Monday, December 08, 2008

Quills and Promises

When I was seven years old, my Uncle Howard brought over a sweet, sleepy black puppy as a gift for me. Mom and Dad weren't exactly thrilled at this unexpected present, but Poco (as she came to be called) was very sweet. Apparently our other dog Nicky was also a "gift" from Howard when I was about a year old. So when Mom called me Friday and asked me if I remembered how I had received both of my childhood dogs, I knew something was up. Jake has been so down about Dotty's death, so Howard decided to do something about it. He found someone near him who had an 8 week old litter of puppies half Golden Lab/half Black Lab with two females in the litter. He bought one of the girls for a Christmas present for Jake, all they had to do was go up north to pick it up.

Yesterday Mom, Molly, Mia, my sister-in-law Krissy, and I made Christmas cookies at Mom's, and Jeff, Jake, and Jeremy went to take a look at the puppy. Mom isn't ready for a new dog in the house yet; her heart hasn't even started healing from Dotty's death. So the idea was that the guys would just go see the puppy. I'm not sure how much sense that makes, because honestly, who can say no to a puppy? About three hours after they left, Jeff called to say that all four of them were on the way home. Jeff, Jake, Jeremy, and puppy Sophie. Mom fumed a bit, but it was impossible to not see the joy on Jake's face when he walked in the door with his black bundle of love. And I think that while Howard bought her, it was definitely a God thing. Jake and Sophie made an immediate connection. She followed me into the bathroom, and when we came out, Jake had left the living room. She started jumping on my legs and crying until I called him out to her, and as soon as she saw him, she ran to him and jumped up. Mom's plan to have her spend the night locked in the bathroom didn't pan out too well. Instead she spent the night cuddled up next to Jake in his bed. We'll see if that continues when she's full grown. She's already pretty big for being only 8 weeks old, and her paws are huge! She's a little miracle, because Jake's heart is healing. I think this will be a Christmas present he will remember for the rest of his life.

Quills and Promises by Amber Miller is the sequel to Promises, Promises and picks up with Raelene and Gustav's daughter Elanna who starts up a correspondence with a soldier, Madison Scott, who is fighting in the French and Indian War. Madison and Elanna had an instant connection when they first met, and that connection grows as they write to each other other the three years Madison is at war. But three years is a long time to be away from the one you love, so when a newspaper reporter tells Elanna that Madison has been involved in some wartime atrocities, she's not sure who to believe. Miller's writing captures the little details about the Colonial era with accuracy and really help set the stage for this sweet love story. Elanna evolves from an innocent 15 year old girl to a mature, intelligent 18 year old girl by story's end, and Madison grows up as well as he faces the harshness of war. It's an enjoyable, quick, romantic read.

I'm starting a new book contest this week. I'm giving away two copies of When the Soul Mends by Cindy Woodsmall. It's the third book in the Sisters of the Quilt series, but you don't need to have read the first two books to get right into this compelling novel about a young Amish woman who leaves that society after her community shuns her. But she is forced to return to help her sister and then to face the ghosts of her past. If you would like to enter, drop me an email before 10 pm on Thursday, Dec. 11th. I'll be posting my review of the book tomorrow and announce the winners on Friday. Good luck!