Secrets on Cedar Key by Terri DuLong Available Nov 26

ImageThis book takes in so many themes and somehow weaves them together beautifully.  Overall it is a story of starting over and forgiving both oneself and others to have a truly fresh start.  All our friends from Cedar Key are back.  This novel features Marin, Dora’s daughter as the focus of the story.  Marin has relocated to Cedar Key after the death of her husband Andrew.  She has settled in to helping her mother at the knitting shop and plans to open up a needle point area and create a seating area as well when the shop expands.  As you can probably imagine the renovations don’t go as planned, and Marin’s carefully ordered life is turned upside down by a letter she receives which moves her life in a new direction and causes her to re evaluate her past and made choices for her future.  Marin ends up in a place in her life she never expected and the sharing the journey with her is enjoyable and thought provoking.  I often found myself wondering if I would make the same decisions if I was in her place.  An enjoyable read that includes the holiday season which I always finds makes books a bit more special, but my family has always been a bit over the top with Christmas celebrations, I remember the year my mom ordered gift wrap to match the theme of the tree, no I didn’t make that up, so the special holiday touch might just be me.  Check this one out a good heartwarming story with great characters and special moments.

Allegiant and more

Yes I finished Alliegant last week.  I know lots of you want to read it and have not yet so I am going to try to keep this spoiler free, but you may want to not read it yet if you are afraid of spoilers, but first I took a vacation recently and read Sherryl Woods new Chesapeake Shores Christmas story A Seaside Christmas.  This one is available now, it was released in October i think.  It is the story of Jenny whose mother Connie married into the much loved and large O’Brien family when Jenny was a teenager.  Shortly after her marriage she became pregnant and Jenny who already felt as if she’d been replaced by Thomas O’Brien and his family left for college, moved to Nashville after college and never looked back.  Jenny built a career as a respected song writer and fell in love with a famous musician, but when love falls apart and her life becomes the lead story in the press she longs for some piece and quiet and an escape.  Lucky for her Bree an O’Brien but also an old friend and her uncle’s wife, invites her to come back to Chesapeake Shores and create the score for her  new Christmas Play.  Jenny agrees even though she knows it will mean having to mend fences with her mother, in her heart of hearts she knows it is something she should have done long ago.   Jenny’s plans are thrown a curve when Caleb her ex-boyfriend shows up to win Jenny back and prove to her he is a changed man, worse yet Bree involves him in the play as well so now Jenny has to work with him.  Jenny’s return is full of bumps and missteps, but the tale warms the heart and once again we are treated to an O’Brien Christmas.  I was sad when the series ended and very happy to see this story this season.   Now onto Allegiant:  There is much one could say and I could list plot points and such but I don’t want to do that I am sure that many other blogs have already done just that.  I do want to say that I was left feeling that the characters had all found their place in life and new roles they enjoyed, They all seemed settled and if not happy content or accepting of their futures.  I thought the main themes of the book were addressed well and that there really were not many loose ends.  I would have liked to have seen life for some of the characters further on,  For example I would have liked a glimpse into Four’s life when he is a parent for example, but I can live without that, no reader gets everything they want and I’m not sure every writer gets everything they want either.  Overall I thought it was a fitting ending to a great series, are there things I wish did or didn’t happen, yes there always are.  For those of you who have read it what did you think?  Also check back tomorrow for my thoughts on Secrets on Cedar Key which is out tomorrow.

the first phone call from heaven Mitch Albom Release Date November 12,2013

the first phone call form heaven As you can probably guess from the title this book is going to raise lots of questions and hopefully bring answers to those that need them.  The events take place in a small town called Coldwater, but honestly it is just like most small towns ,a microcasm for the larger world.  The calls begin simply enough, five residents start receiving calls from their departed loved ones on Fridays.  The recipients vary greatly.  The police chief and his ex wife get calls from their son, Tess gets calls from her departed mother who she spent years caring for.  Kathyn  gets calls from her departed sister, a local builder gets calls for a former employee.  Kathryn is very vocal about her phone calls first with her Pastor and the congregation then with Amy Penn a regional news reporter.  As you would expect the residents of Coldwater are not sure what to make of the events, Are they real?  Can we prove it?  What if someone is playing a cruel joke?  And if the calls are real does this change how i feel about heaven?  As the calls continue and the media coverage grows the town comes together as all small towns do.  Sully Harding finds himself at the middle of the muddle.  Sully is a former Navy test pilot who just finished serving a 10 month sentence for flying while under the influence.  He crashed with another plane although no one was hurt and he and the other pilot swear they were given the same landing coordinates by the control tower, but flight controller is dead, the tapes and recording devices on the planes and in the tower are damaged and there is just no real way to know what happens.  In spite of all the questions surrounding the plane crashes the navy finds him guilty.  He returns to Coldwater, where he grew up to try to put his life back together for his son’s sake if not for his own.  Like all children Sully’s son Jules wants to know if his mother is going to call from heaven.  Sully’s wife was badly injured in a car accident rushing to the scene of his plane crash and later dies from her injuries. Like all fathers Sully wants the truth for his son and he sets out to find it.  His search for the truth along with that of his town and the nation is not an easy path with clear cut answers, but in the end everyone finds their own answers whether they are spiritual or earthly in nature.

I’ll be home for Christmas Jessica Scott Release date November 5th

jessica scott I'll be home for Christmas  I loved this book, I loved the characters they seemed very real.  Vic Carponti is about to deploy with his unit to Afghanistan as part of ” The Surge.”  He will be gone for a year and of course that means he will miss Christmas.  His wife Nicole is used to his deployments this is not his first and it will not be his last.  The unit relies on Vic for his sense of humor and his ability to diffuse situations, and he loves his job and his unit so where they go he goes.  This deployment feels different to every one involved from the start and once the unit is over seas that feeling only intensifies.  Nicole is not only facing the holidays without Vic but it will the first Christmas without her father as well, but she does her best to keep busy and not let it bother her and Vic who is torn between wanting to stay with his unit on Christmas and wanting to make a hard holiday better for her especially since he admits he “misses a lot of them”  tries to find a way to make everyone happy until events move out of his control and show them both the spirit of hoe and renewal that is so much a part of the holidays and a part of their lives.   The novel has a good pace and rhythm to it as it switches between life in the states and the deployment.  I loved some of the small details that are woven into the story such as the gnome that Nicole debates buying for Vic and the fact that she forces herself to buy a tree and put it up but it never seems to get decorated.  The story is full of little details that make it seem all the more real.  I also loved Jessica’s biography at the end.  This is the first Jessica Scott book i have read, but I plan to read her others.