Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Blog Tour: Home to Chicory Lane With Facebook Party and Giveaway!




About the Book:
Audrey Whitman’s dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are grown, she and her husband Grant are turning their beloved family home into a cozy bed and breakfast, just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri.

Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey’s daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she’s pulling makes it clear she’s not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn’s husband, Chase? And what else was her daughter not telling her? One thing was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home her daughter so desperately needs?

My Comments:
Those who like their Christian fiction on the religious side should enjoy this novel about two newlyweds working out the terms of their relationship.  Those holding more modern egalitarian views of marriage will shake their heads at references to the husband being the head of the home and at marriage vows of obedience.  Both Landyn and Chase are trying to listen to God in their lives and yet they aren't listening to each other.  Frankly Landyn really needs to grow up; she gets mad (rightly so) because her husband makes a major life decision without consulting her, so she quits her job and runs home to Mom and Dad where she acts like a teenager when asked to help with chores.  She refuses to answer her phone or check her messages because she doesn't want people telling her what to do.  

Deborah Raney does a good job of contrasting the broken marriage and immature ways of relating that Chase and Landyn have adopted to the mature and loving marriage of Landyn's parents.  This is clearly a book written to teach a lesson about marriage.

I'd like to thank Litfuse for providing a complimentary review copy.  Grade:  B.

Blog Tour:

The first book in Deborah Raney's new Chicory Inn series, Home to Chicory Lane, introduces us to Audrey Whitman, a mother who has launched all her children into life and now looks forward to fulfilling some of her own dreams during her empty-nest years. However, not all of her children are ready to stay out of the nest quite yet.

Deborah is celebrating the release of her new series with a $200 B&B Weekend Getaway and a Facebook author chat party.

chicory-400-click
 
  One winner will receive:
  • A B&B Weekend Getaway (via a $200 Visa cash card)
  • Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 9th. Winner will be announced at the Home to Chicory Lane Author Chat Party on 9/9. Deborah will be hosting a heartfelt book chat, giving away prizes, and answering questions from readers. She will also share an exclusive sneak peek at the next book in the Chicory Inn series!

So grab your copy of Home to Chicory Lane and join Deborah on the evening of September 9th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Review: The Nightingale Girls




About the Book:
Three very different girls sign up as student nurses in 1936, while England is still mourning the death of George V. Dora is a tough East Ender, driven by ambition, but also desperate to escape her squalid, overcrowded home and her abusive stepfather. Helen is the quiet one, a mystery to her fellow nurses, avoiding fun, gossip and the limelight. In fact she is in the formidable shadow of her overbearing mother, who dominates every aspect of her life. Can a nursing career free Helen at last? The third of our heroines is naughty, rebellious Millie an aristocrat on the run from her conventional upper class life. She is doomed to clash over and over again with terrifying Sister Hyde and to get into scrape after scrape especially where men are concerned.

My Comments:
Once upon a time I wanted to be a nurse.  In the early 1970's I read piles of nurse romance novels, many of which were set in hospital schools of nursing where girls in blue striped pinafores moved from being probationers who did menial chores to graduate nurses who were in charge of wards.  Students provided labor in exchange for training; a system that pretty much came to an end in the 1970's.  However, that system started years earlier, and the Nightingale Hospital in London was one of the early adopters.  Their students nurses were paid employees who lived on the grounds and were under the supervision of the hospital 24/7. 

This is the the story of these three young women's first year as student nurses.  It is full of period details like descriptions of the hospital wards, the social season and the East End tenements.  Women of a certain age will remember when marriage was a career-ending event.  Those of us familiar with the "same day surgery" concept of hospital care will contrast that with patients remaining on the wards for weeks until they were completely recovered from whatever ailed them.  

I enjoyed watching these three girls, their friends and their enemies grow during this formative year in their lives and I look forward to reading the other books in the series.  If it is important to you, the only sex scenes in the book were abusive and if you didn't realize what was happening you wouldn't know what it was from the description given.  The book is set in England and uses English spellings and words (most notably "Sister" for a charge nurse.)  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B+

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival


Hello, and welcome to Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival. We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other. To participate, go to your blog and create a post titled Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival. In it, discuss and link to your posts for the week--whether they deal with theology, Catholic living or cute Catholic kids. I'm mostly a book blogger so my posts are generally book reviews, some Catholic, some not. Make sure that post links back here. Once you publish it, come back here and leave a link below.

We also have a yahoogroup; signing up for it will get you one weekly reminder to post. Click here to sign up.

Question of the week: With apologies to any of you who pre-wrote your posts using the questions listed above, I'm changing the question this week.  Many of us have been blogging for a long time.  This week's "question of the week" isn't really a question, it's a request:  Go back at least a year and link us to one or more old posts that you'd like to promote or encourage us to read again.  My old posts:


I didn't blog this week.  What about you?


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival


Hello, and welcome to Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival. We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other. To participate, go to your blog and create a post titled Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival. In it, discuss and link to your posts for the week--whether they deal with theology, Catholic living or cute Catholic kids. I'm mostly a book blogger so my posts are generally book reviews, some Catholic, some not. Make sure that post links back here. Once you publish it, come back here and leave a link below.

We also have a yahoogroup; signing up for it will get you one weekly reminder to post. Click here to sign up.

Question of the week:  Introduce yourself. Some of us have been participating for a long time; others are relative newcomers. Take a minute and briefly tell us about yourself and your blog.

Hi, I blog under the name RAnn though it wouldn't take much detective work on your part to learn my real name.  I'm a resident of the New Orleans area, and mom to three kids.  My 22  year old son is autistic and just started his first real job.  Please say a prayer that it works out.  My 19 year old daughter is starting her sophomore year at Northwestern State University of Louisiana (fork 'em Demons!).  She is a history major and part of the Louisiana Scholars College.  My youngest is ten, and a fifth grader at our parish school.  She is an altar server and a Girl Scout.  I work full time as a paralegal and the attorneys I work for do auto insurance defense and criminal defense.  In my spare time I like to read and write and this blog is primarily a book blog.  

This week I did Seven Quick Takes.  I reviewed a Christian romance about a war widow and her husband's twin. I also reviewed an inspiring memoir about a man who was convicted of killing his wife--and later found to be innocent.  

Somebody Like You: My Review


Somebody Like You: A Novel

About the Book:
Haley’s three-year marriage to Sam, an army medic, ends tragically when he’s killed in Afghanistan. Her attempts to create a new life for herself are ambushed when she arrives home one evening—and finds her husband waiting for her. Did the military make an unimaginable mistake when they told her Sam was killed? 

Too late to make things right with his estranged twin brother, Stephen discovers Sam never told Haley about him. As Haley and Stephen navigate their fragile relation­ship, they are inexorably drawn to each other. How can they honor the memory of a man whose death brought them together—and whose ghost could drive them apart? 

Somebody Like You is a beautifully rendered, affecting novel, reminding us that while we can’t change the past, we have the choice to change the future and start anew.

My Comments:
On thing this blurb doesn't tell you is that Haley is expecting a baby--a baby she never told Sam about.  Now as the baby is getting closer she is finding it harder and harder to hold life together on her own.  Unfortunately, one thing Sam always told her he loved about her was her strength, her ability to manage life on her own, and now she has a problem asking for the help she needs.  

As noted above Sam and Stephen had become estranged.  When Stephen shows up wanting to help there is no only the problem of wondering why Sam and never spoken about Stephen but also the problem of Haley's independence.  I enjoyed watching these two learn about themselves by comparing stories of Sam and watching them learn to love themselves and each other.  

The book is light Christian.  There are no intimate scenes but there are no long sermons that just perfectly fit where the characters are in life either.  While their faith plays a part in the story it isn't a "find Jesus find love" story either.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B+.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Seven Quick Takes

It is back to school time.  My youngest started fifth grade, my middle child is a sophomore in college and my oldest just got his first real job. 
Photo: So excited to start 5th grade.  Even my baby grows up.
Doesn't she look excited?

I've been writing blog posts about our recent efforts to get our finances in order and figure out the best way to invest my recent inheritance.  Last night we got the first statement on our new mutual fund portfolio from the financial planners.  My husband's IRA went from being invested in one mutual fund to being invested in twenty-three funds.  I put the whole portfolio in Morningstar and analyzed it there. I understand what they are doing and why, but it still seems like a lot of funds.  You can read about our financial planning journey at Getting our Financial House in Order and at Meeting with the Financial Planner.  
Another topic I've been blogging about is my foray into peer-to-peer lending.  Basically, a website facilitates those with money (investors/lenders) lending money to those who need it (borrowers).  Lenders win because they get more interest than the banks pay (but assume risks they wouldn't if their money was in the bank) and borrowers win because they pay less interest than they would pay a bank.  You can read more at Lending Club:  My New Toy, How I Invested My Money, Buying Notes on Lending Club:  New or Old?, Lending Club:  How to Sell Notes and Lending Club:  One Month Later.
When I started this blog, it didn't have any real focus; thus the name "This That and the Other Thing".  Over the years (yikes, it has been nine years since I started this blog) it has evolved into a book blog, with a few other things thrown in.  I'm thinking about moving the financial posts to another blog, and seeing if it goes anywhere.  On the other hand, I'm by no means a personal finance or business expert, nor am I willing to invest huge amounts of time in blogging.  What do you think?  Should I start another blog for these financial posts (which are, as I noted in some of the posts, a shameless effort to be noticed by search engines to attract new readers).
One chore I'm going to have to attack in the next couple of months is my parents' house.  My Dad died in April and my siblings agreed to keep the house together until it cleared probate, which should happen next month.  My brother is getting the house and has no immediate plans for it, so no one is in any hurry and I'm pretty much the only one who wants more than trinkets from the house.  Still, someone has to do something with all that stuff....
I'd like to invite the 7 Quick Takes group to participate in Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival.  We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other.  Those of you who have been around a while may have participated in the Catholic Carnival when it used to move from blog to blog and when the host used to weave comments about each participant's post into one unified whole.  Well, when the host no longer wanted to continue and no one picked it up, and when I read people bemoaning its demise, I brought it back as a link-up.  We'd love to have you join us.  The host post should be up tomorrow afternoon on this blog.
I'll close with a prayer we say at the end of Mass weekly in our archdiocese.  Given the situation in Missouri, I think it is a good prayer to spread:

Loving and faithful God, through the years the people of our archdiocese have appreciated the prayers and love of Our Lady of Prompt Succor in times of war, disaster, epidemic and illness. We come to you, Father, with Mary our Mother, and ask you to help us in the battle of today against violence, murder and racism.

We implore you to give us your wisdom that we may build a community founded on the values of Jesus, which gives respect to the life and dignity of all people.

Bless parents that they more form their children in faith. Bless and protect our youth that they may be peacemakers of our time. Give consolation to those who have lost loved ones through violence.

Hear our prayer and give us the perseverance to be a voice for life and human dignity in our community.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us.

Mother Henriette Delille, pray for us that we may be a holy family.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain


View My Stats