Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hatteras Girl by Alice J. Wisler - A Great Read for a Cold Day

I've never been to the Carolinas, but I've always thought a beach vacation along the shore in either North or South Carolina would be wonderful. I'd take my laptop, plenty of suntan lotion, and rent one of those beach houses you see--the one's on stilts that always seem to survive the threat of hurricanes. I'd sleep on a screened in sleeping porch, and rise in time to brew coffee and watch the sun rise over the ocean. Then hunker down and write till noon before spending the afternoon on the beach. Evenings I'd go into town and have fresh seafood in one of the many hangouts. Ahhh. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?

Well, right now I can't afford such a vacay, but what any of us can afford to do is buy a copy of Hatteras Girl by Alice J. Wisler and be transported instantly to the seaside community of Cape Hatteras NC. Each time I picked up the book to read, I was instantly sucked into life in the small community through the eyes of Jackie Donovan, the book's POV character.

All Jackie wants to do is own the Baily House, an old home situated on the ocean. The antique building holds a lot of wonderful childhood memories, mostly created by the elderly couple who lived there than the building. But, her job as a writer for a village paper can hardly pay her rent, let alone the gigantic mortgage she'd have to incur to own the now-empty structure. Then she meets Realtor Davis Erickson and it appears God is answering her prayers. As the heir apparent of the Baily House estate, he's willing to rent her the house, and all seems to be falling into place until she finds out he has a few skeletons in his proverbial closet.

Wisler's easy going story, written in first person present sucks the reader in so much you are sure you are sniffing the salt air and feeling the sand between your toes. I love this POV because you cannot get any closer to the character than this. You are Jackie as you go through her highs and lows, hitting the speed bumps of her life and doing cartwheels when she is joyous. As a single woman, I could relate to her watching the phone and willing it to ring while she waits for Davis's call. Yep. I've been there, done that in the past, and then, like Jackie, made my best attempt to act nonchalant when the phone finally rang.

I highly recommend this book. You can pick it up at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Christian Book on line, or at your favorite Christian book store down the road. Do it. You won't be disappointed.

Please note that I was provided with a free copy of Hatteras Girl in order to write this review, but I was not asked to write only a favorable review. All comments in this review are my own and they are my own personal opinions.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just In Time for Christmas! Christmas at Harrington's by Melody Carlson

There's something about anticipating the coming of Christmas that remains in all of us long after we've grown to adulthood. For many, part of their anticipation is reading the bevy of Christmas-themed novella-length stories that come out this time of year. These stories have carved a way into many peoples' Christmas traditions the same as Christmas movies.

Christmas at Harrington's by Melody Carlson promises to be one of those feel-good kind of stories that will be around for a long, long time.

Just before Christmas Lena Markham has an opportunity to restart her life in a new place. The only problem is that she has little money and no friends. But when she lands a job playing Mrs. Santa at Harrington's, her new town's department store, she starts to really believe she is getting a second chance at life for real -- until her boss learns the dark secret she'd worked so hard to keep hidden.

This 167 page story is a perfect accompaniment to a cozy chair and a cup of hot coffee or cocoa on a chilly day. I read this in an afternoon and loved every minute of it. I think you will too!

Published by Revell you can find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your favorite brick and morter store if that's what you prefer!

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, THE CHRISTMAS BUS. She also writes many teen books, including JUST ANOTHER GIRL, the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series and the Carter House Girls series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon. Visit Melody's website at

Note: Although this book was provided me by Revell for review purposes, I was not asked to make only favorable comments on the book. What I have written here is my own personal opinion and no one else's.

Monday, November 01, 2010

November New Releases from ACFW!

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW website.

1. A Daughter for Christmas; Helping Hands Homeschooling Series by Margaret Daley -- A Romance from Steeple Hill. Can Dr. Max Connors make his dream of a family come true when he must tell the widowed mother of the daughter he never knew he had who he really is?

2. A Suitor for Jenny; Rocky Creek #2 by Margaret Brownley -- A Historical from Thomas Nelson. Jenny Higgins is determined to find husband for her two younger sisters and nothing, not even a handsome marshal, will stand in her way.

3. Behind the Scenes; Tabor Heights, Ohio Series by Michelle Levigne -- A Romance from Desert Breeze. Surrounded by crises, best friends transition to life partners, to their own surprise and the amusement of those who love them most.

4. Betrayal in the Badlands by Dana Mentink -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Steeple Hill. Isabel Ling and Logan Price must battle an enemy more deadly than the mighty Badlands.

5. In All Things, Sequel to “No Other” by Shawna K. Williams -- A Historical from Desert Breeze. Jakob and Meri never imagined that the tragedies of their past would one day be transformed into something wondrous and beautiful.

6. Lassoed in Texas by Mary Connealy -- A Romance from Barbour. A three-in-one of romantic comedy with cowboys.

7. Long Time Coming by Vanessa Miller -- Women's Fiction from Abingdon. Two women from different worlds find hope together in this heart gripping story of faith, forgiveness and reconciliation.

8. Mail Order Cowboy; Simpson Creek Brides by Laurie Kingery -- A Historical from Steeple Hill. A small-town Texas spinster finds love with an unlikely mail order groom.

9. Masquerade Marriage by Anne Greene -- A Historical from White Rose. When Lady Megan MacMurry chooses a husband from a secret list, she opens her broken heart to a Highland warrior's fight for life.

10. Soaring Home by Christine Johnson -- A Romance from Steeple Hill. A small-town girl plans to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic.

11. Tales of the Dim Knight by Adam Graham and Andrea Graham -- A Sci-fi/Fantasy/Futuristic from Splashdown Books. Mild-mannered janitor and superhero fanboy Dave Johnson gets all his wishes at once when an alien symbiot gives him supernatural powers.

12. The Blacksmith's Bravery; #3, Ladies' Shooting Club
by Susan Page Davis -- A Historical from Barbour. A former saloon girl proves she can drive a six-horse hitch--and drive her boss crazy.

13. The Silent Order by Melanie Dobson -- A Historical from Summerside Press. A Cleveland detective pursues the Mafia family responsible for murdering the woman he loved until he meets an Amish woman with a secret that changes his life.