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Dec 9, 2012

It's Mailbox Monday | What are you Reading?

Another week, and lots more books! Who's ready for Christmas? I need to wrap lots of gifts.. but I'm pretty much done with the shopping, thankfully. This was the first time in ages that I actually did more store shopping as opposed to online shopping, and since I joined in the Black Friday madness I gave myself a fantastic head start. And the Black Friday madness wasn't really that bad, all things considered (I only spent a few hours shopping each day). I was not about to go standing in line at strange hours, I just did the normal during the day shopping and I was pleasantly surprised how smoothly everything went. I got some great deals and found items that are definitely sold out by now, so I will do the Black Friday thing again next year. We also promised to not spend any money on the debit/credit cards, so I went armed with good old cash and I won't have many bills coming, which is gold in itself. One thing I bought on the card was for me: the Keurig Platinum Plus - my first QVC purchase. This Coffee Lover can't wait till Christmas!!!

Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia's Mailbox and is being hosted at Suko's Notebook during December.

Who needs the post office when you have eBooks? I downloaded some more Kindle books:

Christmas in Venice: A Short Story by Meadow Taylor
Olivia's Christmas trip to Venice, Italy should be a holiday dream come true. But when she’ s confronted by a handsome Italian cop about her unattended luggage, she worries she won't even make it out of the Marco Polo Airport…

Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin
Life in Sweden seems like an endless winter for three sisters after their mother's death and father's suicide. Elin feels the weight of responsibility for her sisters' welfare, and when circumstances become unbearable, she writes to her relatives in Chicago, pleading for help. Joining sixteen million other immigrants who left their homelands for America between 1890 and 1920, Elin, Kirsten, and Sofia begin the long, difficult journey. Enduring the ocean voyage in steerage and detention on Ellis Island, their story is America's story. And in a journey fraught with hardships, each woman will come to understand her secret longings and the meaning of home.

The Unfinished Gift by Dan Walsh
Can a gift from the past mend a broken heart?

Ian Collins is an old man without his son. Patrick Collins is a young boy without his father. On his Christmas list are only three items. He wants the army to find his father. He wants to leave his grandfather's house. And he wants the dusty wooden soldier in Grandfather's attic--the one he is forbidden to touch.

Set in December of 1943, The Unfinished Gift is the engaging story of a family in need of forgiveness. With simple grace, it reminds us of the small things that affect powerful change in our hearts--a young boy's prayers, a shoe box of love letters, and even a half-carved soldier, long forgotten. This nostalgic story of reconciliation will touch your heart.

The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson
The people of Christmas Valley always celebrate Christmas to the fullest extent. The mayor plays Santa, every business is holiday themed, and there's a nativity for the kids each Christmas Eve. This town knows Christmas. But this year nothing goes according to plan. Shepherd's Inn is full of strangers, Mad Myrtle is causing problems, and a young couple with a baby due any minute rolls in to the middle of town in their Partridge Family-style bus. It's hardly the holiday Christmas Valley wanted--but it may be just what they need. This charming novella is sure to become a new Christmas tradition for readers who love a great holiday story.

Thicker Than Blood by C.J. Darlington
{excited about this one the most!}
Christy Williams finally has her life on track. She's putting her past behind her and working hard to build a career as an antiquarian book buyer. But things begin to unravel when a stolen Hemingway first edition is found in her possession, framing her for a crime she didn't commit. With no one to turn to, she yearns for her estranged younger sister, May, whom she abandoned after their parents' untimely deaths. Soon, Christy's fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. Could May's Triple Cross Ranch be the safe haven she's searching for? Will the sisters realize that each possesses what the other desperately needs before it's too late? A stunning debut from the latest Christian Writers Guild winner.

Things Left Unspoken by Eva Marie Everson
Jo-Lynn Hunter is at a crossroads in life when her great-aunt Stella insists that she return home to restore the old family house in sleepy Cottonwood, Georgia. Seeing the project as the perfect excuse for some therapeutic time away from her self-absorbed husband and his snobby Atlanta friends, Jo-Lynn longs to get her teeth into a noteworthy and satisfying project. But things are not what they seem, both in the house and within the complex history of her family. Was her great-grandfather the pillar of the community she thought he was? What is Aunt Stella hiding? And will Jo-Lynn's marriage survive the renovation? Jo-Lynn isn't sure she wants to know the truth--but sometimes the truth has a way of making itself known. The past comes alive in this well-written and thoughtful novel full of secrets, drama, and family with a hint of Southern drawl.

London Confidential by Sandra Byrd

When her family moves to London, 15-year-old Savvy Smith has to make her way in a new school and a new country. She just knows the school newspaper is the right place for her, but she doesn't have the required experience, and the cute editor-in-chief is not looking to train anyone. She has to come up with a way to prove herself and nab the one available position on the newspaper staff at Wexburg Academy. London Confidential is a new series where British fashion, friendships, and guys collide, and where an all-American girl learns to love life and live out her faith.

After this download, I only need ONE more Laura Frantz novel!! (Conveniently the one I WANT AND NEED is the one that clued my on to Laura Frantz in the first place, and I've managed to collect all three of her others, just need her fourth one now).

The Frontiersman's Daughter by Laura Frantz

Lovely but tough as nails, Lael Click is the daughter of a celebrated frontiersman. Haunted by her father's former captivity with the Shawnee Indians, as well as the secret sins of her family's past, Lael comes of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement her father founded. Though she faces the loss of a childhood love, a dangerous family feud, and the affection of a Shawnee warrior, Lael draws strength from the rugged land she calls home, and from Ma Horn, a distant relative who shows her the healing ways of herbs and roots found in the hills. But the arrival of an outlander doctor threatens her view of the world, God, and herself--and the power of grace and redemption.

This epic novel gives readers a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman. Laura Frantz's debut novel offers a feast for readers of historical fiction and romance lovers alike.

I signed up for a Bookmark Exchange... and it was tons of fun to make some bookmarks for my fellow booklovers!! I started receiving some in return, and it was a delight to see some of the craftiness from others. I also delighted in spending some quality time with my daughter making some really pretty fantastic bookmarks if I do say so myself!! Besides the cost of supplies, the only drawback is that my library turned into a mess, and the cat had a field day with our beads and ribbons. I am still finding some roaming beads under couches..

What are you Reading?

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

Currently Reading:
I have now completed the first five books (the Pentateuch) of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. I have begun the book of Joshua, which is the first book of the Historical Books! (excitement!) I already want to go back and re-read Genesis, and I felt the last chapters of Deuteronomy were very important as they illustrate how we are supposed to uphold God's Law, yet we have continually refused to do so, therefore we are cursed. Very intriguing stuff.

As a companion to the Study Bible that I am currently reading, I am also following along with the Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts from Thomas Nelson, which I highly recommend for those studying the bible.

Also finished reading my first novel from Robin Lee Hatcher:
Belonging by Robin Lee Hatcher (Where The Heart Lives Series, #1)
In the high desert town of Frenchman's Bluff, Idaho, Felicia Kristoffersen has set out to create a future for herself that is better than her painful past. Alone in the world with only her faith to sustain her, she must prove herself as this tiny community's new school teacher. She cannot, must not, fail. But, there are those who never wanted her there to begin with.
Five years after the death of his wife, local merchant Colin Murphy cares about just one thing: raising his daughter, Charity. Colin wants to give her the educational advantages he never had. The new schoolmarm's inexperience doesn't sit well with him, and if this teacher up and marries like the last one did, Charity's heart will be broken once again.
A woman who hasn't known love. A man who lost the love he had.
In the midst of the wide, sage-covered plains, each is about to discover that life's bitterest circumstances truly can work together for good.

Up next, more bible study, and currently reading book two in the Where the Heart Lives series. Stay tuned for the reviews of those, as I will be doing an exclusive Email Subscribers Giveaway of these.

I also wanted to try and do a few Christmas themed reads, but life has been busy with volunteering and working and holiday prep and sinus pressure and general exhaustion. What are you reading lately?