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When her eccentric Aunt Dot passes away and leaves a sizeable estate to Dorothy, going back home is an easy choice. What isn’t easy is coming to terms...
When her eccentric Aunt Dot passes away and leaves a sizeable estate to Dorothy, going back home is an easy choice. What isn’t easy is coming to terms with the downright odd clauses written into the will.
Dorothy only stands to inherit the estate if she agrees to her aunt's very specific posthumous terms -- personal and professional. And if she fails to comply, the sprawling old Victorian house shall be bequeathed to . . . Aunt Dot’s cats.
And if Dorothy thinks that’s odd, wait until she finds out an array of secrets about Aunt Dot's life, and how imperfect circumstances can sometimes lead to God's perfect timing.
Posted May 24, 2013
When Daphne Ballinger learns that she has inherited her Aunt Dee's estate, she is completely at odds at why her Aunt would leave everything all to her. She lives in New York and though she was fond of visiting her Aunt, she can't come to terms with why everything is now in her name. Unfortunately it's not quite a cut and dry proposal either. There are a few conditions before Daphne can lay claim to not only her Aunt's fortune but gain possession of the old home and everything in it. The first condition is that Daphne must be willing to live in the home and care for her Aunt's two cats, Lucy and Ethel. For Daphne that is a no-brainer since writing for the New York Times for the last few years she isn't going to ever gain a promotion working with her current boss who seems to have it in for Daphne.
The second condition is that Daphne must be willing to assume taking over her Aunt's advice column for the local paper, Dear Daphne as well as in the New York Times. This is an easy decision since all Daphne's been writing at the New York Times is engagement announcements so she feels this is a simple step up in her writing career.
The third stipulation is that she has to fall in love and get married within a year. Not that one may just in fact be the biggest challenge for Daphne to face since she has no prospects on the horizon either in New York or moving back to her Aunt's hometown of Appleton. If she doesn't follow all the stipulations in the will, the house and all the estate holdings will go back to The Cat House, a pet rescue facility where her Aunt Dee adopted Lucy and Ethel.
Looking for a prospect of a new future on the line, Daphne agrees to the conditions of the will and hopes that in time she may just find someone she can love. But if she can't she'll be both homeless and jobless and have to find a way to start over again quite literally from nothing. Good thing for her that Appleton is a small town and she seems to have no problem finding men who are interested in learning more about Daphne from her Aunt's gardener, to the local organic produce owner, and even her Aunt Dee's attorney seem to be lining up willing to date the latest heiress in their small town. In fact Daphne thinks things are fine until the man she fell in love with ten years ago that broke her heart suddenly shows up at her front door. Oh what's a girl to do?
I received Lock, Stock and Over A Barrel by best selling author Melody Carlson compliments of Shelton Interactive and B and H Publishers for my honest review. This is definitely one you want to add to your summer's reading list and features a list of characters you find yourself rooting for Daphne to chose as her potential husband. I was rooting for the local gardener with the Australian accent that stops by to help keep her landscaping looking amazing and enjoy a cup of coffee or lemonade if she has it available. I've been a huge fan of Melody Carlson's books and this one has found a permanent home on my library shelf. I'd rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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Posted October 11, 2013
Posted June 30, 2013
There was something about this premise that grabbed me: a Daphne Ballinger, a 34 year-old who lives in NYC, is stuck, stuck, stuck. Then her great-aunt dies, leaving her a house and inheritance. There are a few strings that complicate things -- immensely -- but you'll have to read the book to find out what they are. Let's just say she has to take over her aunt's advice column, house, and a couple other things. In the process Daphne learns secrets... and more important, learns how to live. She finds she can break out of her rut. And comes to peace with whatever the future holds...and not settling just to get along. It was a fun story with lots of great characters and I really hope we get to read the next book in the series. These are characters and a story I long to return to! Unfortunately I read this one too fast. It sucked me in so completely, I had it finished in mere hours!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 26, 2013
Daphne Ballinger's left her small town life in Appleton with high hopes of having a writing career in the Big Apple. Thing is it's thirteen years later, and she is finds herself stuck in a job that is far from what she hoped for, sharing the same apartment, and still heartsore from a relationship from ten years ago when a boyfriend burned her bad. When she gets a call from her father that her rather eccentric ninety-one year old aunt Dee passed away she goes home. She is soon surprised that her aunt left her sole beneficiary of everything that she owned, including a beautiful old Victorian, a vintage Corvette and plenty of money, there is just a couple of snafu's her aunt left some pretty specific requirements and Daphne has a year to fulfill her aunt's wishes. If she doesn't the house will be given to the "Cat House" the shelter where she adopted her beloved kitties Lucy and Ethel. As several secrets come to light about Aunt Dee Daphne learns things that she would have never guessed. Will Daphne leave New York behind and move back to Appleton, and if she does will she be able to meet the requirements of Dee's will?
Melody Carlson is one of my all time favorite writers, her versatile writing skills, has taken me on several adventures and "Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel" allows me to watch Daphne Ballinger go from someone who seemed unhappily stuck in her life to someone with choices if only she can embrace them. Daphne is a character that is so easy to relate to, she was someone that had hopes and dreams, but after years of the same old same old her life was in a rut! I enjoyed seeing the changes that precipitated in her life once she returned to Appleton. Plenty of secondary characters really stood out for me including Daphne's dad, his life was in transition as well, and the secrets that he learned about Aunt Dee was something that he took in stride.Even though Aunt Dee has passed away, her character played such an integral role in the plot, she seemed like a fun loving someone, who did have a few regrets and hoped to keep Daphne from making some of the same mistakes. Ms. Carlson's descriptions easily allowed me to feel the small town setting of the story, and the advice column reminded me of Dear Abby! While there is an inspirational bent to the story, it isn't overwhelming, and seemed perfectly plausible I will say the author certainly left me hanging with the ending, and I know I will keep wondering until the next installment how things will work out for Daphne! If you have never read anything by Ms. Carlson this book is the perfect time to start, or if you're like me and are a long time fan, you're not going to want to miss this one. I only hope readers don't have to wait long for the next installment in the Dear Daphne series!
Posted June 20, 2013
I have yet to read a Melody Carlson book I don’t like and this book was no exception.
If you are looking for a light-hearted read with great characters then this is the book for you.
Daphne Ballinger just inherited a bunch of stuff from her Aunt Dee, including her secrets. Because of some stipulations in the will Daphne is thrown in to a whirlwind of decisions.
I could relate to Daphne because she likes to play it safe. That’s me. I like to have some idea before I walk into a restaurant what I will get. I will even go online and look at the menu if I can so I won’t be surprised. Daphne is very much the same way but because of the things happening in her life she is finding she can’t always live life that way. And truly what is the fun (I need to take some lessons)?
In this book you can travel along with Daphne as she discovers what it means to live and enjoy life.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.
Posted June 19, 2013
I enjoyed this first book in the series, and I'd like to read the next one. The author cleverly wets the reader's whistle without creating a frustrating hanging non-ending. Daphne inherits her aunt's estate with a few strings attached. She is to live in the old, Victorian house and care for two cats. Secondly, she is to write her aunt's advice column, Dear Daphne; and thirdly, she is to marry--within a year! This promises to be an interesting year for Daphne and for the reader.
Daphne is an easy person to like. She makes friends quickly when she relocates back to her childhood home. The people of Appleton are typical small town folk. I think it'd be a nice place to live.
I look forward to the next book in the series.
Discussion questions included.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and B&H Publishing Group for my copy.
Posted June 13, 2013
I very much enjoyed this book. I was fully involved in the story from the beginning and it held my interest to the end. Well written characters in an imaginative situation. The book appears to be the first in series and I eagerly await the next one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 29, 2013
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Posted June 7, 2013
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