fit right into their place, like a jigsaw puzzle. When I
first started reading this I thought, this is a book that was written about me. My path in life
has mirrored Lisa's so closely but we take different turns at one spot that changes how individual we are. I can relate on so many levels with this book, I'm in shock.
Love shared ideas of retreats for a weekend or a whole week and the combined efforts of everyone in the office to knit a newborn sweater.
The stories all take me back to when I first started knitting and all the charity work I've done for others over the decades.
Sweet, i was hoping there were patterns and i found the perfect one: leftover yarn in lengthwise scarves although I was gonna do mine with afghans as I only have 6 big garbage bags full of leftover yarns!
The information collected is priceless and I was happy to see the listings of URL's listed at the back of the book. Normally I'm writing them down as I go along.
I rate this book a 5 out of 5 and hope there is another in the series. It's like the segment on TV
'everybody's got a story' and knitters know all about that :}

A Catered St. Patrick's Day by Isis Crawford
Realize the author has put out other books along the same lines, just different holidays and after reading 1/2 of
the first page I know I will be hunting down the rest of the books to read.
Being as I do bake just listening, reading about how they are handling the dough makes me think I can learn something
from them by reading this book. The luck is with them, besides the 4 leaf clovers they have the kitchen witch there.
I remember making them to sell at craft shows.
Libby and Bernie run the bakery shop and live upstairs with their Dad.
Brandon is the bar tender that covers for the morning guy cuz he's in the hospital. Til he finds Mike out back.
Mike is dead and now Duncan is arrested. His aunt comes to his rescue and wants the family to find out who really did murder
Mike so Duncans' name can be cleared. The family (Libby, Bernie and their dad Sean) has done investigations before because they just know everybody in town and
how they are related to one another.
The girls start by visiting with Duncan and he tells them his story, several different ones. They then go visit with Brandon at the
bar as he's on duty to maybe run a few things past him.
Their father also is following up a lead with the guy who drives the hearse. They all get leads to other sources and trace them out as well.
What each of them has to go through to get the answers is sometimes too funny.
The best part of this book for me was their daily routine of making and baking the bread, priceless!
Good mystery story also. Can't wait to get the authors other holidays books.

Hot Rocks by Nora Roberts
Willy comes into Lane's shop gives her a card and leaves. He gets hit and dies but as she knelt down and covered the rain
from hitting him he whispered a few things to her that made no sense. She recalls him but not the name at all.
Max was trying to follow Willy and the $28 million but Willy had died in the car crash.
Lane and Max have dinner and she learned Willy was a jewel thief.
She returns after dinner with him and finds out her house has been burgalized but nothing is missing. Her dog is scared.
Hide the pooch Willy had said, she's only got her dog and he's nothing to hide.
The store assistant was selling one of the desks and the customers found a box in it and she unwrapped it, found a dog statue
and placed it where the other dog statues were on the shelves.
Lane seduces Max in his hotel room and goes home very early in the morning but gets a call and shows up at the police station.
He had gone into her shop, although another had knocked him out there. He's got to search her shop for the $28 million.
She finally had to come to terms with her assistnat, Jenny and her husband the cop, along with Max. She thought they'd all be
mad at her and leave her.
The man after Max has been on the job for many years and had just missed Willy. He's plotting his next steps.
Lane's dad comes back into the picture and she tells him she doens't have the diamonds. Her and Max broke open the dog and found
the gems and she gave them to Max to go hide.
Lane was kidnapped by Crew-he was thinking the others would gladly give him the rest of the gems from the heist.
Jack was kidnapped by Max who was thinking he'd give him the rest of the gems.
I like how this one turned out, wow.

posted: Holiday Kisses
This Time Next Year by Allison Kent
Brenna Keating is on her way to her grandmothers. She swerves to avoid and deer and finds her car nose deep into a snow pile.
Dillion is on his horse making the rounds when he finds her car and drags her out by a window and brings her back to his place and dresses her ankle and puts her to bed under quilts.
As they sit and talk in front of the first, he's told her they will be snowed in for days as this is the storm of the century.
She finds out he knows a bit about doctoring and makes rounds to the local people on the mountain to see how they are doing and to bring them food or whatever they need. Others on the mountain supply those in need with food if need be.
After they shared a kiss he went out to the barn to work and she decided to make a Christmas tree and decorate it. And she was baking cookies when he came back in. One of the bonds I have with the character here is I also keep my big 20 lb. bag of flour in the freezer.
After they have finished in the bedroom he tells her what the dates on the fan blades mean, very touching and real.
Lots of surprises when she finally gets up from bed. He brings her to her grandmother's on the back of the horse.
The present he gave her was one he made by hand. What a treasure! Later that day he took her back to his cabin and drove her home with plans that her car would be repaired.
They made plans 'this time next year'.

A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton
Wyatt is about to bid on his ex-wife's younger sister Calliope day care center.
When he saw her she did a number to his head. She wasn't like her sister at all and he kept losing track of what she was saying. He better pay attention and get the job, so other contractors didn't get it, and get the job over and done with and get out of there.
She still had a crush on him and when she noticed his clipboard she thought she'd just swing by and drop it off for him, in person. She finally finds him at the bar and gives it to him, gets a beer and proceeds to learn from Joey Johnson how to play pool.
It's late at night and she's still in the building. He goes to find her and walk her out to find a lot of snow on the ground. He puts her in his truck and they go to her house. After a meal and a light kissing it's decided he will spend the night.
He backs away from her, not wanting to start rumors and getting people to gossip about her.
She confronts him and tells him her sister will be in town for the holidays and that he should talk to her and get some closure so they can move on. She sets up the meeting and he is furious with her for doing so....

It's Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon
Carrie took the job in DC and left her hometown and boyfriend of Hollowoy, WV. This year she's going to stay in town and just work through the holiday, not go back home.
Austin decides they have not broken up at all and if she can't come home he will go to her. He gets a job selling Christmas trees outside her apartment in DC after paying the registering fees.
Lucky his brother Spence got him out of his drunken mode and that's why he was on the trail of Carrie.
They are able to talk and she tells him her mother gave up all her dreams to raise her and her brother. She doesn't want her life to be the same cuz she can see how unhappy her mom is.
Spence is at the tree lot to also give him romantic advice for the month of December. She keeps coming back to the tree lot and still hasn't picked out a tree yet. By the time she did go back to the tree lot he had left the area to drive the first batch of trees back home. He was done, he knew her place was in DC.

Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey
Claire had lost her husband for over 2 years now and Justin was there
for her, always had been, late in getting to her first.
She does bookkeeping for a lot of small businesses in the area at her home.
He's a roofer and in the winter he plow roads in NH and she sometimes tags
along with him.
They end up at a party and she's had a few too many and they go back to her
house for the night. He can't get over that Brandon was his best friend
and he's now having sex with his friends wife-sure he's dead but he still feels
like it's wrong.
Will they ever be able to move on or just break it off?

Twas the Night by Sandra Hill, Trish Jensen, and Kate Holmes
Three orphans, Blue Angel pilot, bounty hunter and an ex NFL football player, are all forced to get back to their hometown for the Christmas Eve wedding of their friend. Problem is the world's worse ever blizzard is ongoing. Where there is
a will there is a way.
There are many references to The Waltons throughout the book but there are just as many spicy steamy scenes.
Starts out with Sam being stranded at PA airport. The ultimate goal is for him and the rest of the wedding party to actually make it to Maine for Christmas Eve. There is a blizzard and it's not only shut down all the trains, and airplanes but the roads.
The towns elderly population is on the Santa Brigade bus traveling to bring cheer to those less fortunate and those who can't get outside to see a real Santa. They are on their way back to Maine to also attend the wedding of their friend.
What is amazing to me is that 3 people wrote this book, not the typical method where one took a character and played out the whole story line but a round robin type. One started and did a chapter and passed it onto the next. They each wrote about what was happening with all the 3 major characters in the chapter before passing it onto the next author.
At times this is a hilarious book and at other times very solemn tones.
I like how you just can't even imagine what is to happen to them next in their trek to make it to Maine. Just when you think ‘ok the road is clear the rest of the way’ something up occurs.
They all pitched in to do a show or hand out gifts at every stop they came to. Thanks to Reba who knew just everybody they had a place to sleep every night.
The red fluffy handcuff, well a lot of them have them (he he he)
Wheelbarrow sledding, who knew? These adults sure know how to party with limited things.
Such a fun to read book especially more so as it's about a Christmas Eve wedding.

Santa in Montana by janet Dailey
Another book for the Calder series! This one is about Christmas time and the whole family is to travel home to be together.
That ranges from Texas, England and places nearby. Chase has decided Cat needs a husband maybe then she'll stop nagging him
about his health. This was brought on by a local cop stopping by to ask for their help in Toys for Tots drive which they will
gladly contribute to.
Ah the memories of the whole family. Who they are, what they stand for. Glad I came across this book as I thought the series had
ended. What a treat! This year chase will shop for a special gift for each of them rather than handing the list to soembody else
to buy the gifts.
The ranchers wives buy gifts for the Marines' toys for tots program.
An old friends son stops by and there is so mystery as to why. Cat needs a husband is one of them. Some are trying to fix her up
with him. Others say he's got a deal going with Chase.
The house has been deckked out in holiday attire and the annual Christmas ball in the barn is ready.
A lot of other mundane ranch life is talked about-bringing us up to date with the others in the series and what is new with their
lives. Also those who have passed on, leaving their legacy to others. Tara's old house: what to do with the monstorsity of it.
A lot of secret things going on: $10,000 check, a cowboy has to leave the ranch for 2 weeks time, lot of mysteries.
Super finish, didn't see that coming and there's openings for the series to continue.

posted at amazon:
Smitten by Colleen Cable, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter

Natalie Birthday Wishes by Colleen Cable
Smitten is a town in VT that has to close the mill down. The women talk about how to attract business and agree that it should be a love type business that would enhance the name of the town. Everything catering to the honeymooners and lovers. Their every wish come true. She even has the mayor on board now and is helping him redo his cabins
and they start going on dates. She doesn't really think he is the father of her sister's baby that she's had custody of for over 5 years.
Her sister only calls when she needs money. Like how her friends are more than aware of her having to eat gluten free food and they cater to her needs. She finds herself in love with the mayor and the little girl, Mia also loves him. She looks to the bible for guidance in
the scriptures.

Julia: small town, big dreams by Kristin Billerbeck
Julia had worked in an upscale spa in NY but now lives in Smitten, where she takes care of her mother. She still has the insight when it comes to transposing things like someones
makeup on their face. She's called her friend Devlin to come look at the town to not only inspire her but to monetarily fund the transformation.
Her brother Greg has asked Zak-the body builder who's local to keep an eye out for her. He
doesn't feel he has any chance of catching her eye, he's not as high class as her.
She needs more faith and hope in her life to help her get over herself and let others help where they can. Or is she gonna head back to the big city?
Her women friends have a lot of faith in her and the ending is a total surprise.

Shelby: You've Got a Friend by Diann Hunt
Shelby's shop is called Social Graces where she teaches girls how to become ladies.

Nick is a local fireman and he's helped put out a fire at Shelby's house. On his way back to her house he gets a call that his ex-wife has passed away so now he needs to make plans for his young
daughter and bring her to live with him.
Roses house had a flood from the hot water heater and now Shelby can't use her house for the classes.
Nick has come to the rescue by allowing her to use his outbuilding where in season, he sells Christmas trees and decorations. Things happen that leave her watching Nick's daughter while he
settles the trust fund for Willow. Her own child would've been the same age as her but her dad had ordered her to get rid of the baby.

I'm in heaven-Willow knows how to knit and crochet!

Like how in every story Mia has provided the lavender wreath meaning eternity and having faith in the towns survival, connects them all together.
Another thing I really like was in each story there is a daily walk/run/rollerblade exercise and talk with the 4 women. Each day a different person gets to choose the type of exercise.
Only God can help when Willow has run away.

Reese, all along by Denise Hunter
She is ready to start on the renovations with the local contractor: Griffen.
She will run the new outfitters shop in town in hopes the tourists that come will find something to do with their time, athletically.
She wants to make Griffen jealous but her plan backfires and he wants to step in and make her old boyfriend jealous that he missed out on her.

Really great how the whole book was brought together at the end, fantastic!

post 2/10
Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr
Katie has packed up her house in VT, under the witness protection plan and headed out with her 2 kids to go live near her brother Conner who had been
a witness in a murder. Things were just not working for her in VT. Her boyfriend she found out was gay.
She treats the boys to Disney then heads up to Virgin River where her brother lives. Just in the northern section of CA she gets a flat and several bikers
stop to help her. Dylan does most of the work and even gives her his jacket to keep her dry from the rain.

Dylan and his buddies head out once a year to see the country on their bikes, stay at Virgin River a few days, fish, eat at Jack's and go for bike rides.
This book hits home as 3 family members and myself flew into LA and took Pacific Coast Highway up towards Washington. I can almost pinpoint exactly where
she had the flat. We drove that road and can relate totally to places along the side where there is NO guardrail, no protection if you should slide and end
up down a 100+ foot cliff side of the mountains.
She gets settled in and enrolls the boys into a summer program and she is invited to tour on the back of his bike.
He's decided to stick around a few more days than the others, to check out options for his aviation company. He can also revert back to acting in LA.
They spend a lot of time together while the boys are in the program and when they are doing other family things he gets to know the boys and enjoy time with them and with her brother.
His company is going downhill and fast, as are other aviation places. If only he can make it last a bit longer. Most of the people that worked for him have moved on - to bigger cities where they can get a job but he hates to throw the towel in. Not only has he looked around Virgin River but the larger cities til he contacts an acting agent.
'People step up for each other' perfectly sums up this community.
He has to deal with the multiple family members that had different fathers, 4 in total. They all want a part in a movie. He flat out tells them no. He is missing Her so bad. He heads back putting everything else on hold but her brother beats him up at the bar. He decides to stay a few days but she's down with a bug. He pitches in to help around the house and with the boys.
Where they are staying there is a continuous threat of a mother bear and her 3 cubs. They wander all over the yard and brush nearby. Tom, a neighbor that will be handling the nearby orchard is back from the war and has offered to contact the warden so they can maybe relocate the animals with no harm to them.
bears and a missing child, can't be a good thing. The community comes out to help. And the job offer isn't what he was thinking about
at all.
From here, things go terribly wrong with Dylan and katie, or is there hope of a reunion after things are divulged.
Will things ever be right again for them? One of his family has arrived to really get the pot boiling hot.
I rate this book a 5. Love hearing about the flying and the business of acting, what to do when you come across wild animals-new things for me. Love this community.

post 12/7/11
Hidden Summit by Robyn Carr
Connor is under the witness protection program, kind of, before he goes to testify in a trial that will put a mob type guy away for a long time. his ex wife is a sex addict.
Leslie has been divorced from her spouse for quite some time but wants to still be her friend.
Neither are sure just how long they will be in virgin river but love how everybody helps each other out to accomplish things. It's like having a family with no strings. Her ex keeps coming into town to harass her.

His sister and kids were also relocated and shes falling for her boss, she works in his office.
She and Connor were both thinking the other would relocate to their new location and live out their lives.
There has to be a solution - after the trial, or would he even testify?

As time goes on things heat up and not only in the bedroom but the trial is ready to start.
i surely didn't see it coming along the way it did, quite interesting, very fast paced and held my interest, very tragic what occurred at the trial.

loved the book, a 5 rating. the places the scenes took place, the details of being a witness in a murder trial and the closeness of the town, as in robyn's other virgin river series was super to read about.

post 12-26
Chocolate Covered Murder by Leslie Meier
Typical New England seaside town where in a small town everybody knows everybody.
She is a newspaper reporter and there's a lot going around in town during the winter.
Death on the ice while ice fishing, chamber of commerce meetings how to promote the town
so others will visit and celebrate Valentines Day, award to 1st and 2nd best New England
hocolate shops-both are in town and in competition with one another, returning military
man, tourists looking for a house to buy, and drug related crimes, Valentine ball to attract tourists in winter, dessert contest,
Lucy continues to gain info about things going on in town to help solve the murder while doing her regular job. Some things just don't fit.
Economy during this time is bad but people find things
beside money to pay for things to get done. Even though a lot of things are going on it is easy to keep track of everybody and what they do for a living and how they are related to.
There are a lot of mysteries as murders become solved: the title makes sense.
Really like this town, people and how they help one another. You just don't see that in today's
society is some towns. Whoever says nothing ever happens in the winter needs to read this book.
I rate it a 5 out of 5.

post 12/20
Be My Texas Valentine by Jodi Thomas; Linda Broday; Phyliss Miranda;Dewanna Pace

4 stories for Valentine's Day
The Valentine's Curse
Valerie is a widow, two times over. She accompanies her father to the local dance where the whole neighborhood is.
Brody is just in from tracking down some cattle and is given orders from his boss' wife to attend the dance. He is also told to sit near the widow and talk to her. She has a curse that the whole town bets on how long any relationship will last before her next spouse is dead. Brody thinks it's all superstitious and pays no mind to it all.
He walks away into a dark section and she's going to say goodnight and he hugs her and gives her a kiss.
He stops to get the bosses wife sewing machine and she is there and he helps out. He finds himself there again another time and helps out. He gets another hug and their relationship starts slowly.
He's a loner and not too sure about women and she's had two husbands and is very shy, it's a wonder they even connected at all.
She gives him an ultimatum and he agrees to become her husband, tend the farm/ranch and she will live up to her party as a wife. The old boss has some cattle delivered to him as he's the only one to understand them so he has to fix up the fences so they can roam and fatten up. Trouble arises and after a whole day goes by and he's not returned Valerie heads to the old boss and they send out the search parties to locate him. She figures if it's such a curse she at least wants to buy his bones on her property.
Lot of tender slow love in this book. You can tell they really are learning about one another and just taking things slow. Really appreciated having the epilogue so we'd not have to guess as to what happened over time.

Cupid's Arrow by Linda Broday
Logan is back in town and runs into Rue Ann while she's leaving a store.
She is set to marry Theodore and he's been seeing a lot of Charlotte.
With some help from elderly ladies who like to play pranks and have relationships go their way they play a huge part in getting couples together that they know will work.
This reminds me of The Waltons and the elderly sisters who always come to visit their neighbors.
Little do they realize all the lies and arrangements to work against what they want.
Arranged marriages and deals in the backroom are made to advance their careers.
Others have lied to keep them apart and destroy their lives in town.

Loving Miss Laurel Phyliss Miranda
The men in town want business to pick up via the railroad so they need to spend the money on paving the main road.
The women don't think the town is at all ready for that growth so they want to spend the money on a library for the kids to enjoy now.
Some women disguised themselves as boys and overheard the meeting that went on and report back to the mayor's wife.
Laurel has just returned from the East and is appointed the new womens society president job. The men have their own club and will stand behind the new paving. The women will stand behind the new library.
The men plot to have a Valentine supper and dance and the women plot to raise more money by providing free beer to them the proceeds going towards the library.
Problem is that's all the women dressed as boys heard so they went to the newspaper and got things mixed up and that's what was printed in the next newspaper. They didn't get the mens' side which was not what was printed.
Laurel gets mad at her uncle and leaves the house, thinks she'll take the job of president of the womans' society and do bookkeeping for the saloon while being able to live on their property.
There is an scuffle at the livery and a few people have confronted her with solutions to her problem.
Hunter, the mayors mother: Melba Ruth recalls the terms of Laurel's parents will and she is to inherit the estate and all sums on Valentine's Day-her birthday.
The mayor must find her to set things straight. Some one has taken her as she's left her weapon behind.
The truth comes out in the end...

Sweet Talk by Dewanna Pace
Noah is a doctor and his practice is very busy. He has a housekeeper and a talking bird-well he squawks a lot.
JoEmma is wheelchair bound and has a talking bird that has flown away. The bird show up at the docs in the same cage with help from the housekeeper.
The Valentine Dance is approaching and the hearts with names on them has been done. Now to draw one name and that man will be your date for the evening, if you don't have a date. They agree the sisters can visit the bird at his place just so they can keep the birds together. The older sister is the beautiful flirty type which he has no interest in.
He's never gotten to know JoEmma much.
His father stops by to tell him he choose the right sister and he asks him about her health as he was the last one to treat her. He tells Noah and leaves it open for improvement.
Noah's not talked to his dad in years and again the housekeeper comes to the rescue.
The ending is most fitting on all accords.

post 12/20
Sugar Rush by Donna Kauffman
Lani has studied under the best chefs and business people. Although she did not sleep her way to the top that's where she is.
She relocated to an island off Georgia and just in time for the festival. Now she learns the ones who mentored her are going to be back in her life again with cooking TV shows from the island she lives on.
She checks in with her girlfriend who's still in NY at least once a day to go over their thoughts as to why
he is there, what she has to do with it and when he will be leaving.
A few of the local gossip people take it upon themselves, along with her dad, to help her get over her old mentor
and/or to try to move them together.
Her aprons, I'd love to have just one of them, they are priceless to say the least.
How in the world is Baxter, her mentor going to get her to loan him her kitchen at cakes by the cup (her combinations of flavors she eats, breaths and loves cupcakes) going to get her to loan her kitchen to him for upcoming shows-the ones that will start taping in 2 hours time.
She takes Baxter out to the beach while they discuss the tv schedule and she tells him everything she's learned about his boyhood years and he tells her everything he knows
about her years.
oh just perfect: a cupcake therapy club, who knew LOL
Really appreciate all the behind the scenes of how a TV cooking show is done, love the angles and why.
They have a fast paced whirlwind romance, she travels with him for business, then he's gone for weeks on end. Back to the grindstone.
She is so miserable without him in her life now. If only there was a happy medium for both of them.
I rate this book a 5, it has recipes for the different cupcakes mentioned, and their corresponding frostings.
Can't wait to read the next in this series.

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