Call Me Mrs. Miracle

September 24, 2013

Call Me Mrs. Miracle
By: Debbie Macomber
395 Pages

Call Me Mrs. Miracle
Beloved author, Debbie Macomber, is bringing the Christmas spirit early this year. Call Me Mrs. Miracle is a well loved book among her fans, but this time around, it also comes with her another Christmas story, The Christmas Basket. Both stories illustrate Debbie's wonderful talent of telling loving stories that touch your heart strings. 

Call Me Mrs. Miracle has Emily Merkle coming back to work her magic. Jake Finely hasn't celebrated Christmas in over 20 years. His Mother and Sister dying in a car accident on Christmas Eve put an end to the holiday for both his Father and himself. However, their successful store, Finelys, makes Christmas look like a dreamland. Mrs. Merkle (Mrs. Miracle by a mysterious human resources typo) is a season employee ready to change the future of both Jake and his father. First, they have to find a way to sell all the 500 toy robots Jake ordered after his gut feeling told him it would be the toy of the season. (His Father was less than pleased.)

Holly Larson has temporary custody of her nephew, Gabe, while her brother is in Afghanistan. After a little time getting used to the arrangement, Aunt and Nephew are doing well. Her life changes when she goes to buy her favorite latte, only to realize she doesn't have the money to pay for it. Step in her Starbucks hero- Jake Finely. He pays for her drink, and the reason for Mrs. Miracle arrival have now met each other.

Holly is determined to make this Christmas a memorable one for Gabe, so she scrimps and saves money to get him the one toy he really wants- a $250 robot. A wrench is thrown into her plans when she overhears her boss saying she'll be the only employee to not get a bonus this year. 

With help from Mrs. Miracle, the toys get sold and love arrives to two deserving people. Broken hearts are mended, futures are set into motion- all at the hands of Debbie Macomber. 

The Christmas Basket
Forgiving is the theme of this Christmas tale. Longtime friends turned enemies force their bitterness onto the lives of their families. 

Sarah McDowell and Mary Sutton had been the best of friends for as long as they could remember. But all that changes when Sarah borrows Mary's irreplaceable family heirloom tea set and it's stolen. The lie cuts deep and the friends are never able to get past it. A bitter rivalry is born. After 20 years of bad mouthing each other, but avoiding each other, they are put together to make Christmas Baskets for their Women's Club. After two rather embarrassing encounters in stores- one ending with them being escorted out by security guards, things come to a head during an ice storm. Forgiveness comes at the hands of Mother Nature and Scotch while the abandoned duo wait to be rescued.

Noelle McDowell hasn't been home in years. She left with a broken heart when a planned elopement with Thom Sutton doesn't happen. Both were deeply in love, and both blame the other for the reason their love ended badly. And both keep running into each other.

When they finally talk things out, it's learned a misunderstanding was behind all the heartache. Determined to make their relationship work this time around. The only obstacle they have is their Mothers. 

Once again, Debbie Macomber delivers heartwarming stories and lovable characters. You are invested in each story and each character. You going through all the emotions the characters are, and you are as excited as they are when the happy ending arrives.

Merry Christmas, Debbie Macomber style!

New Cozy Mystery Series To Love!!

September 22, 2013

When it comes to the cozy mystery genre, there are some authors who just stand out. Like Laura Childs and Lorna Barrett, Jenn McKinlay has made a name for herself writing books readers can't devour soon enough. Many readers love getting their sugar high from her Cupcake Bakery series. I fell in love with her Library Lover's series. (I am anxiously awaiting for the November release for the next one.) Well, this talented author with several series already on her full plate has added another: her Hat Shop Mystery series!! 

Cloche And Dagger takes you overseas to London, England. Not only is this where legendary hat shop Mim's Wims is located, but it's where Scarlett Parker is going to escape the chaos her life has become in Florida. Having found out the boyfriend who said he was separated really wasn't, and walking into the anniversary party he through for the wife he said he no longer had would be enough for anyone. Having video of you throwing chunks of the very expensive cake in the boyfriend's face go viral, introduces you to notoriety- complete with morning shows wanting you to be a guest. So, when her cousin, Vivian, tells her hightail it to London Scarlett goes. 

Surrounded by fun secondary characters, Scarlett isn't new to the neighborhood for long. While the fun loving couple opening their own art studio just down from Mim's Wims, to the old childhood friend Scarlett stood up, Harrison, and may be still holding a grudge. You will have fun meeting everyone- even the characters who don't stick around too long. 

I can't wait for the next book in this fun series to come out. Death of a Mad hatter will be in bookstores (and on my bookshelf) in May 2014.

The Impersonator

September 17, 2013

The Impersonator
By: Mary Miley
309 Pages

Long time Vaudeville performer Leah, is offered the job of a lifetime. When a stranger mistakes her for his missing niece, he asks her to impersonate her. It's all so simple. He wants a piece of the massive fortune she would inherit. Leah looks exactly like Jessie Carr, so it'll be easy to convince the remaining family the runaway has come home. However, it's not as easy as Uncle Oliver makes it seem. Jessie has 2 male cousins who stand to inherit the fortune if Jessie never comes back- how happy will they be to see that money slip through their hands? And while she may have an "instant" family, it's a family that has numerous secrets. On top of all that, someone keeps trying to kill "Jessie".

I enjoyed this book immensely. The story takes place in the early 1920s and takes you behind the curtains of the Vaudeville life, as well as into the mansions of the well-to-do. I enjoyed all the characters- even the ones I didn't like. All were portrayed very well and kept you guessing. Author, Mary Miley, wove a fantastic story that threw in more than one plot twist. 

Leah grew up in the Vaudeville life; both her mother and her having performed in it for decades. However, with her mother long since gone, Leah has been on her own. Blessed with youthful looks, she's always been able to play young roles, as well as older ones. But things take an unexpected turn when her current gig comes to an end when The Darlings let her go. With no other options, she takes up the offer a stranger gave her. This gig could set her up for life, if she wanted. All she had to do was portray Jessie Carr- an heiress who wet missing seven years prior. As long as she could convince the trustees, and the remaining family members, the fortune was hers. All Leah had to do was give him some money every now and then. 

Uncle Oliver preps her and gives her all the information she needs. She passes the tests the trustees throw at her. She also manages to avoid being consumed in the fire that takes over the hotel she was staying at. Lucky for her she noticed the mysterious guy following her and changed her plans.

She gets the family to believe she's the real Jessie, but one cousin isn't convinced. Henry is angry his fathered never got his rightful share of the money, and he's not to happy to see history repeat itself with him. However, he and his brother, Ross, take turns making questionable appearances on "Jessie's" radar. 

Before long, "Jessie" learns of several women being found dead- including the one she finds dead on the side of the road. All these women have many things in common- most telling, a chunk of hair cur off. Soon "Jessie" decides she want to find out what happened to these women- and the real fate of the real Jessie.

Soon "Jessie" uncovers one disturbing thing after another about one of her cousins. It isn't long before she's racing to get the truth known before she's the next body found.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves mysteries and historical fiction. I was interested from the beginning and was actively guessing who was doing what. The way Mary Miley wove everything together was fascinating and touching. I wanted to see what really happened to Jessie and how all secrets would connect. The ending wasn't a let down in any way. I was very pleased with it and found it did justice to the book's build up. I hope this is only the first of many books Mary Miley writes. 

Bran New Death

September 3, 2013

Bran New Death
By: Victoria Hamilton
304 Pages
Reviewed By: Betsey Brooks

Merry is making a fresh start in small-town Autumn Vale, New York, in the mansion she’s inherited from her late uncle, Melvin. The house is run-down and someone has been digging giant holes on the grounds, but with its restaurant-quality kitchen, the place has potential for her new baking business. She even has her first client—the local retirement home.
Unfortunately, Merry soon finds that quite a few townsfolk didn’t like Uncle Mel, and she has inherited their enmity as well as his home. Local baker Binny Turner and her crazy brother, Tom, blame Melvin for their father’s death, and Tom may be the one vandalizing her land. But when Tom turns up dead in one of the holes in her yard, Merry needs to prove she had nothing to do with his death—or her new muffin-making career may crumble before it starts... (Publisher)

I just finished reading the book "Bran New Death" by Victoria Hamilton. It was fantastic! I've  been reading mysteries for ages so to find one that is this captivating is pure joy.

Merry Wynter is an ex full figured model, a widow and was recently cleared of being a thief. On top of that her only living relative, Melvyn Wynter  died in an accident last winter and left her his castle. Unfortunately, money wasn't included.

The castle is near  a small country  town  miles from any where.  Merry has tried to sell it for months with no success. She  has decided to move into the castle and fix it up hoping then it will be easier to sell. One problem becomes obvious as she arrives at the castle. The ground surrounding it is covered with large deep holes. 

The day brightens with the surprise arrival of Merry's best friend,Shilo Dinnegan, who wants to help. Sharing this "adventure" with Shilo boosts Merry's moral. Things become very strange when their first night is interrupted by a big machine digging another big hole. Within twenty four hours a man is murdered and ends up in one of the big holes. 

The fact that Merry had a loud argument in the middle of the local bakery that day makes her a suspect. The local police officer assures her that he will get the bottom of this. Although she finds him attractive, she doesn't trust him, especially when she finds out that there are suspicious circumstances surrounding her uncles death and the disappearance of his partner Rusty Turner. 

The story keeps twisting and turning right up to the end. I didn't want to leave the fascinating characters or the town filled with "secrets"  If you are looking to dig in to a great mystery I encourage you to choose this one. Merry likes to make muffins and the recipes are included in the book. Happy Reading and baking.

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