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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! View 2 comments. May 17, Julie Graves rated it really liked it Shelves: reads , christian.

Moving to New York after college Daphne had dreams of becoming a great writer. Getting a dream job for The New York Times she thought she was all set. But a failed romance and years of being stuck in the same job disillusions Daphne. When Daphne's Aunt Dee passes away Daphne travels to her hometown to attend the funeral. When the will is read leaving the bulk of her Aunt's estate to Daphne she is as surprised as the rest of her relatives.

According to her Aunt's attorney though there are some sti Moving to New York after college Daphne had dreams of becoming a great writer. According to her Aunt's attorney though there are some stipulations in the will that may keep Daphne from inheriting. While Daphne gets to know her hometown all over again she meets many people that help to welcome her to her new life in Appleton. She gets reacquainted with her old friend Olivia who helps her choose paint colors to give her Aunt's house a facelift.

She meets the local diner owner whom her father thinks would be a great match for her. She meets her Aunt's gardener who happens upon her sunning in the backyard in her nightgown.

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And her Aunt's attorney seems to be taking an interest in Daphne's social life as well. When a man from her past shows up to try and win her heart again, Daphne is confused about what she wants and wonders what her Aunt was thinking when she made the stipulations in her will. Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel was a cute read. It kept me entertained throughout. I enjoyed the small-town atmosphere of Daphne's hometown and all of the people that came into her life once she moved there.

I did find myself getting a bit frustrated at Daphne's indecisiveness, but as the book progressed she seemed to grow as a character. Being Book One in the new Dear Daphne series I am hoping for more maturity on Daphne's part to develop in the next book. I'll be looking forward to reading the next book to see if Daphne is able to meet all of her Aunt's stipulations to claim her inheritance. And of course to see if any of the eligible bachelors capture Daphne's attention ; A Happy Pleasant Story.

Made me Smile and Laugh. Looking forward to more. Listened with TTS. Jun 21, Lisa Johnson rated it it was amazing. I guess that is why I continue to read and write; the joy is in discovering another story between the pages. There are authors who write a standalone novel, others write series and some who entertain by doing both. I have read works that are complete when the last page is turned and others that leave the ending up in the air, whether there is a sequel planned or not.

Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel turns out to be a first in Dear Daphne Series, and what a great way to begin the journey! When you read this, you will discover it is more than it appears to be, that of a romantic work. However, the more the plot develops as well as the characters, the farther the reader is sucked into the pages, wondering what the ending will look like. Daphne is writing wedding announcements for the New York Times when she receives a call to return home due to a death in the family.

She flies back for the funeral of her dear Aunt Dee only to find out the little town she once called home holds more changes and challenges for her than the last twelve years of working and living in New York. What Aunt Dee does will bring a host of emotions and shock to the family, town and neighbors even though Daphne can never reveal everything to anyone.

The tumult within Daphne only heightens as her friends from childhood offer their advice and her Dad is making lifestyle changes that cause Daphne to wonder what else may occur once she remains in town. I really became a captive audience of one as pages were turning and twists in the plot kept coming up.

I wondered how it was going to end. I am glad the author chose to do that as her fictional work would have been ruined if she had. Melody has crafted a heart stirring novel that I look forward to continuing in the next installment. Great job Melody! My rating is 5 stars. Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. May 24, Kathleen Kat Smith rated it it was amazing Shelves: contemporary-fiction , christian-fiction , chick-literature , romance-fiction , young-adult-fiction.

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 co 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. 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.

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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? 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. May 20, Deb rated it it was amazing. This book and characters are easy to connect with, you feel like you can just step into this small hometown and be friends with all the characters. It is a book that you just want to keep reading to see what is next.

Daphne had a dream to be a writer and after college she lands a job as a writer for the New York Times, but after years in the city she wonders if this is what she really wants. She is like we are when we think we know what we want and then when we get it we wonder is this really that great or what is going to make us happy.

Daphne's Aunt dies and she goes home for the funeral, but to her surprise Daphne's Aunt has left Daphne her house with some strings attached. The reader gets caught up in Daphne trying to decide what she wants, whether she can meet her Aunts strings for her inheritance and what will really make her happy. This book, I think, is somewhat of a quest for Daphne to find out what she really wants out of life, about being happy, and about trusting God to help her make the right decisions and believing in the plan God has for her. It is a very good book that is very enjoyable.

It has a good story and at the end of the book it leaves you wanting more. An excellent book.

RISE ABOVE IT (BY LOCK, STOCK AND BARREL)

Melody Carlson has another good book that will connect with the readers. I would highly recommend this book. This book will be out June Jun 27, Kathleen E. He straightened the stack of papers on the table. And I'm sure going to miss her. But I promised to do all I could to ensure that you inherit her estate, Daphne. That's what she wanted. Daphne has been bequeathed her relative's Queen Anne Victorian and her copper-colored Chevrolet Corvette for a year.

Meeting conditions of the will determines if she retains them beyond that time. She resigns from her city job and begins anew in her hometown. Daphne finds it is not quite as simple as when she left for college. Her dad is selling the house she grew up in and moving into a senior condo complex with all the amenities, including a blonde realtor wanting to make plans for the Queen Anne on Huckleberry Lane.

Distanced from her childhood and past, except for the orange cat and stripy gray cat coming with the house, other changes are an added groundskeeper and reacquainting with her former classmates. Come and join Daphne as she explores adventures she never thought were available for her. She may find they are the dreams she wasn't seeking, but were hers all along. Jun 17, Jalynn Patterson rated it it was amazing. My Review: Life is always easy when you are truly convinced that you have it all under control. Daphne Ballinger thought she did have it all under control. But after moving to New York to put her degree in journalism to work for her things didn't quite go as she had planned.

She thought that she would only share an apartment with her room mates for less than a year and then be making enough money to own her own home.

But thirteen years later no such luck. Daphne worked at the New York Times as My Review: Life is always easy when you are truly convinced that you have it all under control. Daphne worked at the New York Times as a wedding writer. Things had been going along fairly well for, or as well as can be expected when she received the call from her father that her Aunt Dee had passed away.

She started to recall the summers she spent at her home, as a child while her father would be busy at work. Daphne's mom has passed away when she was a small child so her Aunt would care for her when needed. Well Daphne goes to help her father with the arrangements and finds out that Aunt Dee has left her, her home but everything is contingent on certain things she will have to do.

Follow Daphne as she works her way through this dilemma. May 30, Erin rated it really liked it Shelves: received-for-review , christian-fiction , contemporary , read-in , adult-fiction , arc-april. Was it possible to stifle yourself so much that you completely lost touch with your genuine emotions?

If so, had she done it?


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And if she'd done it, was there some way to undo it? And this one really paid off not only was I not able to stop reading this book, but it helped me stop feeling like a reading slump was about to happen. All of her plans seemed to be happening as well until she met a guy, fell for him and then had her heart broken when she discovered the truth about him. Once she gets home she sees how much has changed since she left. Which end up slightly turning Daphne into a reverse gold digger.. She has so many men in her life all of a sudden and even gets some real friends it seems for a change and a social life for the first time in a while.

Overall I really liked this story. When it first started I was a little worried because it started talking about living in an apartment and having two other roommates and I was a little worried that it was going to be like 86 Bloomberg place series. Btw when did I start liking contemporary and romance novels? Dec 31, Mercedes Cordero rated it really liked it Shelves: christian-fiction. Although I don't especially like the author, I found myself surprisingly not only liking this book, but also looking forward to next book of the series, Dating, Dining and Desperation, because, yes, unbeknownst to me when I downloaded the book, this is a series.

And, of course, once I finished reading that one, I didn't waste any time buying the third installment, Home, Hearth and Holidays, because, you see, this may not be a 5 star series, but it's addicting. Once you start reading, you just ha Although I don't especially like the author, I found myself surprisingly not only liking this book, but also looking forward to next book of the series, Dating, Dining and Desperation, because, yes, unbeknownst to me when I downloaded the book, this is a series.

Once you start reading, you just have to know what's going to happen to Daphne. In true Carlson style, the Dear Daphne series is narrated in a way that feels as if a friend was telling you the story. I like that. What I usually dislike about her books is the way Christianity is portrayed, superficially, and as an afterthought, basically saying that the character did this, said that, felt this way and, oh, by the way, she also prayed.

So, when reading a Carlson book, I have to somewhat put my expectations of Christian fiction aside and read them as just contemporary fiction with a sort of Christian vibe, which is sad to me but still manageable. Daphne Ballinger is a 34 year old woman who moves from New York to Appleton, her hometown, when she inherits her favorite aunt's house, along with everything else in her estate.

However, that inheritance comes with strings attached in the form of a few conditions Daphne has one year to comply with or she looses the inheritance to an animal shelter. One condition is that she has to continue writing her aunt's advice column, Dear Daphne. Another condition, and the most implausible and baffling one, is that she has to get married. I know it sounds silly and it is. But, somehow, it works. Daphne comes off as immature and boy crazy, mainly because she knows she is in a race against time, but it is still irritating.

Every time she meets a guy she thinks maybe that's the one, and it doesn't help that every guy seems to fall for her or at least really, really like her. From the beginning, it's pretty obvious who is the guy she will choose well, it better be Jake! She also second guesses her own intentions, her talents, and her abilities, which is very frustrating. However, as annoying as Daphne can be, one can also identify with her, and her struggles and insecurities. The secondary characters —her love interests, her family, and friends— are mostly well written, even though a few of them feel a bit cartoonish, especially the guys interested in Daphne.

Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel —3. Aug 06, April Erwin rated it really liked it. I identify with Daphne Ballinger a little more than I expected. First of all, her Aunt Dee reminds me a a lot of my Granny Boo. Granny might have been more brash than Dee, but they were both strong willed, independent women before their time. In Dee's case she's determined to see Daphne's life go the way she sees fit, even from the other side. Her will certainly lays down some very unique requirements.

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Dee does it out of love and good intentions, but her determination is still speaking from the I identify with Daphne Ballinger a little more than I expected. Dee does it out of love and good intentions, but her determination is still speaking from the grave.


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  • Daphne, fortunately, had a very healthy and close relationship with her Aunt Dee. Now with her guidance gone, Dee stands at a crossroad. Should she step out of her comfort zone and see where God will lead her? Or stay with what's safe and familiar even if it doesn't make her happy? Part of her decision includes choosing who to love and for the right reasons. I don't want to give anything away, so just know that there are several single men present and available and the choice is overwhelming! Not just for Daphne, but for me too. I found myself rooting for a particular gentleman only to question my choice a couple of chapters later.

    Your discovery is paced with Daphne's without a hint of who her final choice will be. The author did a great job balancing humor and sincerity with blossoming faith. Daphne's choice at the end of the book was a bit of a surprise, but that's good! I felt like I really experienced the journey with Daphne, and even if my choices or thoughts might have taken a different path personally, I understood and empathized with the character's decisions and situations.

    Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel

    I know this is just the first book in the series and it was a great launching pad. Daphne's story concludes in such a way that leaves you satisfied yet wanting more. Looking forward to more from Melody Carlson. Jun 25, Christian Fiction Addiction rated it really liked it. Daphne Ballinger is one of those characters who is utterly real, one who seems stuck in the rut of her life until her Aunt Dee passes away and offers Daphne the chance to reclaim her life.

    Daphne is someone we can all relate to, as she has to live with regrets over past choices, but also realizes that she can mov "Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel" is a fun start to a series that is sure to please fans of Melody Carlson, and features a character that I'm looking forward to revisiting in the future! Daphne is someone we can all relate to, as she has to live with regrets over past choices, but also realizes that she can move beyond her past and discover God's plan for her life. There is plenty of drama and action to keep the pages of this story turning, and the unique premise of the book makes for a fun read as Daphne is forced to wrestle with the clauses of the will regarding the estate that has been left to Daphne.

    I do have to say that as Daphne considered several different potential love interests, that there were times I felt like smacking her upside the head most gently of course as she waffled about the future of her relationship with one gentleman in particular. But Melody Carlson did an excellent job of resolving some of the subplots of this novel while leaving plenty of things open-ended to address in future books in the series.

    I, for one, am looking forward to see what happens next in Daphne's life, as she becomes ever more confident in who God has made her to be. I strongly recommend this contemporary fiction read, and award it 4 out of 5 stars. Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

    Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel - eBook: Melody Carlson: - ezemokuc.tk

    Jun 21, Lindsey Silvestrini rated it really liked it. I always prefer reading a book by an author I am familiar with so I was really looking forward to Lock, Stock and Over a Barrel. She had a whole life that neither Dorothy, her father or any other relatives had a clue about. As dictated in her will, it seems she basically wants Dorothy to take over that secret life. There were stipulations in the will that were pretty far fetched and seemingly ridiculous. Can she pull it all off and keep the inheritance or are the stipulations are as far out of reach as they seem?

    Jun 23, Maureen Timerman rated it it was amazing Shelves: A delightful book, that left me rather on a cliff hanger, but thank goodness there is another book coming! She is kinda in a rut. When the unthinkable happens, her dear Aunt Dee passes away. She goes home to Appleton, her hometown. Much to the shagrin of her extended family, Daphne inherits her Aunt's estate. Well, the estate comes with a lot A delightful book, that left me rather on a cliff hanger, but thank goodness there is another book coming!

    Well, the estate comes with a lot of strings. It was refreshing to read a book that had no layers of suspense, murder or intrigue to figure out. This was just a fun, light read with twists and turns and leads to a satisfying conclusion. Is it time to give up the Big Apple for her small hometown of Appleton? When her eccentric Aunt Dee passes away and leaves a sizeable estate to Daphne, going back home is an easy choice. And if she fails to comply, the sprawling old Victorian house shall be bequeathed to.

    Melody Carlson calls herself a storyteller for women and children, and has sold more than five million books. A professional writer for twenty years, she recently received the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Melody has two grown sons and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.

    Find out more about Melody Carlson on her website. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.