Tuesday, December 11, 2018

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - A Christmas Revelation; Anne Perry

Each Tuesday, Vicki, from I’d Rather Be At The Beach hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where  readers post the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book that they are reading or plan to read.

Ballantine - 2018

"WORM STOOD AND STARED, OVERCOME WITH wonder.  She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, in all of hid nine years of life.  She was like sudden sunshine on a dark day--the place you looked without even thinking about it, all light and warmth and softness.  She walked the way everybody should: gently, head up, smiling.  Maybe other people looked like her at first glance, but when you looked again you saw she smiled, not as if there were something funny, but as if she knew something good that she could share, if you would stop to listen."

This is my 4th Christmas book I'll be reading (reviews to post soon) - I love these lighter and shorter books in December.   Would you pass or read more?

Monday, December 10, 2018

3 short Christmas Books for 2018

 The Christmas Star - Donna Vanliere
St Martins Press - 2018

As Christmas approaches little Maddie, a spunky, sweet-natured seven year old who has grown up in foster care plays matchmaker. Amy and Gabe are two individuals who have had some rough patches in their lives and are looking for a fresh start. Can little Maddie work some magic?

A sweet story about second chances, reminding us to never give up on hope or love.  I enjoyed this one.

Christmas on Cape Cod; Nan Rossiter
Zebra - 2018

Asa Coleman is a single dad to young son Cole. He's trying to do it all and hoping that this Christmas will be special for his son.  He plans to gather family to Cape Cod for Christmas and also invites his friend Maddie Carlson. Asa never realized how much Maddie cared for him but, before the holiday is over the spirit of the season makes magical things happen between the couple.

This was a very short novella, a sweet story, but, something was missing. Apparently there is a backstory from an earlier book. I wished that I knew a bit more about Asa and Cole and what had happened to Cole's mother.

Alaskan Holiday; Debbie Macomber
Ballantine - 2018

Josie Avery, a Seattle native who lived with her mom takes a summer job at a rustic and remote Alaskan lakeside lodge in a town called Ponder.  She wasn't expecting to find love in Alaska but, the obstacles may be too great for love to blossom.

I loved the Alaskan wilderness setting, so atmospheric.  The small town characters were perfect: Jack Corcoran, rough around the edges, who often speaks without thinking and Palmer, the loner who would love to make Josie his wife. Alaskan Holiday was a short enjoyable holiday story.

Friday, December 7, 2018

New Additions - This time it's Cats not Books

I know I said we weren't ready for more cats after the last of our cats passed away on November 6th at 16.5 years.  However, I haven't been without a cat in 36 years and, the hub agreed that our home wasn't quite the same without cats. Although we were "just looking" when we visited the shelter, when Ricky jumped on my lap and made himself comfortable, the deal was sealed.  Of course, we had to take his sister Lucy (another sweetie) as well. 

They came home with us yesterday and they are 7 months old . We were surprised to learn that they came from a shelter in Georgia so, they had quite the journey from GA to New England.  We can't believe what an easy adjustment it was for them and us, although I did clean up one knocked over plant :)  My fault for having plants right?  

We renamed the duo as they each had a long name that we had never heard of before. Now called Lucy and Ricky, they have made themselves at home, comfortable on our laps, love to play with toys etc. We love how relatively calm they are even though their still kittens. They love to bathe each other - we are so happy we adopted both.

     Meet Lucy and Ricky

Ricky on left - Lucy on right

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Christmas on Cape Cod; Nan Rossiter

Each Tuesday, Vicki, from I’d Rather Be At The Beach hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where  readers post the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book that they are reading or plan to read.

(My December choices always tend to include a few fluffy, feel good stories. I just finished The Christmas Star; Donna VanLiere (no review yet, but very enjoyable) and now hope to start Christmas on Cape Cod.  Do you enjoy a few lighter holiday stories in December as well ?)

Christmas on Cape Cod; Nan Rossiter
Zebra (eBook $2.99 on Amazon)

Chapter 1

"Dad, wake up!" There was a short pause and then the same soft voice whispered again with more urgency. "Dad...Dad, wake up! We have to go find a tree! You said we had to get up early."  This time the plea was accompanied by gentle nudging and prodding. Asa Coleman opened one eye and squinted at the little face, which was inches from his nose.  The face smiled. "Time to get up!" It announced cheerfully.

Would you read more or pass?

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Story of Arthur Truluv; Elizabeth Berg

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Berg
PUBLISHER: Recorded Books (audio)
PUB. YEAR: 2017
SETTING:  Missouri
FORMAT:  - library
RATING: 4.5/5 stars

Arthur Moses is an 82 year old widower who is misses his wife Nola very much. Although he still has his cat Gordon and his elderly neighbor, Lucille for company, he's added a new routine to his life. Arthur takes a daily bus ride to the cemetery to chat with his dead wife. He sits on a folding chair, eats his lunch and tells Nola about his day.

One day he notices a young girl there and they begin to chat, her name is Maddy,  Maddy's mom died a few weeks after she was born and her dad seems devoid of emotions. She has a boyfriend who has been using her and no other real friends either.  Maddy is fascinated by Arthur's devotion to his late wife and nicknames hime "Arthur Truluv". When Maddy needs a place to live, Arthur welcomes her into his home. Their friendship is special. Arthur, Lucille, and Maddy are an unlikely trio, but it works.

I loved this charming story, it was exactly the kind of story I needed when I read it.  It shows how family doesn't have to fit some particular stereotype. A touching story about aging and loneliness and about what constitutes a family.    Even though the ending was a bit sad, overall, it's a hopeful story, that leaves you with the feeling that everything will be okay.  I can't wait to read the sequel, Night of Miracles soon.