by Cathy Gohlke
Maureen O’Rielly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hopes of connecting with Colonel Wakefield in America, who had promised their father, 20 years previously via a letter, to help them any time they were in need. When they arrived in Ellis Island, Maureen’s sister had to stay in the hospital on the island. Maureen was torn, she didn’t want to leave her sister, but she had to find the Wakefield’s and a job.
As it turns out the Colonel was dead, and the son-in-law threw Maureen out without consulting his sister-in-law, Olivia. Olivia discovers evidence that Maureen O’Rielly’s father was truly connected to her father and sets out to find Maureen. In the mean time, Maureen finds a job where her co-workers start mysteriously disappearing. Maureen has suspicions and goes to great lengths to find out what has happened to them. Band of Sisters tells of the mistreatment of newly immigrated women and of an American group of women banded together to help them.
Aaron Miller had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War. Yet, since the war, he lived a lonely life in a small trailer park as a handyman. Aaron struggled with life after the war, becoming such an undependable alcoholic that his wife divorced him and refused to allow him to see their two children, even years later when he had gotten his life back together.
Dave Russo, a journalist, was working on his first book about the Vietnam War. As he interview veterans, he came across one man who wanted Aaron Miller found because he thought Aaron was the one person that needed to be in Dave’s book. He gave Dave a very generous expense account and asked him to find Aaron. Through his search, Dave also finds love.
The Reunion is an immensely touching story of the heros that were often down graded and of a man who continued to be a hero in the lives that he touched. You must have tissues close by for the last three chapters or so.
When I first began reading The Light Between Oceans, I wondered how 345 pages could be written about two people on a very small island off the coast of Australia. I have to say, as the story progressed, I found it very captivating. When Isabel hears a baby’s cry after the loss of her third baby, she thinks she must be going crazy. When Tom investigates, he finds a small craft washed ashore carrying a dead man and a baby. When one lie leads to another, Isabel and Tom find themselves devastated from the results of their deception.
by Peter Straub
Timothy Underhill and Willy Patrick had several things in common, they were both authors, they had both lost a child they loved, and they were both troubled. Willy had man trouble and was running for her life, while Timothy had email trouble. It seems he’s getting emails from people of his past, who are dead.
In the Night Room is told with alternating chapters from Willy and Timothy, until they meet. Now, Timothy’s life is also in danger and they are on the run together. Timothy knows what must be done to save Willy and himself, but he doesn’t like it.
by Bernie McGill
The Butterfly Cabinet is set in Ireland, telling a long kept secret from the castle back in 1893. Maddie McGlade, now in her nineties, the year 1968, begins the story of her life and the things she witnessed as a servant under Harriet Ormond. Harriet also tells her end of the story through her prison diaries.
Harriet never put up with any nonsense from her children. They had to learn a lesson, if she didn’t punish them they would never become the obedient children they should. Maddie, and other servants in the house, thought Harriet went too far in her discipline. The sevants risked Harriet’s ire by sneaking food and drink to the children during long durations of learning how to behave. When the youngest child is found dead, Harriet is accused and thrown in prison. It seems that Maddie has a guilty conscious and must tell her story to someone before she dies. This book was inspired by a true story of the death of the daughter of an aristocratic Irish family at the end of the nineteenth century.
by Julie L. Cannon
Jennifer Clodfelter knew she was to be a country music star. However, convincing those in Nashville was another matter. She went to Nashville only to find rejection, until she sang in a karaoke bar. There she felt the crowd totally connecting with her song and so did Mike Flint. Mike was Jennifer’s ticket into the big time.
Mike knew Jennifer had more in her and wanted her to sing songs from her life. Jennifer wanted to hide from that life, not bring it back in a new song. Of course Mike won out and Jennifer wrote songs from her life that tore her apart, but brought her audience satisfaction. Life in Nashville was lonely except for four true friends. Roy Durden, the front desk clerk at the Best Western where Jennifer lived before she became Jenny Cloud was her only friend before stardom. Tonilynn, her make-up and hair designer, was the friend that liked the real Jennifer Clodfelter. The other two friends in Jennifer’s Nashville life was Tonilynn’s son, Bobby Lee and her Aunt Gomer. Julie Cannon’s Twang, gives us insight into life as a country star.
by Bailey White
Every day life may never seem every day again. Life in Southern Florida with Mama is never every day stuff. When Bailey’s father, through his fourth wife, leaves them his 1958 Porsche, in original condition, Mama wants to put it out to pasture with the tractors and lawnmowers. Instead, she takes the screen off the back porch and parks it there, never to be moved again.
When Mama isn’t feeling well and Bailey convinces her to go to the Instant Care Facility to see the Doctor. Mama was really impressed with the curb side service and easy remedy. What Bailey didn’t know was that it was the three butchers from the grocery store who gave Mama the advice.
Then there are other family members that add to the mix, like Aunt Belle, who tames an alligator by giving it dead chickens for treats. When a cousins fiance’s family is coming for Thanksgiving, Bailey and her sister try to rid the house of stuff, but Mama is not overly willing to have her house cleared out. Mama Makes Up Her Mind keeps the smiles coming as you read about this family’s southern living.
by Karen Witemeyer
Meredith Hayes feels she must warn the Archers of the plot she overheard her, so called, fiance planning. He wants the land and would do anything to run them off. The Archer land is gated and locked. They may shoot before a person gets a chance to tell them their business. But, because of an encounter years earlier, Meredith wants to give them information to help them save their land.
After sustaining an injury on Archer land, Meredith is nursed back to health with the care of the four Archer brothers. When her Uncle finds out she’s been with them unchaperoned, he insists that one of them takes her as their bride. The brothers draw straws to determine which one of them must marry her. Travis, the oldest of the four, ends up with the short-straw and the responsibility of Meredith.
With trouble from greedy land grabbers and trying to keep his new wife safe, Travis has his hands full. Meredith wants to help, but Travis wants to keep her in the house out of harms way. When her cousin, Cassandra, is in danger, Meredith sneaks out to help, putting them all in danger. The characters from Short-Straw Bride are fun to get to know and Karen Witemeyer has entwined the story with much adventure.
by Sally John
Hearing about earthquakes is disturbing, but when Teal sees the highway fall right before her eyes, it is a life changing experience. Of course the first thing one would do is reach for the cell phone and call your loved ones. Lines are jammed and towers are down, so Teal isn’t able to make a connection with her husband, River, or daughter, Maiya. When she finally has reception, she receives the news that River is in the hospital. Of course they survive all the trauma, but it brings about questions that Teal would rather leave unanswered. Maiya wants to know who her biological father is. Teal has never told anyone, not even the father. It’s a door she was hoping to keep shut forever. Teal’s own family, sister, brother, mom, stepdad, and her own father who left and never came back, has been estranged. But now that trouble has come to them, she must return to her home town and face issues she’s hidden away for far too long. Sally John delivers a touching story about life’s unexpected detours and the courage it takes to erase the lies that can echo in our hearts.
by Dave Ihlenfeld
You’ve heard of Oscar Mayer hotdogs, but have you seen an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and did you get a wiener whistle? For some reason I missed out on meeting up with the Hotdoggers that took a year out of their schedules for the privilege of driving a 27 foot long hotdog around the country. Dave humorously shares his teams experience as they drive this monstrosity of a Wienermobile around the country. One incident happened at a Walmart store: three of the four team members made the decision to run into the store. Dave thought they were nuts, so he decided to just walk in. Well, after returning to the mobile innumerable times to get yet one more person a wiener whistle, he decided they weren’t quite so nutty after all. He did finally make it into the store. They traveled California, Louisiana at Mardi Gras (where Dave ended up in jail), and finally Dave finished his year with one other team member traveling over seas to drive the Wienermobile in Germany and Italy. Dog Days is an exciting action fulled journey you’ll not soon forget.
by Dawn Ringling
Paul and Pamela’s daughter had been away all summer on a mission’s trip and was only home for a short time before heading off to college. Now, Paul wants a divorce, no discussion, no chance of repair, he wants out so he can marry Dana Taylor, a woman he volunteers with at church. With no forewarning that Paul has been unfaithful, Pamela is in shock and believes she can win him back. Jumping in Sunset by Dawn Ringling tells of Pamela’s struggle to accept Paul’s abandonment and to move on with her own interests. Without her best friend, Starla and Ken, her new friend, Pamela would not have gotten through this devastation. She soon realizes that she had been living the life that Paul wanted from her and now she is free to live the life that she loves. Ringling brings to life real people in a real world with real problems and shows that with God’s help one can endure the hardships life sometimes throws at us.
by Mary Connealy
A country that is “no place for a woman”. A woman that loves the country: the cavern with it’s mystery and fossils, and the freedom it gives her to explore. Because her father usually provided a small home in secluded spots for the family of four, Julia took to wandering while her step-mother & baby sister rested in the afternoons. Here in the mountains of Colorado Julia’s dream comes true, for the mountain is full of caverns that house tons of fossils for her to study and write about. Even when she finds herself trapped in the cavern, with no light, and a missing rope, she has such fascination with her study that once she is rescued, she must return.
Rafe, a cattle ranch owner, never wants to enter the caverns again because of a childhood accident that severely damaged his youngest brother. Yet, when he hears a woman yelling for help from the depths of the cavern, his fear is set aside to rescue her. Finding Julia, returning her to her home, finding the home an unfit place to live, and the father dying from a cut on his arm that is infected beyond healing, he feels the need to “take care” of this family.
The question is, who moved Julia’s rope that trapped her in the cave and why would anyone stoop to such low-down maneuvers? One thing is for sure, someone is hiding in the mountains and caves. Someone that is either crazy or just plain mean. Out of Control, set in the mid 1800′s, is a fun read that was too good to put down. I was glad that I had picked up the second book of the Kincaid Brides Series, In Too Deep, so that I could continue the story. I’m happy to say that the third book of the series, Over the Edge, is coming August, 2012.
by Liane Moriarty
Ellen, the hypnotist, is in love with a widower that is being stalked by his last love. Saskia, the stalker, cannot let Patrick and his son Jack go. She spent three years of her life raising Patrick’s son from a toddler. How could he just say it’s over. Saskia won’t let Patrick get by with pushing her out of his life. Ellen, is intrigued with Saskia’s behavior, but when she shows up at the foot of her bed in the middle of the night, that is just a little bit too bizarre. Patrick’s love for his first wife, Colleen, seems to still be fresh. Ellen isn’t sure she can compete with his sentiment for her. Will Ellen be able to live with a stalker pursuing their every move and the fact that Patrick hasn’t left his first love behind? The Hypnotist’s Love Story, set in Australia, is an intriguing read, with several interesting characters in the sidelines.
Ever By My Side: A Memoir in Eight
Acts Pets by Dr. Nick Trout is much more than a veteranarians account of his daily life. It is a story of relationships, of hope, and of hurting. The senior Mr. Trout had Nick pictured in a “James Herriot” type practice, so when Nick decides to go to America and practice, his father is disappointed. Another disappointment came when Dr. Trout married a woman with cats and they didn’t add any dogs to their family home. Dr. Trout tells how the pets in his life help him understand, enjoy, and get through hard decisions. When his daughter became very ill, it took a pet to help him through her illness. Of course his memoirs include animal antics that are hilarious and heart warming as well as sad. You’ll enjoy this book if you like animals, but even if you aren’t an animal lover it’s a great story for everyone.
Although Bethany is more interested in her career than her family and friends she left 10 years previously, she is compelled to return to her hometown to care for her grandfather as he recovers from a heart attack. Also bidding her home, is her childhood friend, Robin, whose husband is dying. Whatever happened in Bethany’s earlier life has affected her relationships in her small hometown. She dispises her mother and fears letting her feelings come out of the controlled status she has kept them under. Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert is a story of hurting, fleeing, returning and healing. Ganshert’s characters are well described and you will find yourself becoming part of their lives and situations.