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Belle of the Bookshelf

Welcome.  I read what I want and when I want, and don't write to a target audience. If we share the love for the same genre or can expand each others interests, I hope that you will follow me. 

Currently reading

Under the Dome: A Novel
Stephen King
Progress: 720/1357 pages
The Diva Takes the Cake
Krista Davis
Progress: 56/260 pages

Plain Death PB (Appleseed Creek Mysteries)

A Plain Death - Amanda Flower I enjoyed an Amish story with a nice dose of mystery but I forewarn you that this title is more for the mystery lover like myself, rather than for fans of Amish fiction. The Amish life was not particularly accurate, but it was a good mystery just the same.

The Long Quiche Goodbye (Cheese Shop Mystery Series #1)

The Long Quiche Goodbye - Avery Aames I loved the setting and the large cast of characters. Although the story lacked in reality as far as the legal aspect, it is a cozy and I don't tend to get too hung up on such thing. Overall, the book was quite enjoyable and I am looking forward to more in the series.

Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery (Natural Remedies Mysteries)

Scent to Kill - Chrystle Fiedler I liked this second in series significantly more than the first. The best part? Plenty of suspects and not being able to guess the outcome, which was only disclosed in the very end. A lovely bonus was all of the wonderful aromatherapy tips and recipes.

The Big Kitty (Sunny and Shadow Mystery Series #1)

The Big Kitty - Claire Donally Other than the narration being shared with the cat and being a bit ridiculous, it was a decent start to a newer series.

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind (Miss Julia Series #1)

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind - Ann B. Ross This is the first book that I have read by Ann B. Ross and I am hooked to her lovely writing style. Julia is brought to life in a way that makes her quite real and I adore her!

The Vicious Vet (Agatha Raisin Series #2)

Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet - M.C. Beaton I love Agatha Raisin. She is funny, slightly flawed and quite believable. In this installment, the mystery kicks off quickly and it kept me guessing until the very end.

Cherry Cheesecake Murder

Cherry Cheesecake Murder - Joanne Fluke Decent enough to keep me in the series, but not as good as some of the earlier installments.

Trail from St. Augustine (Cracker Western)

Trail from St. Augustine (Cracker Western) - Lee Gramling Trail from St. Augustine by Lee Gramling did not feel much like a western and it was severely lacking in character development and plot. The general idea was alright and the writing style was pleasant enough, but as a whole, all of the elements were one-dimensional. The book is adult fiction, but would be better suited for middle grade minus the graphic fight scenes.

The Thorn Birds

The Thorn Birds - The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough has been loved by many and I can see why. It is a well written family saga with thoroughly developed characters. The setting is remarkable in the way of being especially original and it is clear that the author has done her research.I found myself quite vested in the story of Meggie and Ralph, so much in fact, that it evoked a level of emotion.The only downfall was that the book dragged near the end when the story began to focus on Meggie's children. For my taste, I would have preferred that this long novel be broken into two. Note: There is a mini series that was made for television in the 80's for those who may be interested. I am looking forward to watching it myself, now that I have had the pleasure to read the book.

All Sales Fatal (Mall Cop Series #2)

All Sales Fatal - Laura DiSilverio I often turn to a cozy mystery when I am looking for a quirky light read, and All Sales Fatal is that plus more. The plot is more thoroughly developed than many of the books within the genre. I liked this second installment far more than the first. Full review coming soon.

It Happened at the Fair

It Happened at the Fair - Deeanne Gist It Happened at the Fair is the second Deeanne Gist book that I have read, and although I very much enjoyed them both and there is familiarization in the writing style, they are quite different from one another.There was much to love about It Happened at the Fair. The time, setting and characters are enough to satisfy my historical romance craving, but it is the historical background, along with the photos of The World’s Fair that really brought the story to life. The author really did her homework on this one, and although there were times where the facts overtook the story, it was still a very pleasant read with a beautiful plot.Note: Although appropriately classified under Christian fiction, there is no mention of it in the story, so do not shy away from this one if you are not normally a fan of Christian fiction.

The Moses Quilt

The Moses Quilt - Kathi Macias The Moses Quilt is a beautiful story about family, faith, love and history. The characters are wonderfully developed and I adored every single one of them. The love, patience and respect that they had for one another is not just touching, it is something that each one of us would be well served to strive for.Although the main character is Mazie, it is her great-grandmother, Mimi, who steals the show. Mimi tells the history of Harriet Tubman through a quilt, The Moses Quilt. The reader is not aware of the significance of the story in relation to Mazie, but is led to believe that Harriet Tubman's story will some how free Mazie to pursue a life with her love interest.While I was familiar with Harriet Tubman's story, I have never heard it come to life like I did in The Moses Quilt. Not only is this story a wonderful experience for fiction fans, but could quite easily be utilized as a homeschooling tool. The historical facts are accurate and the way that the story is told lends itself to being a unique approach to learning this important piece of history.

Love in the Balance

Love in the Balance - Regina Jennings In a time where even God fearing families opted for marriage within the same or better class, Molly struggles in her decision to follow her heart or please her parents by marrying into money. The premise for the story is good and there are plenty of moments that serve as a beautiful example of God’s love, making the story overall a good one.I was grabbed from the beginning as the story starts off with a lot of drama and turmoil. I enjoyed Molly, who is largely flawed, but desires to do the right thing for the most part. Molly’s love interest Baily, is a wonderful Godly man. There is another character, Edward, who although is shady, makes for an interesting character with his Rhett Butler traits.The problems that I had with the story was that there were to many sub-plots which slowed the story near the middle and the resolution seemed to take too long.I enjoyed not being able to figure out how things would turn out and I did like how things finally wrapped up in the end and was left feeling good about the time that I spent in the book.

Paper Roses (Texas Dreams, Book 1)

Paper Roses - Amanda Cabot Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot is a Christian historical romance, but it has wonderful elements of mystery and suspense sprinkled in, as well as a few other subplots. There were times that I felt like there may have been too much going on in just one installment, but I must say, Amanda Cabot did a wonderful job of meshing everything together. The Christian values portion makes this story into one that I am thankful to have read. It reminds us that although our heartaches can be devastating, God will turn them into something that is quite remarkable. This is hard to recognize at times, but this novel shows us that although we are not protected from the hurts of this world, trading in our bad times would alter the outcome in ways that may be equally as devastating.The romance is wonderful! The characters are broken people who come together in the most amazing way. I do not wish to spoil the story, so we will leave it at that.

Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook: Hannah Swensen's Recipes from the Cookie Jar

Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook: Hannah Swensen's Recipes From The Cookie Jar - Joanne Fluke I adore this cookbook with recipes from the Hannah Swensen Series. While the ingredients are pretty basic, the recipes are all quite original and tasty.