A Down Home Christmas by Liz Talley


Pages: 302

Publisher: Hallmark Publishing

Published: July 2, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Country music star Kris Trabeau heads to Charming, Mississippi, to convince his aging aunt to sell her farm and move into a nice retirement community. She’s not having it, and she enlists her neighbor Tory Odom to help her remind Kris why the farm means so much…especially at Christmas.
After being dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Tory’s not feeling the holiday spirit. Still, she agrees to co-chair a children’s concert and silent auction to benefit the after-school center where she volunteers. As Kris helps her with the concert and spends time with the kids, the attraction between them becomes harder and harder to ignore. Can he trade spotlights and city lights for the place where the music began?

My Review:

A fun, entertaining Christmas read filled with love and the importance of family. Be prepared to laugh within the first five minutes of reading. Hint: Chickens and sweaters. I love Christmas books that feel real and A Down Home Christmas gives you that feeling right from the first page.

For fans of fruitcake, you will love the recipe for Jingle Bell Fruitcake Cookies included at the end.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Hallmark Publishing, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult


Pages: 352

Publisher: Random House Publishing – Ballantine

Published: October 2, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I will start my review saying I will NOT discuss the political sides of abortion or whether I think it is right or wrong.

George Goddard, an upset father, takes it upon himself to teach the women and doctor at the state’s only abortion clinic a lesson, by taking them hostage. He blames everyone there, patients and staff, for what has happened to his daughter.

After the first shot was fired, Hugh McElroy, a hostage negotiator, was one of the first one scene. What he doesn’t realize is that his fifteen year old daughter is inside with her aunt, his sister. Hugh has depend on his training and the others inside to keep his daughter safe.

Through the eyes of a nurse who is a patient, the doctor who performs the abortions, a retired professor facing a death she cannot control, the distraught father, an anti abortion protestor, a young woman who felt abortion was her only way out and a scared teenager we learn of the many different reasons humans make the decisions they do.

You can guarantee that when you pick up a Jodi Picoult book you will be made to dig deep inside yourself and think. You may not agree with the issue being discussed but you will be forced to see the issue from every side.

I was not sure if I would like the narrative structure The Spark of Life was written in but by the end I was glad it was written backward, meaning we start with the most recent hour of the hostage standoff and work our way back to how it all began. It forced me to question why and take more of the facts given into consideration.

A great book for book clubs as many discussions can arise while reading. Expect tears and heartache as you read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House-Ballantine through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

A Love for Leah (Amish of Pontotoc #2) by Amy Lillard


Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: July 31, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Amish born but a practicing Mennonite, Leah has returned to her hometown of Pontotoc, MS to help raise her sister Hannah’s son and open her second hand store to help English and Amish alike. She does not expect to fall for newcomer Jamie, who is very set in his Amish ways. While he learns how to raise his nephew and help him overcome the effects of a devastating fire, he finds himself being frustrated and intrigued by Leah. Can they find a way to meet in the middle and follow their hearts?

A Love for Leah can be read as a stand alone novel in the series but my suggestion is to read the first novel, A Home for Hannah, first. I found myself re-reading pages to completely understand what was happening and the dynamic between Leah, Hannah and Hannah’s teenage son.

Leah is a great strong female main character. She is not afraid to voice her opinions and stand her ground. The bad side of her being so strong is she is a bit stubborn at times and cuts her nose off in spite her face. Maybe some thinking before spouting off would help her have a little more tact.

This is my first Amish book set in Mississippi and I am ready to visit again. The first book in the series has already been put on my TBR list and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Kensington Books through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.