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Saturday, July 30, 2011

This Book Room

Alice Bullock is a young newlywed whose husband, Charlie, has just joined the Union Army, leaving her on his Iowa farm with only his formidable mother for company. Alice writes lively letters to her sister filled with accounts of local quilting bees, the rigors of farm life, and the customs of small-town America. But no town is too small for intrigue and treachery, and when Alice finds herself accused of murder, she discovers her own hidden strengths. Rich in details of quilting, Civil War-era America, and the realities of a woman's life in the nineteenth century, Alice's Tulips is Sandra Dallas at her best.

My thoughts: It's hard to describe Sandra's writing - but no matter what, her writing is entertaining and compassionate. I truly enjoy reading one of her books. Her books are, literally, treasures. If you haven't yet discovered this author, start with this book or Prayers for Sale.

New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick crafts a timeless tale of friendship, love, and the choices we must make in their name.

While New Bern, Connecticut, lies under a blanket of snow, the Cobbled Court Quilt Shop remains a cozy haven for its owner, Evelyn Dixon, and her friends. Evelyn relishes winter's slower pace--besides, internet sales are hopping, thanks to her son Garrett's efforts. In addition to helping out at the shop, Garrett has also been patiently waiting for his girlfriend, Liza, to finish art school in New York City. But as much as Evelyn loves Liza, she wonders if it's a good idea for her son to be so serious, so soon, with a young woman who's just getting ready to spread her wings. 

Liza's wondering the same thing--especially after Garrett rolls out the red carpet for a super-romantic New Year's Eve--complete with marriage proposal. Garrett's the closest thing to perfect she's ever known, but what about her own imperfections? The only happy marriage Liza's ever seen is her Aunt Abigail's, and it took her decades to tie the knot. Soon, Liza is not only struggling with her own fears, but with the mixed reactions of her friends and family. And when she finds herself torn between a rare career opportunity and her love for Garrett, Liza must grasp at the thinnest of threads--and pray it holds.

Additional notes: This is the third book in the Cobbled Court Quilts series. You can read my review of the second book in the series here. The fourth book has already been released, and this series is ongoing.

My thoughts: This wasn't my favorite book in the series, but sometimes, you need a book to set up your next book and it seems that was Marie's plan. I expect the fourth to be full of surprises from a new character that was introduced in this book.

It is a few days before Christmas. For forty-six years Sterling has been awaiting his summons into Heaven. Will he be deemed fit for entrance into heaven this year? At last the day comes and the Heavenly Council settles on a test for Sterling - he will be sent back to earth and given an opportunity to prove his worthiness by helping someone else. Sterling Brooks finds himself in Manhattan, at the skating rink in Rockefeller Center. Among the skaters is a heartbroken seven-year-old named Marissa. Her sadness comes from her separation from the father she adores, a talented singer, and her sparkling grandmother, owner of a popular restaurant. Both have been forced into the Witness Protection Program because two mobsters, the Badgett brothers, have put a price on their heads to prevent their testifying against them in an arson case. As Sterling soon realizes, it is Marissa he has been sent to help. Sterling, who is able to move back and forth in time and place, masterminds a plan to eliminate the threat from the Badgett brothers and reunite Marissa with her loved ones. Filled with suspense and humour, HE SEES YOU WHEN YOU'RE SLEEPING is a delightful and warmhearted tale of perseverance, redemption, and love.

My thoughts: This was my Christmas in July pick this year (but who am I kidding, I read Christmas books all year long!). If you love a good suspense/mystery or know and love Mary and Carol Higgins Clark, this book will entertain and humor you.

Set in the high-pressure world of a Chicago television newsroom, author Denise Hunter brings to life a story of intrigue and integrity, of secrets divulged and promises kept. Paula Landin-Cohen's new job as an investigative reporter quickly puts her in the spotlight as she pursues a story that becomes nationally followed as the Switched at Birth Mystery. Finding what really happened to the young couple's baby will assure her a coveted role as news anchorwoman but she also faces the challenges of a shaky marriage, a colleague who fiercely asserts his desire for the job, and a past decision that haunts her.

Additional notes: This is the third and final book in the New Heights series. You can read my review of the first book here and my review of the second book here.

My thoughts: The New Heights series would be great for a young woman who is coming into her own. This series expanded my view on abortion, sex, and love.

What's an American girl with a big mouth, but an equally big heart, to do?

Lizzie Nichols has a problem, and it isn't that she doesn't have the slightest idea what she's going to do with her life, or that she's blowing what should be her down payment on a cute little Manhattan apartment on a trip to London to visit her long-distance boyfriend, Andrew. What's the point of planning for the future when she's done it again? See, Lizzie can't keep her mouth shut. And it's not just that she can't keep her own secrets, she can't keep anything to herself.

This time when she opens her big mouth, her good intentions get Andrew in major hot water. Now Lizzie's stuck in London with no boyfriend and no place to stay until the departure date written on her non-changeable airline ticket.

Fortunately, Lizzie's best friend and college roommate is spending her summer in the south of France, catering weddings in a chateau. One call and Lizzie's on a train to Paris. Who cares if she speaks only rudimentary French? One glimpse of gorgeous Chateau Mirac -- not to mention gorgeous Luke, Chateau Mirac's owner -- and she's smitten.

But while most caterers can be trusted to keep a secret, Lizzie's the exception. And no sooner has the first cork been popped than Luke hates her, the bride is in tears, and it looks like Chateau Mirac is in danger of becoming a lipo-recovery spa. As if things aren't bad enough, ex-boyfriend Andy shows up looking for "closure" (or at least a loan), threatening to ruin everything, especially Lizzie's chance at ever finding real love -- unless she can figure out a way to use that big mouth of hers to save the day.

Additional notes: This is the first book in the Queen of Babble series. The other two books in the series have already been released, and the series has finished.

My thoughts: I love Meg Cabot, and she doesn't disappoint in this book. Perhaps more importantly to note is that Lizzie reminds me a lot of Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) of the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, which makes Meg's series all the better in my opinion.

*all summaries courtesy of goodreads.com

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