Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

DragonLegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

Serena

Some Books Aren’t for Reading by Howard Marc Chesley at Carol’s Notebook.

Martin Fourchette is on a mission to retrieve his priceless, first-edition copy of The Old Man and the Sea, inscribed on the flyleaf by Papa Hemingway himself. He unearthed it at the bottom of a bin of castoffs at a thrift store in Anaheim, and then Helmet-Head, Martin’s moped-driving book-scout competitor and nemesis, filched it. How, after an auspicious start at Hotchkiss and Yale, then a great job in advertising and a loving young family did Martin manage to lose it all and fall so far from grace? That is something that he can’t help but contemplate while crusading through the dark recesses of Los Angeles as he struggles to retrieve his treasured book from a dishevelled, moped-driving Moriarty.

“This sounds delightful…books and a mystery…I like the sound of that.”

Martha

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan found at An Interior Journey (and Bookfan a couple of weeks ago).

In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

“I think C. S. Lewis was a special author. This book about his wife caught my eye.”

——–

Heaven Enough (The Heaven Series Book 1) by Ken La Salle found at Herding Cats & Burning Soup.

On a beautiful, spring afternoon, a broken man stands at his wife’s funeral and hears the words, “Heaven Enough.” Thus begins a poem about longing, about wishing for something more. “What would it be like if I had heaven enough?” it reads.

Matt Murphy reads these words for the first time at his wife’s funeral. After a death shrouded with mystery, it is the first time he learns that she wrote poetry. He and Diva were married for nearly twenty years, yet he did not “know” her. A poet and lover of culinary delights, she is struck by a car and killed instantly—randomly—on the wrong side of town.

When her brother, the “monk,” appears for the funeral, Matt is set on an unprecedented course. The two find Diva’s computer filled with preparations to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Over 2600 miles from Mexico to Canada…and she was leaving without her husband.

Matt takes it upon himself to hike the trail and sprinkle her ashes along the way. What happens in the first two hours is dumbfounding.

What happens next changes his life forever…

“I was drawn by this cover and then the blurb intrigued me.

What books caught your eyes this week?

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Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

DragonLegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

Serena

9780349010618The Collected Stories by Grace Paley at Sam Still Reading.

Here are all Grace Paley’s classic stories in one volume. Paley’s quirky, boisterous characters and rich use of language won her readers’ hearts and secured her place as one of America’s most accomplished short-story writers. Her stories are united by her signature interweaving of personal and political truths, her extraordinary capacity for empathy and her pointed depiction of the small and large events that make up daily life.

Martha

In Dog We Trust by Beth Kendrick found at Book Dilettante.
From the author of Once Upon a Wine, a new novel set in the charming seashore town of Black Dog Bay, Delaware.

When everything has gone to the dogs . . .

When Jocelyn Hillier is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce’s pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She’s spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry in Black Dog Bay and never expected to be living the pampered life of a seasonal resident in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn’t without its challenges: The dogs (although lovable) are more high-maintenance than any Hollywood diva, the man she wants to marry breaks her heart, and she’s confronted at every turn by her late benefactor’s estranged son, Liam, who thinks he’s entitled to the inheritance left to the dogs.

Jocelyn has worked too hard to back down without a fight, and she’s determined to keep her new fur family together. As she strives to uphold the “Best in Show” standards her pack requires, Jocelyn finds love, family, and forgiveness in the most unexpected places.

“Here I go again getting drawn in by the dogs.”

——–

Spiked: A Resort to Murder Mystery III by Avery Daniels found at An Imperfect Christian Mom.

Julienne needs only three things: successfully pull of a last minute wedding relocated to her resort, work out things with her stubborn ex- boyfriend, and solve the murder of a private investigator found with her business card on his dead body. The wedding she can handle, but it comes with a flirtatious brother of the bride who manages to give Mason the idea she has moved on, and the dead PI was playing with fire before he was poisoned leaving a myriad of suspects. Two suspects are part of a scandal waiting to explode and nobody wants to be in the middle of the fallout.

Can Julienne wade through the various suspects while coordinating the wedding and dealing with a handsome amorous guest before her rival on the local paper exposes her connection and thus damages the resort’s reputation? Will she and Mason find their way to each other?

“This cover is eye catching and drew me into the mystery.”

Leslie

The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott at Silver’s Reviews.

Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago–her father.

Leaving London behind to settle the inheritance from her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home, nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, joined by the half-sister who’s almost a stranger to her.

Ailsa can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her– as if her past hungers to consume her. She also can’t ignore how the neighborhood animals refuse to set one foot within the gates of the garden.

When the first nighttime intruder shows up, Ailsa fears that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything.

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment

dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every week we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

MARTHA:
Ghost Dance (Time Dance #1) by E.B. Brown found at Library of Clean Reads.

James River Falls, 1656

Daniel is the orphaned son of a Powhatan warrior, born in seventeenth century Jamestown. When he is injured in the Battle of Bloody Run and left for dead, he wakes in the care of a young woman named Emmy. As she nurses him back to health, he soon realizes that she is from another time – and that she is the Time Walker his enemies have been searching for.

Emmy is a reluctant Time Walker, sent to 1656 Virginia on her mother’s dying command. She prepares for her journey to the past as much as any modern woman could, but soon she realizes that the ancient blood running through her veins makes her a target for danger no matter what time she is in. Daniel is a complication she did not expect – a man who is tangled in her heart and her history in a way that can never be undone.

In a time when settlers flooded the New World under the rule of English Kings and the First People fought to keep their way of life, an alliance between Daniel and Emmy is not easily achieved. Yet as their lives are irrevocably entwined by fate and circumstance, they realize they must trust each other if they hope to survive what the history books have already written.

I like time travel like Laura. This cover is pretty too.

——–

Sophie Last Seen by Marlene Adelstein found at An Interior Journey.

Six years ago, ten-year-old Sophie Albright disappeared from a shopping mall. Her mother, Jesse, is left in a self-destructive limbo, haunted by memories of her intense and difficult child, who was obsessed with birds. Trapped in her grief and guilt, Jesse stumbles through her workdays at a bookstore and spends her off hours poring over Sophie’s bird journals or haunting the mall to search for the face of her missing child.

When Star Silverman, Sophie’s best friend, starts working at the bookstore, Jesse is uncomfortable around the sarcastic teen, who is a constant reminder of her daughter. But Star has secrets of her own, and her childhood memories could be the key to solving Sophie’s disappearance.

With help from Star and Kentucky “Tuck” Barnes, a private detective on the trail of another missing girl, Jesse may finally get some closure, one way or the other.

This looks like good suspense.

SERENA:

The Farm by Joanne Ramos at BermudaOnion’s Weblog

Nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley is a luxury retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you’re paid big money to stay here—more than you’ve ever dreamed of. The catch? For nine months, you cannot leave the grounds; your movements are monitored, and you are cut off from your former life while you dedicate yourself to the task of producing the perfect baby.

Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is in desperate search of a better future when she commits to being a Host at Golden Oaks, or the Farm as residents call it. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own family, Jane is determined to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on delivery.

Heartbreaking, gripping, provocative, The Farm pushes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit to the extremes, and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love.

What books caught your eye this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every week we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

MARTHA:

In Dog We Trust by Beth Kendrick found at Bookfan.

From the author of Once Upon a Wine, a new novel set in the charming seashore town of Black Dog Bay, Delaware.

When everything has gone to the dogs . . .

When Jocelyn Hillier is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce’s pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She’s spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry in Black Dog Bay and never expected to be living the pampered life of a seasonal resident in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn’t without its challenges: The dogs (although lovable) are more high-maintenance than any Hollywood diva, the man she wants to marry breaks her heart, and she’s confronted at every turn by her late benefactor’s estranged son, Liam, who thinks he’s entitled to the inheritance left to the dogs.

Jocelyn has worked too hard to back down without a fight, and she’s determined to keep her new fur family together. As she strives to uphold the “Best in Show” standards her pack requires, Jocelyn finds love, family, and forgiveness in the most unexpected places.

“I’ve said it before: I am a sucker for dogs. The description sounds cute too.”

No Escape Claws (Second Chance Cat Mystery) by Sofie Ryan found at Lori’s Reading Corner.

Sarah Grayson and her feline ally, Elvis, get a chance to see if their sleuthing skills are up to scratch in the sixth installment of the New York Times bestselling Second Chance Cat Mysteries.

It’s fall in North Harbor, Maine, where Sarah owns a charming secondhand shop and sells lovingly refurbished items of all kinds. The shop is always bustling–and not just because a quirky team of senior-citizen detectives works out of it and manages to get in even more trouble than Sarah’s rough-and-tumble rescue cat, Elvis.

A cold case heats up when young Mallory Pearson appears at the shop. Mallory’s father is in prison for negligence after her stepmother’s mysterious death, but Mallory believes he is innocent and asks the in-house detectives to take on the case. With Sarah and Elvis lending a paw, the detectives decide to try to give Mallory’s father a second chance of his own.

“Another pet story and the legal pun in the title sure caught my eye.”
SERENA:

The Night Before by Wendy Walker at Dream Come Review, Under My Apple Tree, Silver’s Reviews, and BermudaOnion’s Weblog.

Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.

Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date.

When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him

This sounds thrilling.

What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

4 Comments

dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every week we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

MARTHA:

Bickering Birds (Cozy Corgi Mysteries Book 3) by Mildred Abbott found at Herding Cats and Burning Soup.

Rocky Mountain National Park has it all: rugged peaks, pine-scented forests, enchanting bird-watching locations, and… murder.

The Cozy Corgi bookshop finally opens, and Winifred Page and her headstrong corgi, Watson, are ready to welcome their first patrons. With her new best friend, Katie, creating heavenly pastries in the bakery on the top floor of the store, Fred’s dreams are all coming together in delicious and unexpected ways.

When Katie caters a meeting of the Feathered Friends Brigade and drags Fred along, they expect nothing more than loquacious chatter about birds as they endeavor to build a professional relationship with the owner of the wild bird shop. Fred and Katie are quickly roped into a moonlight snowshoeing hike in hopes of spotting a rare owl. While the endangered bird proves elusive… the murdered man in the snow is hard to miss.

Fred’s growing relationship with Sergeant Wexler hits a snag when he forbids her from donning her sleuth hat yet again. But Fred is a lot like her corgi—she doesn’t like being told what to do, even if it puts an end to a possible romance.

As Fred and Watson delve into the lives of the ornithological club members, the tangled birds’ nest of an investigation makes Fred wonder if she should have left this one to the police. But when feathers begin to fly, Fred has no choice but to flush out a killer…

(This culinary cozy mystery includes a recipe for delectable ham and cheese croissants.)

I am such a sucker for birds and dogs!

Lawman with a Cause by Delores Fossen found at Nerdy Reader Girl.
Sheriff Egan McCall hasn’t forgiven Jordan Gentry for her role in the death of his fiancée. But when Jordan is attacked, Egan comes to her rescue and discovers a serial killer is targeting recipients of his late fiancée’s organs. Then Egan’s protective instincts—and long-buried feelings—kick in. Wearing a badge means his priority is stopping a murderer and safeguarding a target. If only he could also ignore the sizzling attraction between them…
I love a good romantic suspense so this caught my eye this week.
SERENA:
The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury from Book Dilettante.

A natural born trapper and hunter raised in the Alaskan wilderness, Tracy Petrikoff spends her days tracking animals and running with her dogs in the remote forests surrounding her family’s home. Though she feels safe in this untamed land, Tracy still follows her late mother’s rules: Never Lose Sight of the House. Never Come Home with Dirty Hands. And, above all else, Never Make a Person Bleed.

But these precautions aren’t enough to protect Tracy when a stranger attacks her in the woods and knocks her unconscious. The next day, she glimpses an eerily familiar man emerge from the tree line, gravely injured from a vicious knife wound—a wound from a hunting knife similar to the one she carries in her pocket. Was this the man who attacked her and did she almost kill him? With her memories of the events jumbled, Tracy can’t be sure.

Helping her father cope with her mother’s death and prepare for the approaching Iditarod, she doesn’t have time to think about what she may have done. Then a mysterious wanderer appears, looking for a job. Tracy senses that Jesse Goodwin is hiding something, but she can’t warn her father without explaining about the attack—or why she’s kept it to herself.

It soon becomes clear that something dangerous is going on . . . the way Jesse has wormed his way into the family . . . the threatening face of the stranger in a crowd . . . the boot-prints she finds at the forest’s edge.

Her family is in trouble. Will uncovering the truth protect them—or is the threat closer than Tracy suspects?

This sounds riveting.

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan―even their very lives―in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love

Yes, another WWII novel has caught my eye.
What books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

2 Comments

dragonlegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every week we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

MARTHA:

If, Then by Kate Hope Day found at BermudaOnion’s Weblog.

The residents of a sleepy mountain town are rocked by troubling visions of an alternate reality in this dazzling debut that combines the family-driven suspense of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere with the inventive storytelling of The Immortalists.

In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful coworker in Ginny’s own bed, and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.

At first the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.

Startling, deeply imagined, and compulsively readable, Kate Hope Day’s debut novel is about the choices we make that shape our lives and determine our destinies—the moments that alter us so profoundly that it feels as if we’ve entered another reality.

This sounds like an intriguing sci fi dystopian. Right up my alley.

The Last Note by Zaida Alfaro found at Nerdy Reader Girl.

Killer songs and a killer voice, but a killer at her gig? Vy has always found herself at the center of attention as the lead singer for one of Miami’s top cover bands, but when she finds herself at the center of a murder investigation while performing at the Steel Horse Bar, the tune changes. Someone believes that Vy knows the truth behind the murder of the bar owner Ricky, and now that person is after her. Vy had better figure out quickly who wanted Ricky dead, who is threatening her with her favorite band’s song lyrics, and why she’s falling for handsome Detective Houston before she too sings her last note. With a mixture of mystery, mayhem and comedy, you will find yourself immersed in Vy’s musical and murderous world.

This sounds like a good cozy mystery.

SERENA:

Botticelli’s Muse by Dorah Blume at Library of Clean Reads.

In 1477, Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli never thought his life was going to be easy after being fired by his prestigious patron and friend Lorenzo de’ Medici. The artistic freedom he is granted by an annoying new patron half his age only increases the artist’s paralysis and depression. Sandro’s creative well runs dry until the day he sees Floriana, a Jewish weaver imprisoned in his sister’s convent. But obstacles threaten to keep his unlikely muse out of reach. So begins a tale of one of the art world’s most beloved paintings, The Primavera, as Sandro, a confirmed bachelor, and Floriana, a headstrong artist in her own right, enter into the most turbulent of relationships.

I love historical fiction about painters and sculptors from years long ago.

Which books caught your eyes this week?

Books That Caught Our Eye

1 Comment
DragonLegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

Serena

29 Gifts by Cami Walker @ Marsha’s Bookshelf.

At age 35, Cami Walker was burdened by a battle with multiple sclerosis, a chronic neurological condition that made it difficult for her to walk, work, or enjoy her life. Seeking a remedy for her depression after being hospitalized, she received an uncommon prescription from an African medicine woman: give to others for 29 days.

29 Gifts is the insightful story of the author’s life change as she embraces and reflects on the naturally reciprocal process of giving and receiving. Many of Walker’s gifts were simple – a phone call, spare change, a Kleenex. Yet the acts were transformative. By day 29, not only had Walker’s health and happiness improved, but she had created a worldwide giving movement.

The book also includes personal essays from others whose lives changed for the better by giving, plus pages for the reader to record their own journey. More than a memoir, 29 Gifts offers inspiring lessons on how a simple daily practice of altruism can dramatically alter your outlook on the world.

——–

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo @ The Infinite Curio.

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

Martha

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center found at An Interior Journey.

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about courage, hope, and learning to love against all odds.

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew—even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…and it means risking it all—the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.

Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt and healing tour-de-force about the strength of vulnerability, the nourishing magic of forgiveness, and the life-changing power of defining courage, at last, for yourself.

“This sounds like a story (maybe a romance?) I would like.”

——–

Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler found at vvb32 reads.

From the screenwriter of the Netflix Original viral hit, A Christmas Prince, comes another heartwarming holiday story about a beautiful Grinch who’s determined to get her dream job even if it means spending a week at a Christmas Camp where she discovers an unexpected love.

Haley Hanson’s idea of the perfect Christmas is escaping to the Caribbean to work so she can avoid all the traditional Christmas distractions. Over the years, she’s sacrificed her personal life to climb the corporate ladder at a prestigious Boston advertising agency. Now she just needs to land a coveted Christmas toy company account to make partner. But first, her boss, Larry, thinks she needs a holiday attitude adjustment, so he ships her off to a Christmas Camp at Holly Peak Inn to help her find her Christmas spirit.

Arriving at the charming mountainside inn, Haley meets the owner’s handsome son, Jeff, and feels an instant spark, but resists the attraction, refusing to be distracted from her goal of doing all the required Christmas tasks as fast as possible so she can get back to work.

At first Haley struggles with all the traditional Christmas Camp activities. It’s not until she finally allows herself to slow down, live in the moment, and let Christmas back into her heart, that she begins to grow closer to Jeff. But when he finds out Haley’s come up with a plan to help his dad save the struggling inn while he’s been trying to convince his dad to sell it, their relationship takes a serious holiday hit. Now it will take the magic of the season to bring these two hearts together.

“I think I need a few light Christmas reads soon. This one actually sounds like a Hallmark Christmas movie story.”

Leslie

The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2019 by America’s Test Kitchen at BermudaOnion’s Weblog.

The best of the best–including recipes, tastings, and testings–of 2019, all compiled into one must-have collection from America’s most trusted kitchen.

A carefully curated collection–in full color for the first time–of ATK’s best recipes of the year, selected from the hundreds of recipes developed for Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines and for new books such as The Complete Make-Ahead Cookbook, The Complete Slow Cooker, Nutritious Delicious, How to Roast Everything, Just Add Sauce, The Perfect Cake, and Multicooker Perfection. This year’s edition offers a wide array of fresh, foolproof recipes like Chinese Pork Dumplings, Shrimp Po’ Boys, Braised Brisket with Pomegranate, Cumin, and Cilantro, Thai Grilled Cornish Hens with Chili Dipping Sauce, and Roasted Lobster Tails. And we didn’t forget about dessert! From Easy Holiday Sugar Cookies and Lazy Strawberry Sonker to Coconut Cream Pie and Blackberry-Mascarpone Lemon Cake, this collection will satisfy every sweet tooth.

All of this year’s ingredient and equipment tastings and testings are here, too. Want to find out which high-end blender makes the grade? Wonder how we selected our top supermarket turkey? Curious to know which roll of paper towels really gets the job done? For the answers to these questions and more, look no further than The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2019.

“I Love America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks!”

——–

Pete the Cheeky Parakeet by Cheryl Lee-White at Gemma’s Book Nook.

When Pete the Parakeet’s favourite person goes on holiday without him, he’s left behind with the rest of the family. The trouble is, none of them like him! Pete has been mean to everyone, and now he finds himself with no one to play with.

Pete’s family are willing to give him a second chance – if he can change his ways. Will Pete realise that being the bird with the bad attitude won’t get him anywhere?

Don’t miss this light-hearted, fun story, which carries a message for young readers about the importance of friendship and compassion. Pete the Cheeky Parakeet will bring lots of laughter and learning to story time!

“It’s nice to see a children’s story featuring birds even if it is a cranky parakeet! Although most of my parakeets are nice.”