What’s In Your Mailbox?

mailboxes colorful

Yes, I know I have been absent for too long again.  I have to say, I haven’t had much time for reading these days.  My family just moved from Iowa to Florida so have been working to get settled in.  I did, however, buy a few new books this week so will post those here.  I know – so many books all at once but I had a store credit that took care of all these plus could buy a few more but am tired of shopping.  Anyone want to recommend something?

dollmaker midnight nearing home no river wedding bees wishing thread



One Mountain Away review

One Mountain Away

With nothing but brains, ambition and sheer nerve, Charlotte Hale built a career as a tough, do-anything-to-succeed real-estate developer. She’s at the top of that mountain; but her life is empty. Her friends are as grasping and insincere as she has become. Far worse, she’s alienated her family so completely that she’s totally lost touch with her only daughter.

One terrifying day, facing her own mortality, she realizes that her ambition has almost destroyed her chance at happiness.

So Charlotte vows to make amends, not simply with her considerable wealth, but by offering a hand instead of a handout. Putting in hours and energy instead of putting in an appearance. Opening her home and heart instead of her wallet.

With each wrenching, exhilarating decision, Charlotte finds that climbing a new mountain; one built on friendship, love and forgiveness; will teach her what it truly means to build a legacy.

Started this book around midnight and finished it a few minutes ago.  I was going to go to bed now as I am tired but decided to write the review now.  The story is outlined above so I won’t go into that – it pretty much describes the plot.

Let me talk, instead, of how the book made me feel and what I thought about the characters.  While the writing is well done, I ended the book feeling like something was lacking.  Can’t put my finger on what it is but something more than what is there.  Richards does a great job describing the area around N.C. – the characters were believable if a little distant.

Have you ever read a story that felt engineered? I mean, all stories are to a big degree but the art of a true masterpiece is not feeling it while you are reading.  There were a couple of places where I half expected to see the words “cry here” in parenthesis.

I know, that sounds like I didn’t like the book – an impression I don’t want to give off.  The book is about regret and how we should live every day as if it were our last on earth.  Would we complain about the traffic if we were going to die tomorrow? Would we spend that last day gossiping or being critical? Do we need a fatal disease to make us realize the value of life?

As I read the book about how Charlotte made mistakes – I thought, who didn’t? Doesn’t everyone because that is an integral part of being human, making mistakes? The book brought back memories of my own childhood and how I viewed the older women around me.  Now that I’m older, it gives me an idea how some of the younger women think.

There is this whole thing of Gwen in the book – I can’t talk about it too much because I would give it away – but I wish that had been developed a bit more.  I’m also not sure a person can get a death sentence and change as rapidly as Charlotte did and, by the grace of God, I never will have to find out first hand.

I did like the book and yes, it did make me cry in a few places.  It is not a book I would read over and over but I did find the struggles of the women intriguing and how they learned about forgiveness or how to stand up for themselves even when they felt like giving up.  It also struck a chord because lately I’ve wondered what I can do to help others.

Still, I don’t know, the book left me feeling a little empty.  I give the book a B+


Waking Kate review

From Sarah Addison Allen, the beloved author of Garden Spells, comes Waking Kate, a story about a woman who soon will face an unforeseen change in her life. One sticky summer day as Kate is waiting for her husband to come home from his bicycle shop, she spots her distinguished neighbor returning from his last day of work after eighty-six years at Atlanta’s oldest men’s clothing store. Over a cup of butter coffee, he tells Kate a story of love and heartbreak that makes her remember her past, question her present, and wonder what the future will bring.

This is a short novelette considered as a prequel to “Lost Lake”.  It is 57 pages long and has an additional 30 pages of the first chapter of “Lost Lake”.  In all, it took me about 30 minutes to read but it caught my interest after the first couple pages.

Kate is a great character thus far making me look forward to what she will encounter at a place her aunt owned years before called Lost Lake.  It is going to be another enchanting book, I am sure from the first bit I’ve read.  I won’t know until I buy “Lost Lake” later this week.

These are the kinds of books I would like to write but have no experience with.  My genre has always been crime and horror so enchanted love stories are a bit out of my league.  Maybe this will be the inspiration I need to read more and develop a style of my own.  I have come to appreciate the kind of books that are gentle and spirited rather than gory and violent.  🙂

I have no doubt, after reading “Waking Kate”, that I am going to like “Lost Lake”.  Before I read it though, I feel I need to read a different author so the book I will start later today is the Emilie Richards “One Mountain Away”.

UPDATE: Just found out “Lost Lake” won’t be out till the end of January so guess I won’t be reading that anytime soon.  I did notice that I read a book a few weeks ago and forgot to write a review so will try to do that later.

It’s Sunday, What’s in Your Mailbox?

mailboxes mailbox


Waking Kate  One Mountain Away

Added both of these books to my Nook library this weekend.  Had a gift card so decided to use it on feel-good books rather than murder, mayhem, mystery or any of the usual genres I spend money on.

I get so tired of waiting for some of my favorite authors to write their next book.  It is hard to check back every few months to see that no, they haven’t released another yet.  Alex Kava and Amanda Stevens release ones every few years.  It is enough to make me stop reading them.

The first book, “Waking Kate”, is actually a free prequel to the book “Lost Lake” – which I will have to get at a later date.

Waiting on Wednesday

It is Wednesday again and with that comes the books that we are waiting to either purchase or to come out.   There are a few I am looking forward to getting next week:


I know those are mostly non-fiction or self-help books but I’ve been looking at them so think I’ll buy them next week.  Ripper, of course, doesn’t come out until early July.

I bought, at the behest of a friend, The Artists Way and am doing week 1 of the 12 week training.

Though I still plan on buying tons of fiction, I also want to buy more visually stimulating books on animals, landscapes, art, photography, etc.  I bought the Audubon’s book on birds a couple months ago but would also like to get a big book on birds too.  The wolves one I looked at yesterday and loved the pictures in it so will get it too.

Other books I hope to buy soon are:


So what are you waiting on? I have many others but they are more non-fiction so will skip them.  I want Emilie Richards book coming out the end of July but there is no cover for it yet so I can’t post it.  Maybe they will get one available in the next month or so.

Finally Friday

This is how I feel today – frazzled.  Love this picture!

Well, it is “finally Friday” my pets and the first holiday is history.  I read this morning on the internet that today makes the beginning of the official “countdown to Christmas”.   I thought it started a month or so ago but hey, whatever.  Some people start counting down to the next Christmas before New Year’s is past.

Once again I find myself unprepared for Christmas.  Why do I do this to myself every year? I don’t even start thinking about presents until December – should have started months ago.  But oh well – it is what it is.

I must confess, as Nano draws to a close I am getting rather tired of ghost stories – both reading and writing them.  So December is going to have less ghosts and more strangeness where books are concerned.  So the two books I hope to  start today or tonight are: