I've read two other books in the Quilts of Love series (Scraps of Evidence and A Sky Without Stars) and really enjoyed their heart-warming and endear...more I've read two other books in the Quilts of Love series (Scraps of Evidence and A Sky Without Stars) and really enjoyed their heart-warming and endearing stories. I figured it would be safe to assume that Maybelle in Stitches would follow suit-and I was right!
What I Liked: I enjoyed that the setting of the book was during World War II, when the men were off fighting for our country, patriotism was still alive and well, and the women were "doing their part to help the war effort" by welding and working in the ship yards.
I also enjoyed the characters and their distinctive personalities: Doris-with her "can-do" attitude and Maybelle who is still struggling to find her way in the world. Roger was a doll having to put up with all of the women around him, and the other women in the book helped to add comic relief and a touch of camaraderie when things were tough.
I enjoyed the friendship of the quilting group and the stories that they shared with one another about their lives, hopes, fears, and dreams.
What I Didn't Like: I hated the sad parts of the story. Although I know they were a sad reality of the time period, I wasn't expecting some of them and I was blubbering on the couch like an idiot. (You'll just have to read the book to find out what I'm referring to in the story.)
Overall Impression: If you're wanting something to make you feel nostalgic for a time period in which communities banded together to help one another in times of need, then Maybelle and her quilting partners will share their stories with you--as long as you grab a needle and thread. I really loved this book and would like to read more by Joyce Magnin.(less)
Can I use the word "giddy" to describe how I felt when I read about the blossoming romance between Jade and her long-time family friend Daniel? Truly,...moreCan I use the word "giddy" to describe how I felt when I read about the blossoming romance between Jade and her long-time family friend Daniel? Truly, that's how I felt. LOVED this book in the Chapel Springs Romance series and can't wait to read book #3!(less)
Why I Read this Book: When I first read the synopsis for this story, I realized that it focused on Native American culture and the maltreatment of the...moreWhy I Read this Book: When I first read the synopsis for this story, I realized that it focused on Native American culture and the maltreatment of the various tribes that continues to this day. I wanted to learn more about their struggles and the significance of the Lakota star Frankie was creating in her quilt.
What I Liked: We first meet Frankie and her son, Harold, broken down on the side of the road with no help in sight, but the last gas station they passed. Making their way back to the gas station to get water for their radiator, we get a glimpse of the harsh life Frankie has had to endure, and even more of a look when she has a run-in with the station's owner and his son.
The realistic portrayal of the prejudice against the Native Americans by the "white men (and women)" grabbed me from the start. I grew up in New Mexico and remember visiting one of the Reservations so we could "see how the Indians lived." I remember playing on the monkey bars with the other students and listening to their stories, but I also remember the comments made between our teachers and theirs--let's just say there was not a lot of love between them. The tension was high and I don't remember us ever going back on a field trip.
Reading about Frankie's distrust of all men, including the alcoholism that was rampant among the men in her tribe, really opened my eyes to the issues she faced in trying to raise her son as a single Native American parent. I loved that she had to learn to trust and lean on other people for help since she was unable to provide and make ends meet on her own. It showed her strength, as well as her helplessness, which eventually led her to rely on "the white man's God."
Overall, it was a great story about struggles and the power of hope and love.
What I Didn't Like: I would have liked to learn more about the various tribal cultures-especially since several different ones were represented among the characters. I think it would have brought a richer depth to the story, but then I love to learn about different cultures, so it's probably just me.
Overall Impression: If you're looking for a cozy read with a touch of romance and a heartwarming story, then A Sky without Stars is the book for you! What are you waiting for? Go get this book! (less)
Why I Read this Book: When I first saw the tour listed for this book and read that it was part of the Quilts of Love series, I just assumed that it wa...moreWhy I Read this Book: When I first saw the tour listed for this book and read that it was part of the Quilts of Love series, I just assumed that it was an Amish story with a bit of suspense thrown in to it. I was WAY OFF because Scraps of Evidence has nothing to do with the Amish. (Talk about me stereotyping because of the word-quilt. Geesh!) In any case, the suspense part was what really drew me in and made me want to read the book.
What I Liked: The setting is St. Augustine, Florida--which just so happens to be one my favorite cities to visit when I get a break from teaching. I loved the fact that I knew many of the (real) places that were mentioned, and had even been to them. St. Augustine is full of history and I was thrilled that Ms. Cameron incorporated some of that history into the story-line. (No, I am not getting paid to advertise the city--although I would not be opposed to it!) ;)
The two main characters-Tess, and her new partner Logan, were very well matched (in more ways than one) and worked well together. The compassion they showed to the victims and their memories will stick in my mind for a long time. I especially loved how they treated the homeless man to lunch before asking him questions concerning their case, and that they offered to get him to safe place to stay since he did not have home of his own.
I also enjoyed the family dynamics between Tess and her Aunt Kathy. It reminded me of the relationship I have with my own aunt because of the easy-going attitude and spirit they share.
What I Didn't Like: It felt like the relationship between Tess and Logan was a bit rushed, but I've been told that "you know when you know," so I'll have to wait until it happens with me to be able to give better feedback. I also think this may have been due to the fact that I couldn't put the book down and devoured it quickly--which may have caused the rushed feeling. (Go figure.) :)
The only other thing I disliked has to do with me. I managed to guess "whodunnit" fairly early on, so the rest of the book was me anticipating whether or not I was correct. I hate doing that to myself because I don't take as much time to enjoy the story because I'm too busy trying to figure out if I'm right. Maybe someday I'll learn to slow down and savor, but this really was a page-turner, so it really couldn't be helped.
Overall Impression: If you're looking for a cozy read with a touch of romance and a bit of blood then Scraps of Evidence is for you! You will be enchanted as you read about St. Augustine's rich history and be enchanted with the lovable characters. What are you waiting for? Go get this book! (less)
Why I Read this Book: Almost every little girl dreams of growing up and finding her "prince charming," getting married, and living happily ever after....moreWhy I Read this Book: Almost every little girl dreams of growing up and finding her "prince charming," getting married, and living happily ever after. However, what if it turns out that she is the princess (albeit unknowingly and unwillingly) and finds that her primary confidant may be her prince?
I have always enjoyed reading about the lives of princesses and living happily ever after, or at least vicariously through their stories, so when I found out that book #2 in the Royal Wedding series (Read about book #1 here) was coming out, I jumped at the chance to read about the next royal adventure.
What I Liked: I am currently a Floridian, living in the Tampa Bay area, so when I found that our main character, Regina Beswick, was also a Floridian from the Tallahassee area (Go Noles!), I was excited to read to her story.
Regina is a down-to-earth type of girl, who enjoys hanging out with her family and her friends while doing the things she loves-such as restoring older cars. I can only imagine her surprise when she was told that she was actually a princess from the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg, and that the country's fate rested on her shoulders. (Talk about massive pressure and stress.)
I loved that Regina was an independent woman who could think for herself and make decisions based upon the counsel she sought and her own convictions. Many of today's "role models" for young ladies seem to lack morals, so I am impressed that Regina would not let people pressure her into her decisions, but rather prayed about them and asked for help from the people around her.
I also enjoyed getting to know her heritage and the country's "history" through the journal entries and the other characters. I also liked the fact that she seemed to absorb the shock of her situation well, and rallied herself to help the people while she made her decision on whether to stay and rule, or to renounce her throne.
What I Didn't Like: Where on earth do all of these characters get their money?! Apparently I am in the wrong profession because even working two jobs, I can barely pay for rent and food, while the characters gallivant around like money is no issue. I understand that Regina used to work for the rat race and may have saved some money back, but Tanner must make millions as the Minister of Culture if he's able to maintain his lifestyle and his...well, I don't want to give it away. I know, it's a fairy-tale, but I still want to have hope that one day...just maybe...I'll become a princess too. ;)
Overall Impression: If you're looking for romance with the twist of surprise and delight, then Princess Ever After is the book for you. What are you waiting for? Go get this book! (less)
The concept of virtual friendships and relationships has always intrigued me because I am a recluse at heart. I love the idea...moreAh-May-Zing!!! (Amazing!)
The concept of virtual friendships and relationships has always intrigued me because I am a recluse at heart. I love the idea that I could type information into the computer and "create" a personal friend that I could "talk" to about my day-especially when it's been extremely stressful and my regular friends are tired of listening to me whine.
As I learned more about Scott, Rachel, and their virtual "friends," I was sucked more and more into the manipulation and was trying to figure out how to warn them of the impending disaster about to take place in their lives and possibly keep them apart forever.
Friend Me is John Faubion's first novel and he definitely hit a home run! The suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat and you will not want to put this book down!(less)
There were parts that I truly laughed out loud on because the situations were so close so some of my own experiences I felt like the author had been a...moreThere were parts that I truly laughed out loud on because the situations were so close so some of my own experiences I felt like the author had been a fly on the wall in my life. The cartoons were fabulous, but the language was atrocious and didn't really need to be in the book--even if this is how the author truly speaks.(less)