Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Fiction Fun Blog Tour

This blog tour consisted of three books: Limelight by Melody Carlson, What Matters Most by Melody Carson, and Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh.

"I used to be a beauty... too good for our dusty little town...destined for greatness." Claudette Fiore' used to turn heads and break hearts. She relished the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle because she had what it takes: money, youth, fame, and above all, beauty. But age has withered that beauty, and a crooked accountant had taken her wealth, leaving the proud widow penniless and alone.

Armed with stubbornness and sarcasm, Claudette returns to her shabby little hometown and her estranged sister. Slowly, she makes friends. She begins to see her old life in a new light. For the first time, Claudette Fiore' questions her own values and finds herself wondering if it's too late to attain true beauty.

This was a good book. At first, I wasn't sure what to expect but Melody made this old curmudgeon likable in the end. Claudette was an aging actress that was used to the best. Suddenly, she has to adjust to living on her own and doing everyday chores such as cleaning, cooking and washing her clothes without servants to help. She was self-centered but gradually let others into her world. My favorite part was Claudette's attempts to do things on her own and making a mess of everything. It sounds like something I would do, especially not opening the flue in the fireplace. One of my favorite characters was Michael. Even though Michael was Claudette's husband's step-son, he took care of Claudette like he was her own son. He helped her get settled in her new house and tried to make the changes less harsh. I recommend this book for anyone looking for something different.

Melody Carlson is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than two hundred books including The Other Side of Darkness, On This Day, Crystal Lies, Finding Alice, and several series for teens. Melody and her husband live in central Oregon, where they enjoy an active lifestyle of skiing, hiking, gardening, camping, and biking. They are the parents of two grown sons.
To purchase this book or for more information, click here.

Sixteen-year-old Maya Stark has a lot to sort through. She could graduate from high school early if she wants to. She's considering it, especially when popular cheerleader Vanessa Hartman decides to make her life miserable - and Maya's ex-boyfriend Dominic gets the wrong idea about everything.

To complicate matters even more, Maya's mother will be released from prison soon, and she'll want Maya to live with her again. That's a disaster waiting to happen. And when Maya plays her dad's old acoustic guitar in front of an audience, she discovers talents and opportunities she never expected. Faced with new options, Maya must choose between a "normal" life and a glamorous one. Ultimately, she has to figure out what matters most.

What Matters Most (book 3, Diary of a Teenage Girl series, Maya) by Melody Carlson is great. Even though it is the third book in the Maya series and the last in the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, I could follow along with little trouble. Maya is a girl with a great head on her shoulders. She prays over every decision she has to make. She makes friends with the class outcast, despite what her "Christian" friends think, and isn't lured by the promise of fortune and fame. Maya is not afraid to let people know she is a follower of Christ. We all should strive to be the type of Christian Maya is.

Melody Carlson is an award-winning, best-selling author of nearly two hundred books for teens, children, and adults, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, The Secret Life of Samantha McGregor series, the True Color Series and the Notes from a Spinning Planet series. Melody has two grown sons and lives in central Oregon with her husband, where they enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping, and biking.

To purchase What Matters Most or for more information, click here.

They say you can take the girl out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the girl. This girl begs to differ. Piper Wick left her hometown of Pickwick, North Carolina, twelve years ago, shook the dust off her feet, ditched her drawl and her family name, and made a new life for herself as a high-powered public relations consultant in Los Angeles. She's even "engaged to be engaged" to the picture-perfect U.S. Congressman Grant Spangler.

Now all of Piper's hard-won happiness is threatened by a reclusive uncle's bout of conscience. In the wake of a health scare, Uncle Obadiah Pickwick had decided to change his will, leaving money to make amends for four generations' worth of family misdeeds. But that will reveal all the Pickwicks' secrets, including Piper's.

Though Piper arrives in Pickwick primed for battle, she is unprepared for Uncle Obe's rugged, blue-eyed gardener. So just who is Axel Smith? Why does he think making amends is about more than just making restitution? And why, oh why, can't she stay on task? With God's help, Piper is about to discover that although good PR might smooth things over, only the truth will set her free.

Being born and raised in the South, my interest was piqued by Leaving Carolina. Tamara does a great job showing that Piper's struggles with her family are ones we all face, whether you life in the South or anywhere else. Piper, on top of having to figure out how to get Uncle Obe to change his mind instead of his will, also struggles to trust family members that hurt her throughout her childhood, even though some of them have changed for the better. This was another great book, probably my favorite of the three.

Tamara Leigh is the best-selling author of twelve novels, including Perfecting Kate, award-winning Splitting Harriet, and Faking Grace. A former speech and language pathologist, Tamara lives with her husband, David, and their two sons in Tennessee.

If you are interested in purchasing Leaving Carolina, click here.

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