Saturday, November 22, 2014

"Ruby, Emily, Violet, Kate... Mail Order Brides"

It's 1884, and love is in the air in the town of Come-By-Chance!

In this much-loved series strong women risk everything to rise above their desperate circumstances, find true love, and wed real men who'll treat them right.

Meet Ruby - She's lost her Ma, and struck out into the world on her own. The good news is she's traveled to Pittsburgh and found a good job as a schoolmistress. The bad new is, the school's owner, the portly, whiskey-breathed Mister Murphy, has developed wandering hands, and Mrs. Murphy's preparing to leave to visit her sister for a month in New York.

Ruby sees an advertisement in the Matrimonial News and takes a desperate chance, writing away to the handsome Six-foot-four James Drinkwater.

Will James be the answer to Ruby's plight? Is the handsome Montana man all that he seems? Or will someone else come to Ruby's rescue, so together they can find true love?

After reading two serious books, I was longing for something light, fluffy, 'cotton candy sweet' and fun. Ruby fit the bill, it was a romantic novella,"G" rated. (It was said to be squeaky clean.) Which is the way I like my romance stories. I found this book on it was a freebie. I downloaded it onto my Nook, and it is now a part of my Nook library. I enjoyed it enough to award it 5 "Ruby" stars.
"Emily" Book Two
It's 1884, and love is still in the air in Come-By-Chance.

Meet Emily - She's lost her Pa, can't find a job and her money's almost all gone.

After witnessing a man being strangled, the strangler gives chase, and Emily ends up on a train headed for who knows where!

She travels along with Emmy-Lou, who is running away to become a mail order bride. When Emmy-Lou's rich Aunt intercepts her along the way, they come up with a plan for the girls to switch places, and for Emily to marry the rich, handsome Montana man.

Will he be all he seems? Can Emily rise above her misfortunes and find true love and happiness?

Her Pa always told her, "The Lord moves in mysterious ways," and Emily will soon learn whether or not it's truly the case!

So catch up with the Come-By-Chance townsfolk including the strapping Wilkinson brothers, Slim Jim and his lovely wife Lettie, the newly wed Ruby, and of course 18 year old Emily.

A story of hope, romance, revenge, suspense, unrequited love,  first-love, fevers and flirting.

Another cute "Mind Candy" read. I like reading these novellas. The storyline moves along quite nicely, without a lot of unnecessary filler. Give me a good storyline anytime. This was another "G" rated read, which I love. It is Book 2 in this Mail Order Bride series. Usually, I don't care much for series, but Ms. James makes them interesting with a bit of a different twist than most of the "Mail Order Bride" books I've read before.

This book is a part of my Nook library and I enjoyed it enough to award it 5 "Emily" stars.
"Violet" Book 3
One horserace!
Two weddings!
Three Wilkinson brothers all wed by the end!
Four hand-carved posts on a brand new matrimonial bed! 

Five-and-twenty pies at the First Annual Come-By-Chance Pie Making Contest! 

You might be surprised to find that more than one of your favorite characters will find true love in Book 3, Violet! 

Who will Violet marry? Will it be Ben? One of the Carmichael brothers? Surely not Wally Davis? 

It’s time to catch up with the Come-By-Chance townsfolk: the strapping Wilkinson brothers, Ben, Matt and Toby; the wicked saloon owner Slim Jim; the lovely Lettie; and of course, Ruby and Emily, who both have surprises in store. Find out what ole Wally Davis has been up to, and how a little gossip spread by town barber Joseph, may even turn out to be a good thing. His wife Mary Bean is still cooking up a storm, but is it possible she might only win second prize in the Pie Making Contest? 

So hold onto your hat and settle in for a story of love and revenge, letter-writin’ and courtin’, and more twists and turns than the Musselshell River! 

It’ll knock your socks off! 

This week-end I've been enjoying these "Mind Candy" novellas (130 pages). They are all cute and sweet in their own way, but also very different. This book is also a part of my Nook library and I've awarded it 5 "Violet" Stars.
PLEASE NOTE – “Violet” is Book 3 is a series. While it can be read as a standalone book with a satisfying ending, it will be even more enjoyable if you’ve read “Ruby” and “Emily,” the first two books in the series. 

"Kate" Book 4
It's 1884, and love is in the air in the town of Come-By-Chance! 

In this much-loved series strong women risk everything to rise above their desperate circumstances, find true love, and wed real men who'll treat them right.

Feisty intelligent widow Kate Munro has a good life in Pittsburgh - until the corrupt Samuel "Bullyboy" Murphy causes her to unfairly lose her position as a postmistress. Kate is to be cast out into the street!

With no other options, she must accept an offer of marriage from a mature man who lives near the town of Come-By-Chance, Montana.

Can she sacrifice her independence for a man? Or is it possible Kate can find freedom within a good match?

It's time to catch up with the Come-By-Chance townsfolk: the strapping Wilkinson brothers Ben, Matt and Toby; recently wed Ruby, Emily and Violet; the Beans, the Hearts, the Milligans, and of course, the animal-loving perennial bachelor Wally Davis.
You'll also be introduced to the Milligan's son Gilbert, and Kate's beau Horace, a man of great charm, who has quite a reputation.

So hold onto your hat and settle in for another Come-By-Chance story of True Love and True Adventure! 

Amazing, I can't believe I've enjoyed all four of these books in this series. Ms. James has a way of writing that holds your attention, and when you finish one book you can't wait to read the next book in the series. Fortunately, I found these four books this week-end and didn't have to wait a month or two for the next book in the series. However, I will have to wait until December 2014 for the next book in the series..."Rose," Book 5, and "Emmy-Lou" Book 6, January 2015.

This book is a part of my Nook library and I enjoyed it enough to also award it 5 "Kate" stars.  

While this book is part of a series, it can definitely be read as a stand-alone book. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"The Female Factory"

In 1804, two sisters in England are separated after the death of their parents by a wicked aunt. The oldest sister, Ivy, is placed in servitude while the younger sister, Bridget, is arrested for stealing bread during her attempt to find her sister. She is shipped off to a British colony, New South Wales where she is placed in a Female Factory. The Rum Rebellion was brewing. The British colony was facing a change of leadership and one woman's jealousy nearly destroys any chance the sisters will find one another. This is a story of love, devotion and determination by two young women and the story of all those they touched.

This was a very interesting historical fiction novel which I very much enjoyed. This is the debut novel by this author, Pamala J. Johnson. It was an enjoyable read and I enjoyed it enough to award it 5 "historical" stars, and would recommend it to my friends to read and enjoy also.

This book is part of my Nook library.

Pamala J. Johnson

I'm a wife, mother, realtor, writer and minister. I have always had a vivid imagination and now I am putting it down for all to see.
I was born and  raised in the southern part of the United States, mostly in Texas. I graduated from Hitchcock High School in Hitchcock, Texas in  1972. I was married shortly afterwards to my loving husband of 42 years this July 2014 and shortly, thereafter moved to Iowa where we raised our children. We have three children we raised and a beautiful granddaughter, Kioku.

During our 41 years in Iowa, I worked in the medical field, in different sales positions including real estate and two small newspapers.

I have sold real estate since 1994 in Iowa and Texas with a passion, but my first true love is writing. I hope as you read the publications I have made available, you will find them interesting and in the end you say,  "Ahh, that was a good story!" And then.....recommend it to a friend!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

"Necessary Lies"

Bestselling author Diane Chamberlain delivers a breakout book about a small southern town fifty years ago, and the darkest—and most hopeful—places in the human heart

After losing her parents, fifteen-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister and nephew as tenants on a small tobacco farm.  As she struggles with her grandmother’s aging, her sister’s mental illness and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give.

When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County’s newest social worker, she doesn’t realize just how much her help is needed.  She quickly becomes emotionally invested in her clients' lives, causing tension with her boss and her new husband.  But as Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm—secrets much darker than she would have guessed.  Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing the battle against everything she believes is wrong.

Set in rural Grace County, North Carolina in a time of state-mandated sterilizations and racial tension, Necessary Lies tells the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy.  Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: how can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong?

Author's Note...

Although the characters in Necessary Lies are fictional (as is Grace County,) the Eugenics Sterilization Program was not. From 1929 until 1975, North Carolina sterilized over seven thousand of its citizens. The program targeted the "mentally defective," the "feebleminded" inmates in mental institutions and training schools, those suffering with epilepsy, and others whose sterilization was considered "for the public good."

My Thoughts...

Again Diane Chamberlain has written an "Amazing" novel.  She captures the feel of the early 1960s. It was a page-turner from the first page to the last. I had trouble putting it down once I started reading it. I enjoyed it so much I decided to award it 5 "Necessary" stars.

This book is a part of my personal library.

Friday, November 14, 2014

"Murder, She Wrote: Skating On Thin Ice"

Jessica Fletcher has noted the deep freeze that settles over Cabot Cove's skating arena whenever Bruce Devlin, the former figure skating champion, is anywhere near hockey coach Luc Beliveau. Both men are vying for ice time, in Devlin's case for a young duo seeking Olympic stardom. From what Jessica can see, Christine Allen and her Russian partner, Alexei Olshansky, are the real deal. 

But when a series of "accidents" lead to murder everyone is suspect, from Christine's micro-managing father to Alexei's beautiful and resentful ex-partner to yet a second pair of skating hopefuls. Skating on Thin Ice is another Murder, She Wrote page-turner as Jessica puts more than a few cracks in the baffling case, any one of which could pull her under.

Olympic pairs figure skating hopeful Christine Allen has traveled to Cabot Cove to train at the town's newly refurbished ice arena under the tutelage of former gold medalist Brian Devlin. Partnered with up-and-coming Russian skater Alexei Olshansky, she finds herself caught between a hot-tempered perfectionist and a pretentious chauvinist.

When a series of mysterious "accidents" occurs, it seems that someone wants the trio to take a fall. And when one of them turns up dead at the arena, Jessica Fletcher suspects something even more diabolical. Donning her old figure skates, she takes to the ice for her own investigation. But the closer Jessica gets to the truth, the closer she comes to being left out in the cold by a killer...

I thoroughly enjoyed this book it was fast paced and kept my attention right to the surprise whodunit. I realize these cozy mysteries are not everyones cup of tea, but I enjoy a good cozy with my cup of tea. That being said I enjoyed this story enough to award it 5 'icy' stars. This book is part of my personal library.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Knit One, Kill Two"

Despite the fact that her aunt was an expert knitter, Kelly Flynn never picked up a pair knitting needles she liked -- until she strolled into House of Lambspun. Now, in the first in a brand-new series, she learns how to knit one, purl two, and untangle the mystery behind her aunt's murder. 

Kelly Flynn would be the first to admit her life in Washington, D.C., is a little on the dull side. But coming back to Colorado for her beloved aunt’s funeral wasn’t the kind of excitement she was seeking. The police are convinced that her Aunt Helen’s death was the result of a burglary gone bad, but for the accountant in Kelly, things just aren’t adding up. After all, why would her sensible, sixty-eight-year-old aunt borrow $20,000 just days before her death? With the help of the knitting regulars at House of Lambspun, Kelly’s about to get a few lessons in cranking out a sumptuously colored scarf -- and in luring a killer out of hiding...

My Thoughts...

This book has been on my TBR pile for a few years now, and decided it was time to start trying to make that pile grow smaller so chose this book. It is a cozy mystery and kept me interested right to the surprise ending.

This book is a part of my personal library and I enjoyed it enough to award it 4 knitted stars.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

"The Cat Who Went Bananas"

The merry atmosphere in Pickax is dampened by the death of an out-of-town actor and the theft of a rare book. Qwill finds himself distracted from the events by his finicky pal Koko, who's been acting more fishy than feline. Has Koko gone bananas, or is he trying to let the cat out of the bag to solve the dual mysteries?

With the opening night of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest fast approaching--along with the dedication of the new bookstore in town--good times are ahead for the citizens of Pickax. But the merry atmosphere is dampened by the suspicious death of an out-of-town actor and the theft of a rare book. Qwill finds himself distracted from the recent events by his finicky pal Koko, who's been acting more fishy than feline. Has Koko gone bananas, or is he trying to let the cat out of the bag to help Qwill solve the dual mysteries?

My Thoughts...

I just wanted a light and fluffy story to read this week-end, and this was neither light nor fluffy. It was a non-sensational story, it was supposedly a mystery, but I found no mystery, and the story ended with more questions and no answers. The mysteries were never solved...It was a quick read, and now I can go watch some non-sensational TV. Which is about all there is on TV these days. Anyway, I didn't care for this book and decided to award it 1 'cat paw' star...This book is a part of my personal library.