The Bridge

October 29, 2012

The Bridge
By: Karen Kingsbury
272 Pages
Reviewed by: Betsey Brooks

The touching story of how a bookstore affects and changes a town and the people within it. 

** More details of The Bridge plot have been kept from this review so as not to give the story away. ** 
The story revolves around a new and used book store in Franklin, Tennessee. The owner, Charlie Barton loves people almost as much as he loves books. People of all ages have been touched by Charlie's caring ways as they passed through the doors of "The Bridge". That all came to a horrible end.
We learn about Charlie from two former students, Molly and Ryan.They have moved on with their lives, but brought with them the memories of the special times they spent together at "The Bridge". Both are very upset when they read about Charlie's unstable condition following an accident. The article continued on to tell of the bookstore's destruction by a devastating flood.
Ryan goes to the community with a plan to help Charlie get back on his feet. After reading the article Molly wants to help too. Their united effort brings more than the community together. Success seems doomed when they learn the owner of Charlie's building has decided to sell it. Charlie has until the first of the year to buy it. Will Charlie live to know of every one's love and effort? Is there any hope of saving "The Bridge"? Do Christmas miracles still happen? Pull up a comfortable chair and settle in for a wonderful read.

New Mug Magic!!!

October 22, 2012

There are many things I collect: books, music boxes, and coffee mugs. If you believe my hubby, and please don't, I have plenty. My theory is that one can never have too many wonderful mugs. They just make my hot chocolate taste better. Not to mention, they are more enjoyable to look at than a plain one.

Recently, I acquired a new mug to add to my collection. This one does something none of my other mugs can do. This new mug changes color when you add anything hot to it. I LOVE THOSE!!! I used to have a Phantom of the Opera mug where the mask changed colors, but it eventually died. It was well loved.

Allow me to introduce to you the newest object for my hot chocolate fascination!

Before Hot Chocolate is added.....
After Hot Chocolate is added!
It's the little things in life, right? I won't mind washing this mug by hand. 

Dracula- Halloween Reading Recommendation

October 17, 2012

By: Bram Stoker
No Halloween is complete without Dracula! The most famous vampire of them all! Admittedly, I'm not a fan of the whole vampire/warewolf genre, but I LOVED this book! I didn't think I would, but I couldn't put it down!
Upon it's release in the UK in 1897, it wasn't an instant bestseller. No, like many beloved books written long ago, it didn't have immediate success. The original title was "The Un-Dead", but a last minute change gave it the name the world would come to know. Dracula, himself, also had a name change. This infamous character was originally called Count Wampyr. Personally, I think Dracula is a much better match.
As I was looking up information on this famous book, I found more arguments more than anything else. Some people say Bram Stoker did thorough research for the book, while others say that wasn't the case. Some argue the inspiration for Dracula was the 15th century Prince, Vlad The Impaler, who was born in Transylvania.
Either way, bram wrote a book that has stood the test of time. Not bad for a child who grew up with his Mother telling him horror stories.

Garment of Shadows

October 16, 2012

Garment of Shadows
By: Laurie R. King
260 Pages
Laurie R. King brings back one of fiction's most beloved characters- Sherlock Holmes. This time, he doesn't have his usual sidekick, but someone else: Mary Russell, his wife. 
Sherlock and Russell were supposed to meet at a certain place, at a certain time. However, when Holmes checks into the chosen hotel, he discovers his wife isn't there. What's more, she's been missing for a few days. While it may not have been cause for concern with the moving production she was with, red flags go up for Sherlock. Thoughts turn to action when he receives a note. Holmes soon sets off on a journey to find his missing wife.
Russell has just woken up in a room she doesn't know. Nor does she know how she got there, where she is, or who she is. Inner instinct kicks in and she leaves, doing everything she can to avoid being caught by the police. Flashbacks randomly hit her, but don't return her memory. She only knows she needs to find the Sorcerer's Clock. Both Sherlock and Russell find themselves in Morocco, trying to get answers. Civil War is brewing rapidly and they are surrounded by danger.
I started Garment of Shadows looking forward to an adventure. I wasn't a reader of the famous detective, but was curious to meet this new update to him. The book started off with the action and kept it that way with a great pace. However, I got confused and lost among all the political stuff and characters. I know very little about Morocco, which didn't help. I think long-time fans, who grew up with Holmes, would be very interested in this book. It's the most recent book in a series the author has written with Holmes and Russell. I would be interested in reading the first of this series.

A Patchwork Christmas

October 12, 2012

A Patchwork Christmas Collection
Reviewed By: Betsey Brooks
A Patchwork Christmas Collection features three inspiring stories. In these stories you see how the making of a quilt can be a scrapbook of life. As life weaves it's happy and unhappy events into the fabric of their lives you watch their faith and strength grow. Although the women's lives are completely different, their desire and need for God's guidance is the same. Their journey to find the joy and peace that only God provides gives the reader much to ponder.
Seams Like Love by Judith Miller
Karla Stuke bears the scare of an engagement broken by a cheating fiance and she has put a thick wall around her heart. Frank Lehner was a childhood friend who has returned to the "Community" to be an apprentice pharmacist. But that is not his only goal. His love for Karla as a friend has matured into the love of a man for a woman. Now he must figure out a way to convince Karla he is worthy of her trust. Both look to God for guidance, but is Karla willing to hear what God's will for her is? Will this Christmas be different than the last one? Only God knows.
A Patchwork Love by Stephanie Grace Whitson
Jane McClare finds herself a penniless widow with a young daughter to raise. Desperate times require desperate measures. Jane answers an add in a local newspaper and a relationship with a Mr. Howard Higgins develops. After a short visit to meet Jane and Molly, Mr. Higgins sends them train tickets to come and spend a Christmas holiday with him. Molly does not like him and claims he doesn't like her either. Jane's desire to provide a secure future for her daughter leaves her no choice. But God has his own plans for Jane and Molly. As the train travels west, a blizzard moves east. The train is stopped by a wall of snow and a raging blizzard. Meanwhile the little cough Molly started out with turns critical. Jane finally realizes only God can help them. Out of the blizzard comes a sleigh bringing more help than anyone can guess. Is settling for a life with Mr. Higgins what God really has planned or is there a happy loving life waiting else where?
The Bridal Quilt by Nancy Moser
Both Ada and Samuel had no doubt they were in love and marriage was in their future. It was the Christmas Social Season in New York City and they were pare of the elite social circle. Parties, balls, trips to the theater and lots of shopping was their world. This year both of their families were waiting to celebrate the engagement when Samuel finally proposed. Samuel loved Ada, but he just couldn't get the words out. He didn't know why he was having such a hard time so he prayed "Show me your will, O Lord". Samuel didn't hear an answer. Meanwhile Ada had been working on a marriage quilt which was a chronicle of her life. She was looking forward to adding the blocks representing her engagement and the events leading up to her wedding. While out for and evening with "the guys" Samuel rescues a little girl who was being beaten. Ada's brother is a doctor so Samuel brings the child to their house to be helped. When he returns the child to the slums he Samuel discoverers God's real purpose for his life. A year later Ada comes face to face with an unconscious Samuel as he lay in the street. God's will for their lives slowly emerges bringing surprises and change to Samuel, Ada and both of their families. Only God knew where the next Christmas would find each of them.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking to curl up and enjoy a good read. Each story features wonderful characters in unusual situations . I found myself sorry when each story ended. I will definitely look for more books written by these authors. Truly a book filled with the Christmas Spirit. Enjoy!

Halloween Reading- The Phantom of The Opera

October 10, 2012

It's the story known by millions. The story told on the Stage and lived out in several movies. I was shocked to find out how many people didn't know it was a book first. Well, it was and a very good one, too. Within these pages you get to visit the Paris Opera. Plagued with rumors of a Phantom living within it's walls, you get to read for yourself what is true or not. You are taken on an incredible journey and into the bowels of a famous opera house to see just who has made it so famous- and how. Love, control, and obsession all take turns wreaking havoc and making you see things in a different light. Here you meet the man behind the haunting and see what makes him tick. By the time you read the last page you will be on the edge of your seat and gripped to story of The Phantom and Christine.

Have you ever read a book and wondered how the author came up with the story they wrote? Turns out, Gaston Leroux didn't create this unforgettable story completely on his own. While working as a reporter, Gaston heard of strange events occurring in the Paris Opera House. He decides to investigate the famous opera house, and see for himself what there was to see. Upon his visit in the 1880s, Gaston even went to the underground lake where the Phantom was believed to live. It was there he found skeletons.
The Phantom of the Opera was published first in 1911, but to a disappointing welcome. The book's luck turned when it became a serialization in French, English, and American newspapers. This new success led to a movie being made in 1925. The opera house in the novel is based from none other than the world renowned Paris Opera House.

Miss Book Lovers Halloween Books Announcement

October 8, 2012

Hey there fellow book lovers!! Since October is the month of Halloween, we thought we'd pick a book each week that had a thriller theme of some kind. On top of the book, we also will be including some behind-the-story info on the selection! We hope you check back each week to see what we've dug up on some favorite books to read this time of year!

Peaches For Father Francis

October 2, 2012

Peaches For Father Francis
By: Joanne Harris
458 Pages
Vianne receives a letter from a long dead friend. In it, Vianne is asked to go back to Lansquenet. Trouble is brewing and Vianne is the one who can set things right. Vianne and her 2 girls honor the request and find their former stomping ground a village divided. Another culture has moved in and one of the women in it is not well liked. Her schoolhouse (Vianne's former chocaltaire) is burned. The village priest, Father Francis, is being blamed for it, though no evidence can support the gossip claims. Can Vianne do as her friend asked and set the village right again?
I loved Chocolat. It was a magical, interesting, mystical read that I couldn't put down. The sequel to the book, The Girl With No Shadow, wasn't as good. Sadly, I can't say this book brings back what the original has. I found none of the charm and magic that drew you in I was able to find in Chocolat. What I did find was a story that seemed to move slowly and not an enticing storyline, at that.
While the curiosity factor kept me longer, I eventually stopped caring what happened to the characters I once knew and missed. I thought the story was finally going to start moving faster when Father Francis rescued Alyssa from her botched suicide attempt, but nothing. I got confused with all the new characters and how they were connected. I also had a hard time remembering some of the older characters from the first book.
It was with a heavy hand that I threw in the towel on this book. Having loved the first book in the series, I welcomed the chance to visit the old village. I hope that other Joanne Harris fans have better luck with the book than I did.
Rating: Borrow From Library?Buy It & Return It 

A Book Lover's Adventures in Potty Training!

October 1, 2012

Well, my youngest is potty trained. That's right, mini- book lover is officially a big girl now. It was a long journey that wasn't without a few bumps and laughs, but we got there. Allow me to share this adventure with you. Because you all really want to know. Lol.

Early on, Mini Book Lover decided she didn't want to use the potty training toilets. No, only the real thing was going to do for her. So, we thought we'd get a little seat to put on the big seat so she wouldn't fall in. She had her own thoughts on that, as well. She would have none of it. Bare tushie on the real toilet seat was the only way it was going to work for my littlest Love bug. If there was a seat on, she would promptly remove it. Okay then.

She was fascinated with the events in the toilet bowl once she started making donations to it. She would whiz around and make sure she really did something. Of course, in her eagerness to double check things, she would forget she's on the big potty. There were a couple of fall ins. I won't lie- they were funny. Thankfully, she learned quickly not to do that.

My youngest also felt that when she was done, she would wipe herself. Everyone else wipes when they finish, so why not? Well, there's a good reason why not. That's right, she plugged the toilet with her overly generous use of toilet paper. Daddy came to the rescue and she was grounded from wiping herself until later.

Another fun thing she did while mastering the art of potty donations was creating her own game. You've all heard of musical chairs. Well, my youngest plays musical potty. You guessed it! She'll climb on one and then decide she wants to use a different one. Or, there would be one toilet for #1 and another for #2. Sure enough, she'd bless both toilets with her tushie contributions.

After all is said and done, my beautiful 3 year old Love bug is potty trained. She doesn't even wear pull-ups at night. She has her big girl underwear that she picked out and is rather proud!

Mini Book lover: Mommy, am I pooh-pooh trained.
Me: Yes, honey, you're potty trained.
Mini Book lover: No, am I pooh pooh trained.
Me: Yes, my Little Love Bug, you are. :)

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