I love a good Christmas story. It doesn’t have to be a long one, or have a pithy statement, but it does need to be a peaceful, gentle reminder of the reason for celebrating Christmas.
In “Christmas at Grey Sage” Phyllis Clark Nichols presents us with such a story. After over twenty years of avoiding a Christmas in their home, Silas and Maude are persuaded to host a friend’s group of travelling companions for a few days before Christmas. Their home has become an inn catering to writing and artistic retreats throughout the year. Silas and Maude are scheduled to fly to Curaçao to celebrate Christmas. Their trek to other climes is the usual way that they spend Christmas ever since the death of their beloved son many years ago. However, the “Unlikely Christmas Party” of misfits that Lily brings to them changes things for all. This group of mis-matched people is also escaping celebrating Christmas in the traditional way by travelling to New Mexico to experience an artistic jaunt.
Mother Nature has a way of changing peoples’ plans to suit herself though. Finding themselves in the midst of a blizzard, all are unable to leave according to their plans. The “Unlikely Christmas Party” is stranded as are Silas and Maude and a few neighbors at the Grey Sage Inn. Things could be worse…the food is wonderful, the company comes around to bonding and Christmas is spent the way it should be, with good people sharing food and fellowship and just enjoying the reason for the season.
I really enjoyed reading gentle reminder of what Christmas is supposed to be. Even in our sorrows we can count on the Babe to restore us to wholeness again. Ms. Nichols captured this very nicely in this book. The characters were varied enough that it was a joy to read about others’ escapades. I thought that it was a good seasonal read.
I received a complimentary print review copy of this book from Gilead publishers and LitFusePublicity.com in return for posting a review.
“Montana Snowfall” by Caroline Fyffe was a very good read. In her novel, Ms. Fyffe portrays a young St. Louis girl from a big family who is desperate to leave. She concocts a story about visiting her sister and husband in Y Knot, Montana, even though she has not let them know that she is coming. Her reason for going away is to spare her family the shame she feels for the predicament she is in. Personally, I think her refusal to let her family help her is misguided. However, it does make for a good storyline.
Sally travels to Montana by train and stage and at one point during the journey, the stage overturns and she rides for help on one of the mules. She is caught in a blinding snowstorm and just manages to find a hunter’s cabin where she takes shelter. Also caught in the storm is Roadie Guthrie, a ranch hand for the McCutcheon family who is more like a son to the patriarch and his wife. All of their children and families live in or near the main ranch house and are protected by each other. Roadie finds the hunter’s cabin and he and Sally are forced to remain together for three days waiting out the storm. Roadie and Sally form a friendship, and Sally’s predicament causes Roadie to come to her rescue again.
I thought this story was well-thought out and I loved the characters. Roadie was a kind and gentle person and Sally, although misguided, was a lovely girl caught up in circumstances beyond her control. I think you’ll like this book.
I love reading an action-packed political thriller and I found it in “In Sheep’s Clothing”. L.D. Beyer has written a page-turning, fast-paced novel that will have you speculating and wondering throughout. The story opens with the President of the United States committing suicide while skeet-shooting with a number of Secret Service agents. It seems that someone has blackmailed him not to seek re-election. He obviously saw no way out of his dilemma. Matthew Richter is one of the President’s agents and feels in some way responsible that he could not stop what happened.
His Vice-President, David Kendall has taken the reins of the country. Matthew Richter has been assigned to this president as well. He takes his job very seriously and is highly motivated to keep this new leader safe.
President Kendall has chosen a man for his Vice-President who seems to be on a different wave-length than Kendall. Tyler Rumson has been in politics for years and has used his influence to garner people whom he can maneuver to do his bidding. He wants to be President…badly. He is determined that David Kendall will not run for re-election. When he finds out the opposite, Rumson calls in his markers. He has to do something to stop the President.
In a spectacular event, Air Force One crashes on a flight from Seattle to Washington, D.C. What caused the crash? Did anyone survive the crash? Was it terrorism or sabotage? Was Matthew Richter able to do his job in keeping the president safe? Do not start reading this book unless you can finish it in one or two sittings. You will NOT be able to put it down.
I loved the way Mr. Beyer develops his characters and keeps the reader in suspense trying to decide who the bad guys are. The Matthew Richter Thriller Series will now be on my reader list.
I purchased a Kindle print copy of this book from Amazon.com. No review positive or otherwise was required – all opinions are my own.