Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Twilight Garden

Twilight Garden by Molly Dean. Publisher is Wild Child Publishing in Culver City, California.
Daniel Weston, his Aunt Margo and her daughter, Sabrina (Bree) are spending the summer at Daniel's Great-Aunt Delilah's home. Daniel and Bree are city raised in Atlanta and the country will be boring to them, they have determined. Bree is 14 years old and has become a "brat" according to Daniel who now calls her mother by her first name, Margo. She is into poetry and wants to live in Paris.
Daniel meets Kat, Katherine McDougal, who is 11 years old at the beginning of the book and they quickly become friends. Daniel, who is 10 years old, does not tell Kat his age.
Aunt Delilah had gone to Ireland she says to find her long-lost granddaughter, Maggie Dell who has been gone for years. Kat said she is dead and is a ghost. Delilah has left instructions for Margo to take care of her 8 cats, which Margo detests.
Delilah had a beautiful garden years ago where Kat and Daniel spend a lot of their time. Daniel learns a lot about the flowers from Kat. The cats are a big part of this story also.
Adults seem to be a problem in this story and I am not sure they realize it. Dan's parents are separated; his father very business like and his mother more easy going. Kat's mother is on her step-father number six. Bree wants to be with her father who has not been in her life for a long time.
The characters are:
Delilah- the Great-aunt who is said to be in Ireland
Daniel Weston
Kat McDougal
Margo Hollister - Bree's mother and Daniel's aunt
Glen- the father of Dan
Ariel Bannister- a friend of Delilah and becomes a friend of Margo, he talks about his travels around the world
Franklin- Bree's mysterious father;
Colonel Nicolas Pepperidge- described as an old coot who does not have much of a memory left
Cary Bowman- the young handyman who becomes a good friend of Bree
Maggie Dell- red-headed granddaughter of Delilah
The kids make their own summer fun and activities. The garden is important and I will let the reader find why it is important to the children and why Colonel is also important to the story.
A good and sensitive read for adults and children of the ages of 9-13 (I am guessing at the ages). This story might help some adults remember when they were a kid and take life a little easier and be more patient. Daniel's father was a good example of this. ( )

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Log Cabin Christmas Collection

This is A Collection of Christmas Christian Romances. The chapters are about 50 pages each and easy to read. Very heart-warming stories. The stories really tell it how it was in the Pioneer Days of the 1880s.
Chaper 1 : "Snow Angel" by Margret Brownley. Maverick, Texas, 1885.
Chapter 2: "The Chistmas Secret" by Wanda E Brunstetter. Allentown, Pennslyvania,1880
Chapter 3: "Christmas Traps and Trimmings" by Kelly Eileen Hake. London, England, October 12, 1811
Chapter 4: "A Star in the Night" by Liz Johnson. Franklin,Tennessee, December 3, 1864.
Chapter 5: "The Courting Quilt" by Jane Kirkpatrick. Oregon, 1867
Chapter 6: " Under His Wings" by Liz Tolsma. Camp Twelve, Wisconsin, 1875
Chapter 7: "The Dogtrot Christmas" by Michelle Ule. East Texas, June 1836
Chapter *: "A Grand County Christmas" by Debra Ullrick. Colorado.
Chapter 8: "Christmas Service" by Erica Vetsch. Minnesota North Woods near Grand Rapids, December, 1875 ( )

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Endless Waltz

"Having just been promoted to Captain, Bret De La Cosa finds himself sailing back to England from the Caribbean, ready to enter into a new chapter of his life with his FiancĂ©e Isabella. He doesn’t get far as Davey Jones sets his eyes upon Bret, destroying his ship, and casting him down into the depths of the Locker below. After learning that he is still alive, Bret must make his way through the Dead City, fighting off Pirates and Marines alike in an attempt to find a way to escape the Locker and make his way back to the surface. Through his journey he encounters Romans, The Flying Dutchman, and the mighty Leviathan, all leading up to his final encounter with Davey Jones himself."
This book caught my attention at the beginning with Barbados and the winds. I have been to Barbados and I find it different from other Caribbean Islands and I do remember the waves and wind.
There is a lot of action and I think one for a teen or young adult to read and enjoy. Religion is part of the book and shows Bret as a caring human being. I got lost through some of the book; I think I needed more imagination. Jacob Marc Shafer does have a good imagination in his descriptions and the activities in the book. The characters were ones which the reader could connect and get to know and like or dislike; there are good and bad characters. I found emotion in the book and personally, it helped me know some of the characters.
The opening description of the book describes it very well. I only wish the book had better grammar and not so many misspelled words.
I will give this book a re-read. I am not sure the title is the best for the book but does become apparent near the end of the book.
Anyone interested in the sea, Davey Jones and his Locker, adventure, something different and pirates will like The Endless Waltz by Jacob Marc Shafer. Find him at
I received a complimentary copy of The Endless Waltz to read and review. The opinions are my own. I will give it a 3.75 rating. To a person of a younger age, I am sure it will get a 4 or 4.5 rating. No bad language or sex which is a big plus in itself.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley

Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley
Katherine Tenney has arrived in Cactus Patch, Arizona in 1895 on a Southern Pacific train from Boston. She has answered an ad in the paper that was "Looking for a woman of good character and pleasant disposition willing to learn the ranching business in Arizona Territory. Must be SINGLE and prepared to remain so now and forever more. Will be given ownership of ranch. Eleanor Walker". Because Kate had a history of disappointment from men, like her father and grandfather, also from her mother, she knew she would never marry. Kate was a writer of "dime novels" or potboilers as they were called here but her last book had been banned in Boston and she had nowhere to turn. Both parents had died and she was alone.
Her arrival was at a bad time as she arrived while Cactus Joe ( I pictured Jack Elam, one of my favorite actors), was causing problems again and most people were in hiding. The man who was to take her to the ranch had left when the problem occurred but the blacksmith, Luke Adams, took her to the ranch.
Luke's parents had died when he was young and his aunts, Lula-Belle and Bessie, raised Luke and his brother, Michael.
Her "training" to become a heiress began the next day and it was grueling. Breakfast was served between 4 AM and 5 AM. At 5 AM the ranch hands said their daily prayer and always asked for rain.
Kate had ridden a horse in Boston, but not like these horses. When Ruckus took her to get a saddle, he asked her "Western" or "Mexican" and Kate though as a blonde, she would think he would know she was not Mexican. This was a new world of words for her. She was college educated and used long words which confused the men. When Ruckus told her horse's name was Decker, she asked if it was for the English author, Thomas Deckker but Ruckus told her it was because he was the slowest horse and was on the "bottom of the deck".
The names of the ranch hands had barn names: Ruckus, Stretch, O.T. for some. Eleanor Walker was " the Boss Lady"; for a man it would have been "Old Man". The one name that surprised Kate was for God; He was called "Forever Man". She was dubbed "Goldilocks" by Ruckus.
Ruckus was in charge and even though he gave Kate lots of hard chores, mucking the barn as one of her first chores, he seemed to be on her side. This was not going to be easy to become the heiress; some who answered the ad only lasted for a day or so.
Luke is the main male character in the book. His aunts are concerned he has not married and he is already 30 years old. Michael is younger and more interested in writing than helping Luke in the blacksmith shop. Bessie is married to Murphy and Lula-Belle is married to Sam, who taught Luke about blacksmithing. I really liked these two wonderful mother-hen aunts.
This is such a good feel book and a well done Christian love story. This is a part of the country where God and the Lord is important to people and they are not afraid to show it.
There are some sad moments but lots of laughs and also confusing moments.
God invented night said Bessie so "we older folks can enjoy the benefits of youth without seeing how awful we look". They were discussing perfumes and satin unmentionables because the aunts had been reading Kate's banned book, Miss Hattie's Dilemma, which Lula-Belle had ordered. Bessie does not want to look like a painted lady and does not want to wear satin items. Lula-Belle has decided to order hers from Montgomery Ward; she wants to bring some spark back into her marriage. This book becomes part of the story in the book.
Other words that connected with me personally were dust storms or Arizona dusters; in West Texas we call them sandstorms. My high school, Monahans, school paper is called the Sandstorm. I have not heard the term.,"You best watch it" in Minnesota (where I now live), I "fancy" you, I have a "hankering" for you, a bowl of "fluffy white potatoes" sounded like something my father, who was born in Oklahoma, would say, "chipped cup" sounded so in place where Kate was at one time and Monday is washday. Uncle Murphy said "a drop (of rain) every 6 inches. My mother used to say " we had ten drops of rain" in Monahans; she was form Colorado where they had lots of rain. Ruckus says "Us western folks are easy to understand. You ought to know that by now. We may not always say what we mean but we always mean what we say".
There is a Reading Study Guide at the back of the book. This would make a good book for book clubs. I am recommending Dawn Comes Early to a friend who winters in Tucson and also belongs to a book club there.
I wish to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers, and the author, Margaret Brownley for this complimentary book to read and review. Because is such a good read and not a complicated book to read, I am giving it a 5 star. Dawn Comes Early is one of a series of A Brides of Last Chance Ranch Novels.
Leona Olson