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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Snowglobe Connections, Book 2: Divine Appointments by Charlene Ann Baumbich

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!
For some reason, this week seems to be escaping me.  How so?  Well, the days are flying by and somehow or another I totally forgot to do a 'Teaser Tuesday' post yesterday, go figure.  Though not the end of the world, it still irked me when I realized I had deprived you, my readers, of a tease from my current reads...since I know you oh so look forward to them (...hopefully...).  No worries...I'll remedy that tomorrow.  Speaking of time "slip sliding away" (if you didn't catch that tiny music reference I can't help you, sorry....if you did, way to go...), today's review focuses on a recently released title starring a character with a similar yet unrecognized problem.  Ready to read all about it?  Here we go!  Today's book of choice is....

Snowglobe Connections, Book 2:

Here she comes just a walkin' down the street singing, do wa diddie diddie dum diddie d....oh, wait a second, no...that was someone else.  *peeks around corner*  There she is!  Josie Brooks.  Feared by many, befriended by few (okay, so none really, but maybe family), single for life (seemingly) due to choice and circumstance.  You see, Josie is the person companies bring in when they are looking to revamp, and by revamp I mean down size and by down size I mean cut costs and by cut costs I mean size up the situation and determine who and what can be cut.  She's carried many names over the years most of which were warranted by the situation (hey, you can't help feeling a bit of anger towards the person that recommends you are being no longer viable) but said behind her back.  No problem for Josie since she has built herself a steel exterior and a wall around her heart to keep any personal attacks at bay.  No problem that is until now...

You see a few months ago, Josie Brooks happened to attend the Collector's Convention and while knocking the block off of one Cassandra Higgins (the main character from book 1 in the series), happened to pick up a snowglobe of her own.  A beautiful rendering of a park area rich with plant life and a flowing river....wait, a flowing river?  How in the world did the maker of the globe include THAT feature?  It's tranquil peace and charm call to her almost as if it was meant to be hers and a simple cash exchange later, it is.  At home, it sits on her shelf collecting dust, the magic seen in the moment of purchase no longer casting its spell....until one day, the sound of running water disturbs her daily activities.  Why would that be disturbing?  Well, its not coming from the sink, the tub, or the's coming from...the globe!  How is that I wonder?

With little time to explore this unexplained "miracle" of sorts, Josie pushes it to the back of her mind as she focuses on the job at hand.  This job however is hitting home more so than usual, knocking a chink or two from her carefully constructed walls.  What is it about this particular job that has her in a tizzy?  These new found feelings along with an unquenchable thirst strike her as two of a handful of things mysteriously out of sorts....and the solution to her problems comes from the most unlikely of places.  There is much to learn on the path of life and Josie is about to play the ultimate game of catch up.

Book two in the Snowglobe Series and my good as or even better than the first!  As in the other book, the mysterious snowglobe still plays a role in the story but this time rather than hiding in the back corners, it sits in the passenger seat to help guide our leading lady....and guide it will, just perhaps not on the most direct course.  You learn why Josie is the way she is and how our perceptions of situations can change over time.  Whether it is age, experience, or a new revelation, things are not always what they seem at face value; it's a lesson hard taught as well as hard learned.  The characters introduced within the story each play a role in Josie's life but also have lessons of their own to discover.  There are happy times, funny times (hey, the great Marshalleon deems it of the characters uses writing as an emotional outlet), sad times (you will need tissues for one part), and everything in between, but the river of emotions flowing through this book is well worth following. 

Overall, it struck me as a book about the heart warming changes that can take place if you just give life, in all its vibrant colors, a chance. Josie was not the only one transformed in this book...far from it. Each character was changed in one way or another, but all for the better. From the frustrating losses (jobs, life, trust) to the triumphs both professionally (new jobs, new career paths) and personally (feelings, nothing more than feelings...*ahem* okay more than feelings, so much more), the resounding message I heard was that of a fairly famous quote...No man is an island.

Need a hug?
 We all need someone, something to hold on to. Look at our social networks....they are social for a reason. People like to interact and whether you are the outgoing town crier type or that bookish girl over there on the fringe (*raises hand*), we all need our own version of the spotlight. The audience can be grand in numbers or only a select few, either way, so long as it fits the person, they are both equally satisfying.  In living that lesson by example, the author's characters create an Encouragement Club...something of which I think we could all use at one time or another to get through the bad times and celebrate the good.  Based not on the religion of this person or that, but on the belief that all people at one time or another need encouragement and sharing that experience with others is just another way to create lasting bonds of friendship.

This title hit shelves everywhere on 09/21/10, so be on the lookout at your favorite book store or online site.  The first two chapters of the book are available at the publisher's website for you to sample.  A word to the my own reading experience, I was drawn into this book more so later on than the beginning, so consider it with an open mind.

Special thanks to author Charlene Ann Baumbich and Waterbrook Press for the review copy.  (THANKS!)  For more information about the author and her current work, visit her website or follow along on Twitter.  To find out more about the publisher, check them out at their current site

I invite you today (well any day really, but for the sake of this to be an honorary member of our own little 'Encouragement Club' if you will.  There's no membership application, dues, or fact, this is its first and last formal meeting of any sort...though you are of course welcome to continue it on your own (something I may do in the future now that I think about, but we'll see).  The comments are open as always for your thoughts about the post, but today I also welcome you to leave a word of encouragement.  About what?  Whatever you like.  It can be something you think someone else needs to hear, something you would like to hear, or something in general...whatever pleases you most so long as a positive message can be gleaned from it.  So...what have you to say? 

Until next time...happy reading!


Charlene Ann Baumbich said...

MY ENCOURAGEMENT TO YOU: Whether it's your @GRGenius Twitter feed, this blog, or your creative enthusiasm to start something new, your ability to entertain and inform is a true gift. I am sincerely grateful to be the recipient of your many kindnesses, smiles--and yes, your lavish doses of encouragement.

Thank you,

Felicity Grace Terry said...

So glad to read that this was as good, if not better, than the first - it is so disappointing when sequels do not live up to our expectations.

Can I ask where you got your snowglobe graphic? As I think I mentioned I love them and would love one for my blog.

Gina said...

Charlene: Aww...thank you! Such kind words definitely bring a smile to my face. Really enjoyed the series and best of luck on your future endeavors!

Petty Witter: Absolutely....not all sequels live up to par. As for the snowglobe...I sorta just did a search on Google images for an animated snowglobe. ^_^ Not claiming credit for the pic, just borrowing it's beauty.

agirlreads said...

I love that you are always reading books I've never heard of. Of course this makes my TBR grow to ridiculous levels, but I love it! I haven't heard of this book or author before but I definitely want to check it out :)

Amused said...

I've never heard of this series before but it sounds great!

Tales of Whimsy said...

I think you rock! Your reviews are always sweet and thorough. You must be a writer's dream! :)

Gina said...

agirlreads: Alright! *fist pump* Love it when I can introduce a new-to-you author or book.... ^_^

Amused: Certainly heart warming... ^_^

Juju: Aww...shucks...thanks Juju! *BIG smile*

The1stdaughter said...

So, ummm, yes...definitely going on the list to read for Chick Lit Reviews! Your review was fabulous and I just can't get past the covers for this series, so beautiful - just like the story sounds. Love it!

Gina said...

The1stdaughter: Aww...thanks! Can't wait to see what you think of it! ^_^

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