Friday, November 12, 2010

Books by Laurie Alice Eakes

I've been reading Laurie Alice Eakes' novels lately. She writes for Heartsong, and her novels have become rare treasures to my bulging collection.

The first novel of Laurie's that I read was titled, Better Than Gold and tells the story of Lily Reese, who can't wait to escape Browning City, Iowa, for the big city. She can't see the loving family of townspeople around her for the stars in her eyes for something larger and grander. It takes a humble Ben Purcell to teach her to recognize that the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence. Included within the pages are the rumors of a long-lost cache of gold somewhere in the building where Ben Purcell resides. The readers will soon find themselves face to face with danger and intrigue . . . which melds beautifully into the romance budding between Ben and Lily. Better Than Gold is set back in the 1870's and each scene is reminiscent of that time frame, for Laurie has done her research well. It is such a delightful story, and one I will always recommend.

Next, I read Laurie's novel, The Glassblower, which I didn't believe (at first) could come close to capturing my attention as eagerly as did Better Than Gold, however, I was pleasantly surprised. From the very first page to the very last, I was engrossed and could scarcely put it down. The story is about Meg Jordan, daughter of the wealthy owner of Jordan Glassworks. Meg dreams of becoming a teacher for the poor, local children in Salem County, New Jersey, and not the wife of Joseph Pyle, whom her father seems set on her marrying. Set in the early 1800's, The Glassblower, also known as Colin Grassick, arrives at Jordan Glassworks from Scotland, where he has mastered the art of blowing glass into intricate and beautiful pieces, and he quickly becomes the lead glassblower for Meg's father. When Meg and Colin first meet, it is apparent that he captures her heart as quickly as she captures his. But Colin will never qualify as suitor to Meg because her father has a much wealthier man, Joseph Pyle, in mind for her. But, Meg's heart is quickly stolen by Colin and she begins to see Joseph Pyle in a much more sinister light than she could have imagined. Mystery, intrigue and an enduring romance are all key elements of The Glassblower and it is another of Laurie's novels I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.

Enter The Heiress, which takes place a few decades later than The Glassblower and I am just now beginning this third novel by Laurie Alice Eakes. With Laurie's two earlier novels under my belt, I'm looking forward to reading The Heiress, with just as much enthusiasm as I did the first two. Somehow, I know I won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

True Miracles with Genealogy, by Anne Bradshaw

Within moments of the book, True Miracles with Genealogy, arriving at my doorstep, I was lying on my bed reading it. Being an avid family history nut, I found the stories Anne Bradshaw compiled both compelling and inspirational. Of course, two of my own stories are found within the pages, which gave me an extra advantage in wanting to read the others. To my delight, I found all of the other stories drawing me in (although I was quite disappointed when each story ended, as I wanted to read more and more from each author).

My only regret is that the volume wasn't a thousand stories long, as I am sure there are many, many more delightful experiences out there just waiting to be told by others.

Anne has a real knack for gathering and compiling stories that touch the heart and enlighten the mind, and True Miracles with Genealogy is no exception. I hope Anne compiles another one just like it, only hundreds of pages longer. I could read such inspirational stories all day long!

Great work, Anne! Thanks for sharing this remarkable little book with the rest of us.