New Books

A real-life fairy tale romance...sigh

Sometimes a real-life story reads very much like fiction, and I think Seven Letters from Paris: a Memoir by Samantha Verant is a perfect example of a modern day fairy tale come true. The author shares her personal story of how a bundle of seven romantic love letters from her past lead her to pick herself up when her life was at its lowest and reach for the happiness she deserves. She tells it all - the good, the bad and the ugly - with just the right amount of humor mixed in.

Sweet stories with plenty of heat

The Sweetheart Sisters series by Shirley Jump combines sweet stories with plenty of heat. Set in Rescue Bay, Florida, the "sisters" are a trio of sassy, well-meaning grannies living at the Golden Years Retirement Home who think their mission in life is to play matchmaker for the town of Rescue Bay, all while giving some old-school lessons in love. Add in the elements of an animal rescue facility and numerous subplots, and these stories tug at your heartstrings while making you laugh out loud.

Another heartwarming tale from Mitford

Jan Karon continues her Mitford series, set in a fictional small North Carolina mountain town, with Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good. This is classic Christian fiction by Jan Karon—heartwarming, character-driven, and hopeful. Retired Episcopal priest Tim Kavanagh returns to Mitford with his wife Cynthia after journeys to his Mississippi hometown and a trip to Ireland. There is an upheaval at his old parish, and Father Tim is asked to fill in for the current priest who is leaving.

'Tis the Season!

Are you in need of a little Christmas inspiration or looking for a last minute Christmas gift for the reader on your list? I have been reading a few of the 2014 Christmas books over the past few weeks and want to share my favorites with you. There is a little bit of everything on the list, from mystery to romance, with both historical and contemporary settings.

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson

In my last blog post I said I would share my thoughts on this year's Christmas books and I have to tell you there are some good ones out this year. I just read The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson and I think it would make the perfect gift for the animal lover on your list. It is a humorous and heartwarming tale filled with colorful characters, cats, wit and humor, a little light romance, and... cats.

Action and Adventure in Ancient Egypt

Desert God by Wilbur Smith is the latest book that he has written about ancient Egypt. If you like action, battle scenes, and intrigue, if you like books such as the “Game of Thrones” series, or if you like books by Bernard Cornwell, you should give Desert God a try. The story is narrated by Taita, a eunuch, former slave and now an advisor and confidante to Pharaoh. Taita has a mystical side that is explained midway through the book.

It is official - I have been bitten by the Christmas bug!

I know it is early.... but I have officially been bitten by the Christmas bug. There is a fresh dusting of snow on the ground and the library is already partially decorated for the holidays. This is the time of year when many authors offer up their yearly Christmas book and I hope to read new titles as I catch them and share my thoughts with you. Luckily, most of the books are short and sweet and very easy reads. My first selection is An Island Christmas by Nancy Thayer.

Is living in Door County the key to a happy life?

In the debut novel North of the Tension Line by J. F. Riordan, Fiona Campbell is a writer currently living in Ephraim and formerly from Milwaukee and Chicago. This novel is leisurely-paced, character-driven, and humorous, and most loose ends are tied up neatly at the end. Fiona’s friend Elisabeth runs a gallery and has a dog named Rocco.

Sometimes authors surprise us...

I have long been a fan of author Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Her romance stories are written with style and grace, and most times love conquers all when the story comes to a happy ever after ending. She certainly surprised me with her latest book, Heroes are My Weakness. Even though the title hints at a romantic setting, this one has a much darker and serious feel to it. In some ways, the beginning had elements of classic gothic romances like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.

Returning to Gilead: Lila by Marilynne Robinson

This is the story of Lila, the much younger wife of Reverend John Ames, first introduced in the Pulitzer prize-winning novel Gilead. Marilynne Robinson’s books, Gilead, Home, and Lila are set in the small Iowa town of Gilead and are about things of the heart and spirit.

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