Monday, February 16, 2009

Gingham Mountain

Saturday was a very long and ultimately disappointing day. Our cheerleading team performed beautifully; I think it was the best performance of theirs I've seen yet. When the performances were done, my thoughts were while they weren't the absolute best team there, they most certainly weren't the worst. A couple of teams were lethargic in their performance with low energy and sloppy arms (which is one of the biggest sins a cheerleader can commit). We were hoping for them to place somewhere in the middle, but instead they came in last. It was absolutely devastating for the girls (and us moms). There were some other oddities, like a team who dropped their girls four times and still beat a team who didn't drop anyone. I don't pretend to understand the peculiarities in judging, but we all walked out feeling angry and confused. I took some terrific pictures, but until I find the USB cord to my new camera, I can't post them yet. The girls are doing a new routine on Thursday night for Parents' Night, and I'm really looking forward to it. Molly's dad walked up with her during the football season, so Jesse and I get to walk with her Thursday night, and I always feel such a search of pride when the announcer reads Molly's name and then mine as her mom. Hopefully I can get pictures of that too!

Gingham Mountain
by Mary Connealy is the third book in the Lassoed in Texas series. Grant grew up as an orphan and so has devoted his life to caring for orphans. At 27, he's been the father to more than twenty. Hannah Cartwright also grew up as an orphan under the brutal care of a taskmaster, so when she sees Grant taking in two young children, she immediately assumes that he is of the same ilk, bound to abuse and overwork the children in his care. Hannah takes the job of school teacher in the small town of Sour Springs in order to keep an eye on Grant and ensure that he doesn't abuse the children, especially her sister Libby. Throw into the mix oil on Grant's land and two unscrupulous people who will do anything to get it and you have a romance with a bit of humor and suspense. Hannah is the sister to Grace from Petticoat Canyon, who makes an appearance here trying to visit Hannah and escape from her growing brood of wild boys. My one complaint is that Hannah is so wrongheaded in her animosity toward Grant, she is occasionally hard to like, even knowing her history. Connealy has created a sweet romance between Grant and Hannah, and their family offers the opportunity for several more books.

Take the Old West, add some romance, and you have a formula for a wonderful read. If this sounds good, I have a new book contest for you! I'm giving away two copies of Outlaw Marshal by Al & Joanna Lacy. If you are interested in entering, just drop me an email before 10 pm Thursday night. I'll announce the winners here on Friday, but the review runs tomorrow. Good luck!


Christy G said...

Absolutely ridiculous. What a crock. If we hadn't gone first, there's no way we would have come last. Grrr. Those judges need some additional training.