Friday, November 19, 2010

Secrets of Harmony Grove by Mindy Starns Clark

Sienna Collins just landed the biggest account of her advertising career. She is on cloud nine when she walks into her office. But there on the door is a note to go to her bosses office immediately on her return. Sienna notices that those people at their decks do not even look at her when she passes by. Her bosses tell her that she is suspended without pay because she is being investigated by the government. When she tries to question them more they tell her that they have nothing else to say. Sienna heads to her parents for some morale support but when she gets there her mother had a bad day after her treatment for MS. So she just lets her parents think that she has come for a visit and nothing more. While she is there she gets a call from her ex-boyfriend Troy. He keeps asking her about a fishing tree. Then he starts to slur his words but tells her that it's her B & B manager's fault that she is being investigated. Sienna decides to head to Lancaster county Pennsylvania to the Bed and Breakfast she owns. She inherited the house and land along with her father and brother but over time she bought both of their shares out and turned the house into a B & B. When she arrives she finds Troy dead by the swimming pool and her manager Floyd unconscious. Sienna calls the police and then gets involved in the investigation with the help of the lead detective. They think the clue to the case will be in the grove of trees her grandfather planted and dedicated to his first wife. Troy had been looking for the diamonds that family lore told her grandfather hid there. Suspicion is on her cousin Jonah because of the emu's that he raises, then they find chemicals used to poison Troy in her Uncle Emory's shed. Through it all Sienna deals with ghosts from her past and she tries to learn what happened to Troy and what she was unwittingly involved in.

I found this book rather hard to get into. It seemed to be a little wordy in parts but overall is a very good story. Liked the glimpse into the Amish way of life and how they related to their English cousin. The characters were enjoyable and well rounded. I liked the book but it took me longer to read than most.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Haunted Echos by Julie Ann Howell

Sarah Reddington has writer's block. Her publisher has sent her to a bed and breakfast in Maine to try and stimulate her creative juices. Not long after Sarah arrives strange things start to happen. She finds a key and then loses it. She hears noises and one day finds her dog tied up in the attic. Sarah begins to think that she is losing her mind. She goes to see the lighthouse keeper after talking to a local policeman. He reluctantly lets her in and begins to tell her stories about the inn where she is staying. When Sarah looks at the inn she sees a beautiful place, but when anyone else sees it they see a dilapidated, condemned house. Sarah's sister Abby and her niece Tessa arrived because Abby has not heard from her sister in quite awhile. With the aid of Riley Storms the policeman Sarah met, Abby and Tessa brave the inn and look for Sarah.

This book is definitely a page turner. It was interesting from beginning to end. The writer paints pictures with words and you can see the inn and everything that Sarah goes through in your mind as you read. Her writing style makes the book a fast and easy read. From the lead character to all the supporting characters each has a definite personality that leads much to the book. This story is worth taking the time to read.

A Plain and Simple Christmas by Amy Clipston

Anna Mae left her Amish family and community when she fell in love with Englisher Kellen McDonough. Now expecting her first child Annie longs to be reunited with the family that shunned her. Kellen encourages Annie to write to her sister in law Kathryn and see what the feeling is there. Kathryn is thrilled to hear from Annie and approaches her husband David about the impending visit. David tells Kathryn that Christmas is not the proper time for Annie's return and to write and tell his sister that they would visit in the spring. But, Kathryn feels God is telling her to facilitate the visit and goes behind her husband's back to ease Annie's visit. When Annie and Kellen arrive they are welcomed by Kathryn, David and their family. They allow them to eat at their table the first night. The next day, they are invited back to a meal with her parents. Mary Rose welcomes her daughter with open arms but her father Henry will not even acknowledge her. Kathryn begs Annie not to leave and to give her father one more chance.

This is a heartwarming book of reconciliation of a family during the holiday season. I especially liked that the author made a list of words commonly used by the Amish and the English meaning beside. The look into the Amish ways and customs was very interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

And the Devil Laughed by Carole Sutton

Hannah Ford is a cop sent undercover to learn about drug trafficing in the small town of Draper's Wharf. Little did Hannah know but just before she arrived her cousin was raped and murdered. Hannah's cover is that of a reporter for a magazine and when she get a room from Mac Mckay he is not thrilled about a reporter staying in his place. But he lets Hannah help him out now that his waitress, who was Hannah's cousin, has been killed. The set up is ideal for Hannah as Mac's brother Doug is also helping him. Doug just happens to be Hannah's contact in the police department there. Although she is sent to find out about the drug traffic, Hannah can not let Vicky's murder go unsolved. So, she starts investigating on her own. Getting information from wherever she can including Vicky's mom Grace and her friends. With each piece of information that Hannah uncovers it brings back memories of her own rape right after the death of her husband. Still Hannah struggles on to find out what happened to Vicky. One night she hears a noise and sees something hanging from a yardarm. When she and Mac investigate they find a body hanging there. Hannah is sure the two murders are connected and set out to learn what really happened and put closure in her own life.

This book is set in Australia and was interesting to read the difference in slang expressions between there and America. The plot is well thought out and I liked how everything was tied up in the end. Did not grab me at first but once I got into the story it did keep my interest. Enjoyable read although not as fast as some others I have read.

The Coming Economic Armeggedon by Dr. David Jeremiah

Dr. Jeremiah tells about the falling economy and what it means to the future not only for Christian's but for everyone. He talks about all the bailouts of big corporations in order for there to be more government control. Also the failure of small banks who are then gobbled up by larger banks and thus more government control. He suggests that there is a move in this country to consolidated government. That the United States will soon be a socialist state. Then he discusses what will happen if the foreign countries that hold our notes, like China and Russia ever call in those notes. This country will be in a world of hurt. Even now there is a push to use another country's money as the standard since the dollar continues it fast devaluation. While discussing all the ramifications of poor government and government control, Dr. Jeremiah is quick to point out that the church will not be here to see it or have to worry about the Antichrist and the mark of the beast that will happen after the church is raptured.

While we can not know when all this will take place, this book is thought provoking in light of what is going on in the world today. Dr. Jeremiah's book is jam packed with all kinds of information that at first is hard to digest. This book may take more than one reading to understand all that's put forth. I appreciate all the time and effort that was put into gathering all the facts and figures that this book contains. For a student of the economy this is right up there alley.