Monday, December 14, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS, by Debbie Macomber

Don't you love book exchanges?
All the fun of getting new books to read -- without the guilt of spending money!
And another bonus -- books you know you won't read again get passed on to new homes, and people who might just decide they're keepers.

At the December meeting of my ACFW chapter, we had a book exchange. I decided since I had so many books still waiting to be read, I wouldn't bring anything home. Until ..... I saw a Debbie Macomber book was in the pile. A book I hadn't read yet.

Well, that's not hard -- she has so MANY published now. Even if you have all the Cedar Cove books and snatch up every new Blossom Street hot off the presses, there are still a lot more books to find and read -- and keep.

THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS is actually 2 novellas, plus a knitting pattern and Christmas recipes. What fun!

The first novella -- the title story -- is about Cassie, who is tired of being lonely and wants to find her perfect match for the perfect Christmas. The trials and mishaps she endures at the hands of a professional matchmaker are funny and cringe-worthy at the same time. Everybody has been in a situation similar to at least one Cassie has to endure. At the end, of course, she finds true love. But she has to fight for him -- against him!

The second novella, CAN THIS BE CHRISTMAS? follows a handful of people stuck on a train when the storm of the century interferes with plans to travel home for Christmas. At first they're all caught up in their own concerns, sorrows, and problems, but as they band together to make the situation less miserable, and as a few Christmas miracles happen, a miserable night stranded in a storm turns into a celebration, providing healing and hope.

Well, what else do you expect from Debbie Macomber? Add it to your collection.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: HOG INSANE, by Carole Brown

Jingle bells
Ain't it swell?
Readin' good books
by a friend?

Couldn't resist that...

I've been waiting a while to read this book. I do try to pick up copies of books by my writing friends ... but with so many books already on my shelves and in my various reading apps on my iPad ... not so easy actually READING those books. (You'd think reading 1 book per week would be pretty easy to do, wouldn't you? HAH!)

HOG INSANE is the first book in the Denton and Alex Davies mystery series by Carole Brown, a fellow member of ACFW-Ohio. It's been glaring at me every time I opened up my Kindle app for what feels like months, tapping a metaphorical toe and saying, "Well? When's it gonna be MY turn?"

Well worth waiting for -- but take my advice -- don't wait! Read this one, because the next one is hot off the press, BAT CRAZY, and I know it's going to be just as much fun, with a healthy dose of "Don't go in that dark building!" and nail-biting and "Come on, come on, don't trust him!"

Denton and Alex are a newly retired couple who have set off across the country in an RV. He's pretty happy about it -- she ... not so much. Personally, I think Alex nagging Denton about eating more healthy is her way of getting back at him for dragging her around the country. The "hog" in the title is a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and figuring out what happened to it and why and where it is after the rider is killed is just a small part of the mystery.

I like Alex and Denton, their byplay, their affection and frustration toward each other, their partnership. It was a fun book, even though there was lying and murder and threats and danger, and even one nasty guy who took a shot at their dog! Read the book, get hooked on Carole's characters and the series. You won't regret it.