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Showing posts from October, 2010

In Katrina's Wake - Donald L. Canney (Non-Fiction)

Released September 2010 In Katrina's Wake details the hard work put forth by the Coast Guard during the 2005 hurricane season. Most of the media focused on New Orleans during that time, but there were many affected in Florida too. The book opens with the rescue of a fishing crew off Florida's coast and then follows Katrina's path of destruction to Louisiana. My knowledge of New Orleans following the hurricane is limited to what the media showed. Clearly from the photographs, U.S. Coast Guard interviews and first-hand accounts, there was far more to the devastation than the media shared. I fully understand having read this book just how much effort went into rescuing people while also keeping the Coast Guard members safe from panicky people who thought of themselves before the welfare of others. Despite mandatory evacuation orders in New Orleans, only about 80 percent of the residents opted to leave their homes. This left tens of thousands at risk. The

Simply Irresistible - Jill Shalvis (Contemporary Romance)

Released October 2010 There's nothing like a cold, rainy day to help you lighten your reading pile. With my kids glued to their game system and household chores done early, I pulled out some books, found a cozy place near the heater and spent an afternoon engrossed in books. Jill Shalvis' latest release, Simply Irresistible , takes the reader to Washington State. Maddie Moore's mother has died and she and her half-sisters have inherited their mother's coastal inn. Given that Maddie's just lost her job and loser boyfriend in one shot, she's ready for a change of pace. She just needs to convince her sisters that renovating the inn is the best plan of action. Not an easy task because they want to sell quickly and get back to their lives elsewhere. Though she's sworn off men, Maddie's first day in Lucky Harbor finds her enjoying the attentions of Jax Cullen. When she learns Jax is the handyman the sis

Love Finds You in Deadwood South Dakota - Tracey Cross (Christian Romance)

Released August 2010 When her husband dies, Jane Albright isn't too upset. He was a hard, potentially abusive man, so she and her young son are likely better off without him. That's until she learns that he'd never paid his debts and that the owner of her land, freight company and home, Franklin Lloyd, is giving her three months to move on. Jane manages to convince him to give her six months, but she's pregnant and finding a company willing to take on a woman to transport freight is a huge, seemingly impossible challenge. Franklin Lloyd quickly becomes enamored with Jane and her young son. However, he knows she's too full of pride to accept charity or agree to another marriage of convenience, so he's determined to watch her back until he can come up with a plan that allows her to pay off the debt as easily as possible without hurting her pride. Love Finds You in Deadwood South Dakota is another entry into the "Love Finds

Home Outside - Julie Moir Messervy (Landscaping)

Released January 2009 Julie Moir Messervy's award-winning landscape design guide is a must-have. If you struggle with garden design, you'll find this book to be an invaluable resource. If you simply want different ideas for your existing garden space, you'll still find Home Outside to be a great addition to your library. Filled with beautiful photographs of gardens of different shapes and sizes, Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love offers a wide array of garden and patio designs. Each garden incorporates outdoor living space so that you add square footage to your home without having to pay hefty construction costs. If you've ever wanted an outdoor kitchen or a tranquil location to kick back and relax on a sultry summer evening or crisp fall day, Home Outside is going to help you achieve your goals. The book begins with an introduction in garden design. As you progress, you learn about landscaping on a budget, creating your dream gar

Love Finds You in Sugarcreek Ohio - Serena B. Miller (Amish)

Released July 2010 With her aunts getting older, Rachel Troyer is hoping she can persuade them to give up their bed and breakfast. She has enough money for them to retire for good and enjoy the rest of their lives. However, their Amish beliefs have them determined that they must continue to offer their home to others. When a stranger shows up in Sugarcreek, the aunts are only too happy to take him and his young son into their home and lives. Rachel is less than pleased. She's uncertain about Joe Matthews, he's hiding something and she's determined to unravel the truth. Joe Matthews is on the run and he simply wants to find a place where he and his young son can start again. When he's offered a job helping to repair and maintain the Troyer sister's bed and breakfast, he thinks things might finally be looking up. However, Rachel's suspicions and her job as a police officer have him on edge. Can he finally fi

Bound, Branded & Brazen - Jaci Burton (Erotic Romance)

Released March 2010  Bound, Branded & Brazen features a trilogy of novellas set in Oklahoma. Following the death of their uncle, Jolene McMasters asks her sisters to return home to the family ranch. Each novella in this book revolves around a sister's romantic entanglements. In Bound , Valerie McMasters never thought she'd return to the ranch. She's spent years getting her medical license, working her way into a private practice and forgetting about the husband she left behind. Now she's back and her attraction to Mason is stronger than ever. But she's not set up for ranch life, no matter how great their sexual encounters may be... Branded finds Brea trying to come to terms with herself. She's had men tell her she's no good at sex, and she's convinced she's a failure. So when the man of her fantasies, a ranch hand named Gage, tries to show her otherwise, she's not sure if he's simply saying it to get what he w

One Lane Bridge - Don Reid (General Fiction)

Released October 2010 From the first page, something about One Lane Bridge held my attention firm to the pages. Before I knew it, I'd finished this charming tale of one man's unusual discovery. It's the perfect book for cozying up on a cold snowy or rainy day. J. D. Wickman and his wife are empty-nesters with a little dilemma on their hands. One of their waitresses is stealing money. They trust these women and can't imagine one of them would hurt them that way, but the evidence is clear and they must now face the task of determining which woman is the thief. They also are concerned with their college-aged daughter. After an attack on campus, their daughter is shaken up and wants to come home and  take a semester off. J. D. seems okay with the decision but his wife is less than thrilled. All of these becomes a minor concern to J. D., however. One night while out driving, he loses his cell service and his car overheats.  He walks up to a s

Twelve Wicked Nights - Nadia Aidan (Erotic Romance)

Released November 2010 Attorney Isabella Andreu returns to her hometown shortly after her fiance announces it's over. The coward didn't even tell her to her face, he broke up with her via the phone. It's the holiday season and Isabella is ready to help out in her family's bakery and enjoy her time off. Navy SEAL Justin Rourke has been friends with Isabella for as long as either can remember. When Isabella's mom calls him because she's worried about Isabella driving in the blizzard hitting Virginia, he sets off to find Isabella and bring her to his home. Stuck in Justin's home for one snowy evening is incredibly difficult. A game of strip Scrabble leads them to realize they can't ignore their sexual yearnings. When Justin learns that he's about to be deployed, Isabella asks for one special gift. She wants Justin to provide her with every sexual experience possible. For whatever reason, I couldn't get into Twelve Wicked

The Track of Sand - Andrea Camilleri (Mystery)

Released October 26, 2010 Inspector Montalbano awakens to find a horse has been beaten, killed and dumped right outside his Sicilian beach home. Determined to find the savages, Montalbano begins his investigation. He discovers the woman missing her prized horse but soon learns another horse is also missing. His case leads him to the world of horseracing and even the mafia. When Montalbano's home is broken into, he realizes he must be onto something. Keeping those around him safe and finding the horse's killer may be challenging, but he's certainly up to the task. I've never read other Montalbano mysteries, so this was a new experience. The stories are written by Camilleri who lives in Italy, but translated into English by translator and author Stephen Sartarelli. This isn't a lengthy book by any means, it's barely 258 pages. However, the mystery is meaty and keeps you hooked. I also appreciated the notes in the back

Somewhere Along the Way - Jodi Thomas (Contemporary Romance)

Released November 2010 Following on the heels of June's Welcome to Harmony , Somewhere Along the Way continues sharing stories about residents in Harmony, Texas.  Reagan Truman is about to celebrate her eighteenth birthday. She wonders if she and Noah should be more than friends and also finds someone new who catches her eye. Attorney Liz Matheson is new in town, ready to start life on her own and away from her slightly domineering mother and man-hating sister, Claire. When Liz meets her strange building mate, she's shocked at how powerful her attraction is to him. Gabe Leary wants to be left alone. How he ended up trading kisses for answers to Liz's prying questions is beyond him, but he's defenseless against his strong attraction to her. However, secrets from his past keep him from wanting to bring her into his life of seclusion. Hank Matheson, Liz's brother, still wants nothing more than to marry Sheriff Alex McAl

Grace - Shelley Shepard Gray (Christian Romance)

Released November 2010 With Christmas just around the corner, the Brenneman's are looking forward to a huge family gathering and no guests at their bed and breakfast. Unfortunately, a letter arrives announcing an unexpected guest. This letter is followed by another surprise guest who desperately needs a place to stay. Levi Bender is trying to avoid a painful past and really wants to hide out at the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast. The last thing he wants is to get dragged into a family gathering. Melody Gingerich is pregnant and alone. All she wants is to avoid community gossip and being away from her home in the latter stages of pregnancy seems like the best solution. While Melody and Levi may want to keep their secrets, Katie Lundy is determined to find out what brought these two strangers to her parents' home. She's not thrilled that their arrival has turned the family holiday into a flurry of activity, but her att

Sexiest Man Alive - Diana Holquist (Contemporary Romance)

Released October 2007 While she's gained many clients by doing seamstress work out of her home, Jasmine Burns doesn't want the opportunity of a lifetime to pass her by. Famed costume designer Arturo Mastriani is hiring and she wants the job. The problem is Jasmine lacks self-confidence, especially around men. Surprisingly, especially to herself, Jasmine wows Arturo after she runs out of her interview and leaves her design books behind. She lands the job and learns she will be working closely with Hollywood heartthrob Josh Toby, the name given by Jasmine's psychic sister as being Jasmine's one true love. Jasmine's nerves are making it hard to be around Josh, but it's obvious there's a spark if only she could find a way to feel comfortable around him. Sexiest Man Alive has been sitting on my shelf for years. I don't know what kept me from reading it. Jasmine, despite her insecurities, is a lot

Montana Glory - R. C. Ryan (Contemporary Romance)

Released November 2010 The final entry into R.C. Ryan's McCord series finds Zane McCord falling head over heels for a single mom. Riley Mason is hired to get the books balanced at the McCord Ranch and she couldn't be happier. On the run, she needs a place where both she and her four-year-old will be safe. It isn't long before Riley realizes she doesn't want to live without Zane, but she can't expose the family to the danger from which she is running. Meanwhile, Zane knows there is something more to Riley, and he wants to get to the bottom of her secrets. Montana Glory offers a couple sub-plots. First, the long-running mystery about the supposed treasure on McCord property finally reaches a conclusion. Readers will learn whether Coot McCord was simply a storyteller. The other storyline involves Coot's sister and the ranch foreman Cal who are in love but too blind to see the truth. Readers will finally dis

Book News - Home Outside by Julie Moir Messervy Wins Gold Medal

Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love has won the 2010 Garden Writers Association Gold Medal Award for Best Book Writing. As changes in the housing market have homeowners planning renovations instead of relocations, Messervy suggests moving beyond the walls of the house to the landscape outside.While many homeowners are comfortable with do-it-yourself home decorating, design and renovation, it's often a different story when it comes to tackling landscape design. That's where Home Outside comes in. In Home Outside , Messervy demystifies the art and practice of landscape design by introducing her easy, tangible and yet intuitive six-step process that helps professionals and homeowners transform an ordinary property into a unique and personal "home outside." Developing a "home outside" not only expands the amount of valuable living space, it also increases the pleasure one gets from the property as a whole. Home Outside is a user-fr