Elaine is a wonderful addition to the COTT hall of fame, her warmth and enthusiasm making her Clash one of the most enjoyable yet. And Elaine is no stranger to the site. She’s been a participating reader and sponsor for months. So when she got the news she had been chosen, she responded:
I am shouting for joy that my submission has been accepted! Thank you so much!! I am very honored to be a COTT contender!
I have three favorite grandchildren: Jack, Chloe and Luke. I love my family. I drink hot tea all year and LOTS of it (caffeinated of course). I want to rescue all the shelter dogs but my husband says, “NO!” (we already have three dogs…) I cry at Hallmark commercials. I love Hallmark movies. I love to read, write, crochet, cross stitch, watch Jane Austen movies. I love to look at my flower garden (after I have weeded it and when there is no snow!) I hate mushrooms. I dream of living closer to my grandbabies.
Make sure to come take part in our next Clash on Monday: Emotional Intensity from our waiting-to-be-published authors.
About the Book: At thirty-five, Audrey James figures she has missed the boat to schizophrenia where her mother now dwells. But questions are surfacing: What happened to the guy who taped her drywall? Was one of her friends involved?
Having grown up with a mother who often conversed with people who weren’t actually there, Audrey does her best to deny that it could be happening to her. Is she seeing what everyone else is? Are the current men in her life—the drywall taper, her ex-husband and his best friend—who they represent themselves to be?
Audrey ponders all of these notions when she is presented with murder, kidnapping and a situation where any or all of her closest friends and colleagues could be involved. How can you know whom to trust when you can’t trust yourself? When she begins to see that guilt and innocence are not always sharply delineated, she must finally make a conscious decision to trust. That decision allows her to be at peace with the result of both the mystery and her question of her own mental competence.
About the Author: Before Jeanne C. Davis seriously entertained writing a novel, she wrote for radio and television including staff jobs on DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN and the modern prequel to the BONANZA series, THE PONDEROSA. Between the numerous drafts of SHEETROCK ANGEL, she wrote, produced and directed the independent feature THE UNIFORM MOTION OF FOLLY. Her early career had little to do with writing – other than in her journal – and everything to do with living. She was a Pan Am purser.
As with most authors, she has stolen a couple of incidents directly from her own life, but SHEETROCK ANGEL is not autobiographical. She did marry actor Ben Murphy, but he is not to be confused with the actor character in the book. Ben and she remain dear friends.
She is currently working on a novel based on her experiences with Pan Am while in preproduction on another independent feature with niece, Morgan Davis, called LIP SERVICE. She is also continuing work on a documentary about her family with editor Charlene Huston. Her great-grandfather brought one of the first carousels to California and merry-go-rounds were a family business until her father retired in the 1980s.
My Review: What a superb read! I read this book in less than two days and it really held me through out the novel. Davis is a compelling author and created a wonderful story full of great characters and lots of mystery. Her writing style is awesome and she knows what her readers want in a fantastic book!
Audrey James is a character that is real-to-life. It was like reading about a story of a really good friend. That’s what I felt after getting to know this awesome character. There is humor woven between the lines and the mystery is full fledged, as Audrey’s world is turned upside down. After her home was repaired, and a mysterious murder case is opened, circumstances become way out there for Audrey…..she starts seeing things….things others can’t see…..and well, she’s just sure that she’s got a BAD case of Schizophrenia! In enter’s the humor. LOVE that blending that Davis did here with the crazy, the suspense, and the humor.
I could go on and on about the things that make this novel good. But, I won’t. If I did, there would be spoilers for sure! So, I will just complete my review with this: read it. It’s a great novel, filled with LOTS of mystery, LOTS of laugh out loud times, and LOTS of wonderful twists and turns. Just when you think things will end up one way, Davis throws it in the air and it lands in a totally unaware spot.
I can’t give this novel less than a 5 star review. It wouldn’t be fair! So, if you love mystery, and laughs, then please, grab a copy of this novel and sit back for a fantastic time! You’ll become the story and the story will become you as you transform into one of the amazing characters. I am definitely a new fan and hope for more awesome work from this cool author! Well done, Jeanne!
I am a writer of comedic fiction, and would like to suggest that you laugh regularly when reading my books. Let’s also try for one to two teary moments. If you are crying more than that, you don’t understand my sense of humor and should move on to another author.
I grew up in a book-loving home. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. My mom loves books. My dad loves to read the first chapters of books and then make us all listen as he recites his favorite passages. I, however, enjoy reading books in their entirety and came into writing as a result of book-love. After earning two fancy degrees in education and Spanish, I promptly let the thinking part of my brain take a breather and instead became pregnant. (I’m sure a lot of other things happened between early literacy and pregnancy but I don’t really remember any of that. If you also have shared your uterus with another human, you understand.)
In an effort to author a book that would entertain my sassy, irreverent, breast-feeding/drooping friends, I wrote my first novel, Balancing Act. People were so nice to me after that, I decided to continue with writing. Also, I can’t craft, knit, or scrapbook, so what else was a nice, Christian girl to do?
In addition to writing books to make my friends laugh and cry, I observe the chaos at the home I share with my unfailingly supportive husband and three offspring. We’re doing our best and so far, no one’s been to prison.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Twenty-year-old Nellie Monroe has a restless brilliance that makes her a bit of an odd duck. She wants to be a private investigator, even though her tiny hometown offers no hope of clients. Until she meets Amos Shetler, an Amish dropout carrying a torch for the girl he left behind.
So Nellie straps on her bonnet and goes undercover to get the dish. But though she’s brainy, Nellie is clueless when it comes to real life and real relationships. Soon she’s alienated her best friend, angered her college professor, and botched her case.
Operation Bonnet is a comedy of errors, a surprising take on love, and a story of grace.
My Review: I absolutely ADORED this novel! It’s true to it’s word, though, when it says it’s “not your grandmother’s Amish fiction”. It’s laughs, it’s mystery, it’s mishaps and it’s just all around FANTABULOUS fiction. Kimberly Stuart is a new to me author and one that I will be adding to my long growing lists of favorite authors.
In OB, Nellie is a 20 year old student who becomes a PI. Yep. That’s right a PI. So, where does the Amish come in, you may be wondering??? Well, it’s simple. Through Amos. I ADORED his character! His an Amish-wanna-be-English boy who hires Nellie to be that PI. It’s laugh out loud quirks comes in as Nellie spies on the old Amish girlfriend of Amos’ by “becoming” Amish during her “investigation”. DEFINITELY a first in Amish fiction! But, one that is totally worth the laughs, the love, even the crazy mixed up family that Nellie belongs to. Especially Nona. Oh, sweet Nona. She was by far, my favorite lovable character.
So, if you want a new twist on Amish and love, then please. Grab a copy of this TERRIFIC new novel by a talented young author. It’s got 5 star characters, amazing plot line and fantastic messages from God. I will be adding this one to my rapidly growing list of awesome, easy reads and Amish novels. Well done, Stuart!
About the Book: Holly Fisher opens her door one day and finds her estranged sister Hannah standing there with a glassy look and her nine-month old baby on her hip. Before Holly knows what is happening, Hannah has left her baby with Holly and disappeared. Three months later, fresh out of rehab for addiction to painkillers, Hannah shows up sober, contrite, and wanting her son back. But Holly is in love with the baby and not willing to give him up to the mother who abandoned him.
Into the middle of this extraordinary conflict between two sisters walks a lonesome cowboy, Wyatt Clark (Summer of Two Wishes) who knows a thing or two about childcare and fractured families. He’s had his own troubles and has stayed away from women the last couple of years, but he can’t resist Holly and the baby. But when Holly is delivered a devastating blow and returns the baby to his mother, Holly is too distraught to continue her relationship with Wyatt. It will take an extraordinary turn from Hannah to bring Holly and Wyatt together so that they both may find the happiness that has eluded them.
About the Author:
JULIA LONDON is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous historical romance and women’s fiction novels. She is a four-time finalist for the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction. A native Texan, Julia lives in Austin. You can write to her at P.O. Box 228, Georgetown, TX 78627, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Review: Well, this wasn’t my favorite novel, but, all in all, it was really a decent read. I think my bit of unhappiness with this novel, comes from the fact that it is a sequel and I failed to read the first one. That being said, Julia London IS a talented author and one who can really pull her readers into the novel.
On more than one occasion, I felt as if it was me falling for hunky cowboy Wyatt Clark. I felt like it was me who wanted to mend his broken heart and fall in love with him. The problem I had with Holly was, she was a songwriter. Me….NO WAY. So it was really hard to feel like Holly when she was in song writing mode. But, when Wyatt entered the picture, oh man. All I wanted to do was hug him and tell him it was okay! He was such a wonderfully created character! He really added the depth to this story.
I do give this book recommendation with 4 stars. The characters are blended, the plot line is awesome, there’s just the right amount of smiling humor, and the romance is sweet. I will, however, recommend to you, unlike what I did, that you read the first book, Summer of Two Wishes. I do have Summer of Two Wishes here to be read, and had I realized before hand on reading Light At Winter’s End that it was the first book, I would have read it first.
About the Book: It is 1936 and Kate Merritt is trying hard to keep her family together. Her father has slipped into alcoholism, her mother tries to come to grips with their dire financial situation, and her sisters seem to remain blissfully oblivious to all of it. Kate could never have imagined that a dirty, abandoned little girl named Lorena Birdsong would be just what her family needs.
In this richly textured novel, award-winning author Ann H. Gabhart reveals the power of true love, the freedom of forgiveness, and the strength to persevere through troubled times, all against the backdrop of a sultry Kentucky summer.
About the Author:
Living just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village in Kentucky, Ann H. Gabhart has walked the same paths that her characters might have walked in generations past. Her thorough research provides a convincing and colorful backdrop for her Shaker novels. Gabhart is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Outsider, The Believer,The Seeker, and Angel Sister.
Ann H. Gabhart is still a fairly-new-to-me author. I have only read her book The Seeker. So, when I had the chance to review this book, Angel Sister, I was excited to see if this was as good as The Seeker was. Yep. It was. It was BETTER! I really love her writing style and how she weaves the messages together with her plot and characters, so that the messages speak to the reader, yet they don’t over power the book. That’s a wonderful skill!
Angel Sister takes place during a hard time in America. The Great Depression is taking place, World War I is over, and things just aren’t happy go lucky for everyone. Sweet Kate’s character really spoke to me, especially when she brought little Lorena home with her. To Lorena, Kate truly was an angel for taking her home to her family. Through Kate and little Lorena, messages of understanding, hope and forgiving are brought to the book.
Trusting in God’s will and staying faithful to His word are what’s important, even in hardships. Lorena’s little girl charm and Kate’s angelic attitude toward Lorena really reached into my heart and gave me an eye opening lesson. I loved all the magnificent characters, but these two, well, they became my “angel sisters” through Gabhart’s wonderful writing.
I highly recommend this historical novel to every one. It’s a 5 star book full of great detail and characters who become family. If you are looking for a fast, easy read, then this isn’t the book for you. This is a book that should be read and savored by all, as when you sit down to read this sweet novel, God will move through you, and the characters will warm your heart!
~Available February 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group~