Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Lumby Lines by Gail Fraser

As I am a fairly new client of our Regional library's Outreach Program and our Outreach Coordinator looks around for books for me to read, I noticed two weeks ago, the first three books in this most delightful series on my online account, so looked them up, as I'd never heard of them or the author. I just finished this first of hopefully many volumes of this wonderful quirky ficticious small town of Lumby, Washington. This first volume is the story of Mark and Pam Walker, who move from Virginia on the East Coast to the West Coast and purchase an historic old Abbey and convert it into an historic inn. The local residents are not sure they like the "easterners," but after a life-threatening incident, the townspeople whole-heartedly accept them as one of their own. The hit of the town is the daily newspaper with the sheriff's report, with the date and time of each incident. These incidents make for an absolutely hilarious part of the story!!! With the help of the townspeople and the local monks, they are able to get the renovations completed even amongst all the setbacks. This book is filled with absolutely hilarious moments that you'll love. And, if you hail from a small town as I do, you'll love this book and the rest of these wonderful stories.

(From back cover)

When Pam and Mark Walker, a couple of "East Coasters," purchase the fire -ravaged Montis Abbey, intending to convert the historic landmark into a country inn, the residents of Lumby, a quirky one-moose town, look on with suspicion. As work begins, the Walkers face the open hostility of the cranky old newspaper publisher with a dark secret, and the sometimes helpful, often hapless assistance of the local tradespeople.

The benign mayhem and and full array of personalities come to life in snippets from the local paper, The Lumby Lines, which offers an endearing glimpse into small town living and the extraordinary moments of ordinary lives.

Gail Fraser has done for Lumby what Garrison Keillor did for Lake Wobegon...what Jan Karon did for Mitford. The Lumby Lines paints a picture full of laughter and love and conjures up magic in an ordinary town---setting the stage for more charming stories.

Forever Friends Rating 5 Stars by Teri

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Overlook by Michael Connelly

This current Harry Bosch offering by Michael Connelly is just as exciting as all his other Harry Bosch offerings. Michael is an expert in writing detective novels, as he was a Crime Reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Harry is a Detective for the Hollywood Special Homicide Division and his first case from being transferred from the Cold Case Unit, has him finding a body on the Overlook over Hollywood. With his young partner, Iggy, they, along with the FBI, attempt to track down the murderer of a Phycisist working with Cesium, a radioactive isotope used for treating ovarian -uteran Cancer. Along with murder, Harry is thwarted by the FBI, who wants Harry out of the loop, since a heist of this isotope by known terrorists makes this a National Security issue. With a few plot twists and turns, this makes for an outstanding who-donut. If you can handle the few bad words, this is a great novel. Since I was born and raised close to LA, there are places very familiar to me. If you want to learn more about how Homicide works and all the politics between the divisions and between the locals and the Feds, you'll enjoy this offering and the rest of the Harry Bosch books. Michael's new one with Harry comes out in a few days. I highly recommend this page-turner, as it takes you straight to the last page to resolve the case.

Forever Friends rating 5 stars by Teri

Until next time, Teri

Overlook by Michael Connelly
ISBN-13: 9780316018951
Pub. Date: May 2007

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Finding Faith by Terri Ferran

This first time author has done an excellent job of telling the story of a young almost 18 year old young lady that moves with her family from Ventura, California to Logan, Utah, where Kit's dad gets a job teaching at USU. Kit finds it hard fitting in with the "Mormon populace", but soon finds true friends with Janet and Adam, strong young stalwarts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When Adam leaves for Ventura to serve a 2 year Mission, Kit doesn't know if she can survive with Adam gone. With Janet and her older other brother Justin (just home from his Mission) they are able, along with Adam and the entire Bridger family, help keep Kit grounded and help to build her Testimony of the Gospel. She tends to waver in her faith when she's hit with a major trial, but when she remembers what Janet has told her, that "If you can't stand it, kneel," she is able to find that faith she needs. I really enjoyed this debut novel from Terri with two R's and am looking forward to her sequel, Having Hope, due next Feb. I highly recommend this novel to anyone that enjoys reading about a young woman finding faith in her struggles in finding herself.

Forever Friends rating 5 stars by Teri

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Modest Proposal by Michele Ashman Bell

This new offering, A Modest Proposal, by Michele is one of my favorites. Michele really knows her stuff and she brings the modesty issue where it needs to be. I really like how she brings this Butterfly Box into the mix.

The story is centered around 6 close friends in high school and the tragic accident that brings them even closer and allows them to get together once a year to celebrate their friendship and what matters most in life. Since this is the first in a series, we follow Lauryn in her dreams of becoming a designer of modest evening gowns for the every woman. We find how ruthless and cutthroat the fashion design business can be, but in being true to her ideals, how successful she can be.

I really liked how Michele worked with the romantic aspect of the story and implemented a top notch fashion show with her YW and used her co-workers to help. Helping her young step-sister to realize her dreams and to set righteous goals was great. I look forward to the next installment in The Butterfly Box. And, I agree, Modest Is Hottest!!!!

I will leave you with the backliner:

All my life I had dreamed of changing the ordinary girl's world of fashion by designing modest formal gowns — ones that you'd actually want to wear. With my super-hero stitching I would save you mothers and daughters crying in dressing rooms over yet another "the straps are just too small" prom dress. Don't worry, I even thought of a catchy tagline for my brand: "Modest Is Hottest." I told you I was good!

So I moved to New York and am finally living that dream . . . well, almost. I am at one of the top fashion companies, and my designs are definitely modest — but let's face it, when it comes to outerwear, would you want to buy a skimpy trench coat? Didn't think so.

Even though I don't have my dream job, my family is a mess, and my love life stinks, I have a feeling things are going to change. I mean, they have to soon, or I'll be forced to marry Jace. I did promise to become his wife only if I turned thirty and was still single, but I honestly didn't think it was possible. Now twenty-nine, I'm cutting it way too close. Right now I'm flying back to Utah for our Butterfly Girls reunion. And since it is the Mormon Mecca, I might find myself a modest proposal. Utah engagements can take mere weeks. Never mind, I'm not that desperate. Really.

But maybe the girls can help. We've been best friends since high school. We Butterfly Girls are not the typical Pink Ladies, although we've definitely had our share of drama. We'll laugh and cry over memories, from pageant glory to tragic endings, but the ones stored inside our butterfly box will surprise you most. We only open it when we're all together, and our lives never seem the same after.

Until next time,

Forever Friends Rating: 5 Stars By Teri

Binding: Trade Paperback
Publisher: Covenant
ISBN: 139789781598116375

Purchase A Modest Proposal here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Room For Two by Abel Keogh

Room for Two is an autobiographical journey into Abel's short life with his first wife Krista was too close to home, as we have a 23 year old son suffering with a mental illness. This journey takes us from the shocking shot from Krista taking her own life to his new beginning with Julianna.

People who take their own lives have no clue as to how much worse it is for their loved ones when they take this step. Our son has attempted suicide twice, has threatened many more times than we care to think. This act is a cry for help, but in our son's case, it's more a case of wanting attention and a more selfish act. My Aunt committed suicide over 30 years ago by shooting herself. Her son, home on leave, found her and called me to talk and be consoled for two hours. Mental illness can be debilitating, but can be overcome or handled by medication or using strong positive mental attitudes to cope. Krista, I'm thinking, felt that with having two parents with a mental illness, she was doomed and didn't want to bring any children into this world, but that's just my humble opinion.

Now, both Bob and I can really relate to the getting married a second time after losing a spouse, as Bob lost his first wife, Barbara, from Marfan's Syndrome in '80. We met 11 days after the funeral, and were told at a YSI reunion later that year of newly married couples, that we had the shortest courtship, as we didn't even have a date!!! We got confirmation in the Los Angeles Temple that we were supposed to get married!!! What greater confirmation can you get!!! The day after she died, I was going through the Temple for the first time!!!

I can remember Bob telling me how a few co-workers at the funeral reacted to his being TOO happy at his wife's funeral. His bishop advised him to go out and meet people at YSI and we met at his first activity. His 5 year old daughter Mary, was with him, so I met both that day. And, I was never compared to Barbara in the ways that really mattered. We have blonde hair, both born and raised in California, both graduated from the same high school, she died in the same hospital Mary and I were born in, also my mom, two Uncles and one Aunt, were both Elvis and John Denver fans, but never knew her in this life. We both understand why polygamy was practiced. Bob has told me many times that he loves us both equally and if he had to choose, someone else would have to do the choosing for him.

Barbara was 33 when she died of Marfan's Syndrome and I was 32 and never been married, let alone helping to raise a 6 year old daughter!!! This is a very wonderful, uplifting, life-affirming true story!!! A big two thumbs up!!!

Until next time,

224 pages
Cedar Fort (August 1, 2007)
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars (6 customer reviews) Sales Rank:
#330,994 in Books

Purchase Room for Two here.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Preparedness Principles by Barbara Salsbury

If you have a library full of books on preparedness, Preparedness Principles by Barbara Saslbury may not be for you. If, however, you have very little literature on preparedness, or are a novice, just getting prepared, then this is a great book to have. I don't have it all internalized, nor even all read, yet. There are a ton of great ideas here. It reads as easily as a fun novel, but must be thought about, read over, and the parts usable for you implemented in your life.

I have attended numerous "Preparedness Fairs" over the years and try to use what I learn. Because I didn't take notes, or wasn't organized enough to keep track of those notes, it has been baby steps. One time I was overwhelmed by a friend's "72 hour kit" that filled a back pack that looked like it started out as a body bag. I couldn't have picked it up and wasn't sure it would fit in the trunk of my car, let alone leave room for other family members to put theirs in. I lost most of my desire to continue for awhile, but this book helped me get back in the mood. I just size mine to fit what I think I might need.

I found this book well written and containing most of the ideas I've learned and a lot more. It explained why I needed certain things and the types of things I needed for all the various types of emergencies. I don't live where tornados and hurricanes are prevalent and am on the border of earthquake territory, so I can customize my preparations for my circumstances. (power outages, with hot or cold weather, and lack of food shipments.)

They listed several good inexpensive or free sealing containers for storing food, but missed one, two liter soft drink bottles. This is the only idea I use that I didn't find in the book, and is for limiting the waste caused when pests invade my cupboard. I used to have to throw away up to $1,000.00 worth of flour goods, clean and then buy more food to restock those shelves. Now, I pour my flour, rice, beans, cornstarch, sugar, etc. into clean, dry two liter soda bottles, label them and store them on a metal storage rack in my kitchen. If the bugs get into a bottle of food, I can see them without opening the bottle. When that happens, I throw that bottle away and only lose $1-2.00 worth of food. There were only enough metal shelves to space them a little over 3 bottles high. I cut strips of cardboard 1 foot by 2-1/2 feet, and used these to support the upper two rows of food bottles. (1/8 inch thick wood sheets would be better, but I couldn't afford a sheet when I started this idea. The cardboard works better when the holes run the long way.) My shelving unit is1 foot deep, 2-1/2 feet wide, and 5 feet tall. I put 7 bottles in a row one each shelf, with two more rows on top separated by the cardboard strips. This makes storage for 105 bottles of dry food. In the past 15 years, I've thrown away maybe 4 bottles of contaminated food, and the mice haven't been able to get into a single one. The clear ones are easier to see what is inside, but the green ones seem to minimize sun damage. Be sure to label each bottle. I have several that I have NO idea what is insde. Don't use with spagetti, macaroni, or anything that clumps. (too hard to get back out) I made a funnel by cutting the bottom off one of the bottles. I connected it to each bottle using a 1 inch wide strip of paper taped around the threads. I've since made one from a piece of PVC reamed to size, and a friend gave me a threaded connector used to connect two bottles together to make a liquid hourglass. The better the seal, the less dust on the counter, and the more food in the bottle.

Forever Friends Rating: 5 Stars.

384 pages
Cedar Fort Inc. (August 1, 2006)
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars (2 customer reviews) Sales Rank:
#631,421 in Books

Purchase Preparedness Principles here.