Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Sensible Arrangement


Book Review:

A Sensible Arrangement
A Sensible Arrangement is the newest book in a new series by Tracie Peterson. The book follows the same pattern that is used in Peterson’s books. While it could be argued that the format is somewhat formulaic I have to ask myself why I continue to read Peterson’s books even though I have a pretty good idea about how the story will go? Why do I read every book by her that I can get my hands on? The answer is that in spite of the similarities in her books, Peterson writes a good story. This book is her one hundredth published book. Obviously, she is doing a lot right.
This is a story about an arranged marriage, actually one that worked out rather well. The marriage was between a woman (Marty) who just wanted to get out of Texas and a man (Jake) whose dream was to return to Texas. The story is set in Denver, Colorado in the early 1890’s, a time of financial difficulties in the United States. Peterson’s descriptions about what was happening in the economy had a familiarity. Jake was a banker, not always a good place to be in falling economic conditions. In spite of the problems, Jake and Marty were a compatible couple.
One of my favorite parts of the story was conversation between Marty and her ladies’ maid, Alice. Marty had been deeply hurt when her first husband died and she did what is so easy to do. She blamed God. After all, God could have stopped the accident that killed her husband. Young Alice has some of the best answers to this dilemma that I have heard. The book is worth reading just for this wisdom. Kudos to Tracie Peterson.
My one complaint with the book is it ended with many loose ends. I had a lot of questions – things I wanted to know. The book is part of the Lone star Brides series and I certainly do hope that book two will provide the answers. I do recommend this book.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:

A Lone Star Brides book.
Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past. Answering an advertisement for a “Lone Star bride,” she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn’t know.
Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her. Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed. Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.
When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake’s yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty’s dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.
What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways… and dreams and secrets collide?

About the Author:

Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Visit Tracie’s Web site at http://www.traciepeterson.com.

Critical Condition


Book Review:

Critical Condition
Retired physician, Richard L. Mabry, has written a thriller set in a medical backdrop. Critical Condition is indeed a page-turner. I could not help but feel that the protagonist, Dr. Shannon Frasier, must have had the feeling that she was reliving the trials of the biblical Job. After a shooting that resulted in a murder in her front yard, Shannon’s life completely pivoted out of control.
As Shannon’s life skids more and more into chaos, this competent doctor finds herself turning more and more to the God that she had known growing up. Shannon struggled with the familiar refrain that if there was a God why had he not stopped tragedy.
It became evident fairly early in the story that there were some dangerous times ahead for Shannon and the book began to pick up, rushing toward an exciting ending. I admired Shannon’s drive to not let a criminal destroy her life and I think any reader would admire her coolness in a time of extreme danger.
I recommend this book. It is exciting and will definitely keep the reader going until the final page. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the book: 

Dr. Frasier couldn't save the gunshot victim on her front lawn. Now she's fighting for her own life.
It began as a quiet dinner party honoring Dr. Shannon Frasier's colleague, but became a nightmare when a man was shot on her lawn, reviving emotions from a similar episode a decade ago. Then a midnight call from her sister, Megan, causes Shannon to fear that her sister is on drugs again.
Her "almost-fiancé" Dr. Mark Gilbert's support only adds to Shannon's feelings of guilt, since she can't bring herself to fully commit to him. She turns for help to her pastor-father, only to learn that he's just been diagnosed with leukemia. Shannon thought it couldn't get any worse. Then the late-night, threatening phone calls begin, the rough voice asking, "What did he say before he died?"
With everything around her in a critical state, simply staying alive will require all the resources and focus Shannon has.

About the Author:

A retired physician, Dr. Richard Mabry is the author of four critically acclaimed novels of medical suspense. His previous works have been finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times Reader's Choice Award, and have won the Selah Award. He is a past Vice-President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the International Thriller Writers. He and his wife live in North Texas.

Maybelle in Stitches

Book Review:

Maybelle In Stitches
In the last few years there has been talk about “The Greatest Generation” and the contributions that this World War II cohort made to the USA. In my part of the country, there have been news stories about WWII veterans being able to make a trip to Washington DC to visit the war memorial. I have recently read several works of fiction with a setting during WWII. Consequently, I have had a new interest in this important period of our country’s history. Joyce Magnin’s book Maybelle in Stitches is a story that took place during WWII, part of the Quilts of Love series. It is a book that laid out the seriousness of the war. Not every man who went to fight came home and those who did come home were changed forever.
The easy-going prose and the lighthearted book title belie the seriousness of the situation. The book is set in 1943 in a suburb of Philadelphia, centered on women who worked at Sun Ship and Dry Dock, a shipyard that built ships during World War II. Maybelle Kazinski was the main character along with her friends, co-workers and housemates. The story centered on wives employed at the shipyard whose husbands were serving overseas. In spite of the uncertainty of life these women did their job and did it well.
I enjoyed the camaraderie between the women and how well they assisted and sustained each other through all kinds of life situations. Coping with rationing, blackouts and shortages were a common problem. Maybelle and her friends began working on a quilt that Maybelle’s mother had started. The work helped to draw these women together and they stood by each other through difficult times of death and a husband who was MIA.
Maybelle in Stitches is a book that is entertaining along with showcasing what life was like during the period of the Second World War.  Magnin also paid tribute to the valuable contribution made by women working in what was once considered “men’s work,” and doing an excellent job. I recommend this book.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:

Maybelle Kazinzki can’t sew. She was after all, the only girl in the seventh grade Home Economics class to sew the zipper in the neck hole of the A-Line dress they were supposed to make. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house she gets the crazy idea to finish it—somehow, come heck or high water. She thinks it will help fill the lonely nights while her husband, Holden, is serving overseas during World War II.
Her recently departed mother’s quilt is made from scraps of material Maybelle traces back to her mother’s childhood, her grandmother’s childhood and her own childhood. She tries to add one of Holden’s stripes to it but the sewing is not going well and neither is her life. After receiving some harsh news, Maybelle’s faith falters and she puts the quilt away and stops trusting God. But God is faithful- no matter what. And it’ll take a group of neighborhood women armed with quilting needles to help Maybelle believe that.

About the Author:

Joyce Magnin is the author of the Bright’s Pond novels, including the award-winning The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. A member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship, Joyce is a frequent workshop leader and the organizer of the StoryCrafters fiction group. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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