Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks - Written by Rebecca Skloot - I liked this book

The beginning of the book was very interesting.  I was really involved in seeing where it was going.  After the death of Henrietta, when the family was dealing with people wanting to get more information or write about her, when they were explaining scientific tests done with her cells and how they reacted, or how they invaded other results and costs some scientists millions of dollars, all of that slowed down for me and I was struggling to stay with the book. I believe this book made into a movie, would be easier to watch the movie rather than reading the book.  I found when I just felt I couldn’t hang in there any longer, the book ended.
 It is a bit fascinating how they collected tissues and cells from people and didn’t get their permission and used those cells, etc. for years afterward, sometimes proving scientific methods that they could patent and make much money from.  The person whose cells were used, or their family never received a penny from the tests and the results that were all due to having the HELA cells.
There was a lot of paranoia in the “colored” community near John’s Hopkins Hospital, that they pulled people off the street in order to do tests on them.  They thought that people were kidnapped and never appeared again it had to be that the hospital was taking them, not that they had passed away or just moved away.
I do really want to see the movie that Oprah starred in.

I received this book from the people at Read It Forward:
Here is the description as found on Good Reads:

Henrietta Lacks, as HeLa, is known to present-day scientists for her cells from cervical cancer. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells were taken without her knowledge and still live decades after her death. Cells descended from her may weigh more than 50M metric tons. 

HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks was buried in an unmarked grave.

The journey starts in the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s, her small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia — wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo. Today are stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells, East Baltimore children and grandchildren live in obscurity, see no profits, and feel violated. The dark history of experimentation on African Americans helped lead to the birth of bioethics, and legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery - Fool's Gold #2 - 5 Stars Great romance to polish off in an evening!

Liz receives an email from her brother’s children.  He was sent to prison for a very long while…. his two daughters were left alone in the house he inherited, by his wife who left with $100 and no adults to keep track of then or to rescue them. When the utilities all were turned off and the money was gone, the girls tried to survive but finally sent his sister an email for help.

Liz left that city years ago, she was pregnant when she left, and she wasn’t ever able to tell the Father of the baby, that he had a son. She did try.  She works as an author of crime novels and she no longer has to wonder where her next pay check is coming from.  She’s good at what she does.  After being told about her brother’s daughters being left and their reaching out for her help, she packed up her son and her clothing and she went back to Fool’s Gold to rescue the girls.  The first person she runs into is her old boyfriend who has no clue that she has a son that looks exactly like him.  The story that follows is a fun read and you can easily polish it off in a day if you don’t have a lot of other things going on.  I liked the book it was a fun read.  I laughed out loud a few times.  Going back to Fool’s Gold was never in the picture, but it turns out to be her best decision of all!

I received a copy of this book in the kindle format from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Description as found on Good Reads:

Back in high school, Liz Sutton was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Then she'd stolen the heart of the most popular boy in town, and their secret romance helped her through the worst of times. Until Ethan Hendrix betrayed her and everything they'd ever meant to each other. Devastated and pregnant, Liz left Fool's Gold, California-forever, she thought... 

Now Liz must return to town and face the man who doesn't know of their son's existence. And this time she won't have the option of making a quick getaway. Ethan and Liz can't deny their passionate attraction, even after all these years. But will their desire be enough to spark a second chance at love?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber - A book for those who love reads that include faith! 5 Stars!

Any Dream Will do by Debbie Macomber – 5 Stars An inspiring Read
Wow, loved this book.  I couldn’t sleep very well having some pain issues and this book kept me company all night long.  Maybe had I not cracked it open I would have slept, I doubt it.  I found this book to be one of the best I have read of Debbie Macombers in a while and she doesn’t really write bad books.  I just think this one was different.  If you are looking for a great faith based book, this book involves a female fresh out of prison, Shay Benson and a Pastor Drew Douglas.  He lost the love of his life, leaving him with two children daughter and son, who are a bit of a handful.  After over the third year, with his flock behind him, although they wish he can get so he can move on and back to his old self or something like that. 
He is thinking in that way also, when he runs into Shay in the church where she came in to get out of the cold he talks to her, she doesn’t keep her past life a secret from anyone ever.  He helps Shay to get into a place to take some classes do some volunteer work, help her get on her feet.  The woman who runs the place asks what her dreams are. She says she doesn’t have dreams any more, she had them and she lost it all.  She said just go wild let your mind think on it and any dream will do, once you start dreaming again, you find that once you open that door more come that way.  There is always a lot of work in making your dreams come true, especially for an ex con…but everyone has to work to make their dreams come true.  The easy ones aren’t as appreciated.

He eventually runs into her again when she comes to church and she invites him to her graduation.  He and his kids accept.  The story just takes off and he finds that he has feelings for this woman, who can’t hardly believe that any man fit to be with would want her so she has lots of doubts, and his children love her also.  I know I should re-read this and write it over, I’m just trying to the review up as promised.  I’ve started another book and it isn’t always easy to write about a book after a few days go by and I’ve been reading along a different track. 
This book is really well worth the price.  It’s a great read.  For those who give their word and never ever want to go back on it will really connect with this book and those with a need to reconnect with faith.
This kindle book was given to me in exchange for an honest review from “Net Galley”.
Description as found on Good Reads:

Shay Benson adored her younger brother, Caden, and that got her into trouble. When he owed money, Shay realized she would do anything to help him avoid the men who were threatening him, and she crossed lines she never should have crossed. Now, determined to start fresh, she finds herself in search of a place to stay and wanders into a church to escape from the cold.

Pastor Drew Douglas adored his wife. But when he lost her, it was all he could do to focus on his two beautiful kids, and his flock came in a distant third. Now, as he too is thinking about a fresh start, he walks through his sanctuary and finds Shay sitting in a pew.

The pair strike up a friendship—Drew helps Shay get back on her feet, and she reignites his sense of purpose—that, over time, turns into something deeper, something soulful, spiritual, and possibly romantic. Even Drew’s two children are taken with this woman who has brought light back into their lives. Perhaps most important, Shay learns to trust again as she, in turn, proves herself trustworthy to her adopted community.

But Caden’s return to town and a disastrous secret threaten to undo the life Shay has tried so hard to rebuild. It will take the utmost courage and faith if she and Drew hope to find healing and open their hearts to a brighter future

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fraying At The Edge by Cindy Woodsmall - book two in the Amish of Summer Grove - Five Stars definitely

This book is from a series of books in the (Amish of Summer Grove) this is number two in that group.  You don't have to read the first book in the series, as the reader is brought up to speed pretty quickly.  The first book does really flesh out all of the characters and the fun part of this series is that for the most part of the two books so far, they aren't really as much about Amish characters as they are about how they are brought up and their belief system which is challenged when Ariana and Skyler find they are switched at birth, Ariana has to go live with her natural family or the father will sue the woman involved in the switch accident, and so she agrees to live as an English person for a year.  

Her sister or the girl who was brought up as her for all of those years has gotten into drugs and she really doesn't want to take part in the switch back, but she has a choice go live with her natural Amish parents or go to a rehabilitation center to get her drug problem under control.  Boy do these girls run into problems living as they never have before!!  Ariana has to leave behind a boyfriend/ soon to be fiance and the cafe she bought to run.

I was given this book in exchange for a fair review which is what I have done above through the publisher WaterBrook Multnomah.  The following is the description of this book as found here on Good Reads.

"Family, community, faith, and love. These "quilt blocks" sewn together made Ariana's beautiful life. When they are pulled to pieces, will anything familiar remain? The Old Order Amish life Ariana Brenneman loved vanished virtually overnight with the discovery that she was switched at birth twenty years ago. Now she's immersed in the Englischer world, getting to know her mother, and under the authority of her biological father, an atheist intellectual with resolute plans to expand Ariana's worldview. Only Quill Schlabach, a childhood friend living Englisch, can help steady Ariana's tilting ground between the two worlds, but can she trust him after so many betrayals? At the same time, Skylar Nash is forced to choose rehab or spend several months with her true relatives, the large Brenneman family and their seemingly backward life--no electricity, no technology, no fun. What the young woman can't leave behind is her addiction to illegal prescription drugs and deep emptiness from the belief that she doesn't belong in either family. New ties are binding Ariana and Skylar to the lives they were meant to have. Can they pray for the wisdom and strength they'll need to follow God's threads into unexpected futures? Fraying at the Edge is the second novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series"

Monday, June 12, 2017

Braving it: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey into the Alaskan Wild (Hardcover) by James Campbell (Goodreads Author)

I absolutely loved this book!  It is based on factual trips made into the Alaskan Wild by A Father and his daughter.  They actually made three trips, starting when she was fifteen, she went with her Father to help build a new winter home for his cousin and his wife who had lived in the far back woods of the Alaskan wild!  I have never had any idea how it was to live in Alaska let alone how they trapped, hunted and fished for their food every summer, to put enough away to get them through the long rough winters. James and his daughter Aiden went for a very long summer to help build that cabin, braving clouds of mosquitos, the threat of grizzles, bathing in an ice-cold river and hours of grueling labor.  James had Alaskan creeping into his bones, when he was away from there all he could think of was returning there.  His daughter got the same urge and they returned twice during the year that she was fifteen to the Alaskan Wild.  The story was really great, it went into wonderful detail of all of their activities.  I don't think I could ever have done any of what they did but it was surely a great story and would definitely make a great movie!
I received the book through Good Reads contests in exchange for an honest review.

Description as found on Amazon:  The powerful and affirming story of a father's journey with his teenage daughter to the far reaches of Alaska
Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to only a handful of people, is a harsh and lonely place. So when James Campbell’s cousin Heimo Korth asked him to spend a summer building a cabin in the rugged Interior, Campbell hesitated about inviting his fifteen-year-old daughter, Aidan, to join him: Would she be able to withstand clouds of mosquitoes, the threat of grizzlies, bathing in an ice-cold river, and hours of grueling labor peeling and hauling logs? 

But once there, Aidan embraced the wild. She even agreed to return a few months later to help the Korths work their traplines and hunt for caribou and moose. Despite windchills of 50 degrees below zero, father and daughter ventured out daily to track, hunt, and trap. Under the supervision of Edna, Heimo’s Yupik Eskimo wife, Aidan grew more confident in the woods. 

Campbell knew that in traditional Eskimo cultures, some daughters earned a rite of passage usually reserved for young men. So he decided to take Aidan back to Alaska one final time before she left home. It would be their third and most ambitious trip, backpacking over Alaska’s Brooks Range to the headwaters of the mighty Hulahula River, where they would assemble a folding canoe and paddle to the Arctic Ocean. The journey would test them, and their relationship, in one of the planet’s most remote places: a land of wolves, musk oxen, Dall sheep, golden eagles, and polar bears.

At turns poignant and humorous, Braving It is an ode to America’s disappearing wilderness and a profound meditation on what it means for a child to grow up—and a parent to finally, fully let go.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Story of Arthur Truluv - Elizabeth Berg -- 3.5 Stars!

This is the story of Arthur an 82 year old man who goes to the cemetary every day with his chair and lunch and he has lunch with his recently deceased wife Nola.  He meets 17 year old Maddie who has gotten thrown out of her Father's home for being pregnant, Her Mom died in child birth, she refuses to give the baby up or abort.  Maddie hangs out at the cemetary, she seems to feel comfortable there and that is where she meets Arthur..  Arthur has a neighbor named Lucille who bakes the most amazing cookies, etc., but he finds her irritating.

I've read only one other book by Elizabeth Berg, her first book which was fantastic!  This book was really hard to push through. I remember looking and my kindle said I was 44% through and I still hadn't enough information on the characters to see where the story was going.  She pulled it together after that and I was quite happy with the latter half of the book, but I just wish this book would have been been more interesting early on.

I received this book from in exchange for an honest review!

The description of the book as found on Good Reads: A beautiful, life-affirming novel about a remarkably loving man who creates for himself and others second chances at happiness.

A moving novel about three people who find their way back from loss and loneliness to a different kind of happiness. Arthur, a widow, meets Maddy, a troubled teenage girl who is avoiding school by hiding out at the cemetery, where Arthur goes every day for lunch to have imaginary conversations with his late wife, and think about the lives of others. The two strike up a friendship that draws them out of isolation. Maddy gives Arthur the name Truluv, for his loving and positive responses to every outrageous thing she says or does. With Arthur’s nosy neighbor Lucille, they create a loving and unconventional family, proving that life’s most precious moments are sweeter when shared.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Love So True by Melissa Jeagers - 4 1/2 Stars

David Kingsman has come to Teaville from Kansas to prove to his Father that he can take the factory and make it a money making concern.....his Father just wants it sold.  Definitely against the wishes of David who really doesn't want to return to Kansas at the time.  He somehow when looking for a place to have lunch his path crossed that of Evelyn Wisely who is going to see someone in the red-light district.  He doesn't realize that is where she is going until too late......he ends up joining her as they have a luncheon once a week for the kids of the district, and  they hope the Mothers will join them also.  They give them lunch, read from the Bible and invite the kids to join them at a home they have put together for the orphans from that area.  Evelyn tried to have a home for the ladies who wished to leave that district, but the men in the area won't have it, the women are against it also.  
David gets involved with Evelyn while trying to help her convince the men in the area to gain support for a home to help the women who wanted to leave the red light district.  David helps out by putting some of them to work at the factory.  He can't promise that will last forever, he puts a few of the orphans who are older to work there during the day.  He does promise to give funds to cover one lunch for the orphans per month.  

Of course David and Evelyn do get wrapped up with each other, although she doesn't want to leave Kansas, things have to change for these two in order to work things out for the home for the women, to keep the orphanage going, they fall in love with a little boy who lost his Mother to chicken pox.  They were really bad people died from them back in those days.  The book's characters are pretty involved I enjoyed the book immensely.  I enjoyed the Bible references as they applied to the story line at the time.

I received this book through Good Reads in exchange for an honest review...I'll be passing it on to the library my Mom works is the description as found on Amazon: Evelyn Wisely has a heart for the orphans of Teaville and works at a local mansion that rescues children out of the town's red-light district and gives them a place to live. But her desire to help isn't limited to orphans. The owner of the mansion, Nicholas Lowe, is willing to help her try to get the women working in prostitution out of the district as well--if she can gain the cooperation and support of local businessmen to go against the rest of the community. 

David Kingsman has recently arrived in Teaville from Kansas City to help with one of his father's companies in town. While he plans on staying only long enough to prove his business merit to his father, he's shown interest in Evelyn's work and is intrigued enough by her to lend his support to her cause.

They begin with the best of intentions, but soon the complications pile up and Evelyn and David's dreams look more unattainable every day. When the revelation of a long-held secret creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, can they trust God still has a good plan for them despite all that is stacked against them?

Somebody's Baby by Donna Alward - 4 1/2 stars!

The book was a great read.  Oaklee hits a dog while checking her phone for a call.  She scoops the dog up as he's still living, and takes him to the local veterinary office.  Her childhood crush his big brothers best friend turns out to be the veterinary in the office when she turns up. She always had a huge crush on him.  He was told by her brother to leave her alone!  Bro code.  Rory is known as the ladies man about town, he takes the women out for one or two dates and then he's on to the next.

Oaklee never dates anyone, she fills her life up by donating her time to every committee every meeting, anything to fill her life up and keep her busy.  They both have dating problems, but the dog brings them together, and Rory talks her into taking the dog until the family is found.  She doesn't want to keep the dog.  Things go south after she falls in love with the dog, and the family of the dog turns up.  She's heart broken.  She had sworn to not be vulnerable and not let anyone or anything close to her heart, due to a past where her heart was trampled.  At least no one knew what she had to suffer through.  It happened while she was away at school. 

Both of these people have relationship problems, and the way they struggle through them to get to a place where they are comfortable in becoming vulnerable again, is really endearing and sometimes laughable.  The story is really a good one and I loved the outcome.  It was a fast read the characters pulled you in right away.

I was given this e-book in exchange for an honest review.  There was a good description found here on Good Reads: Veterinarian Rory Gallagher chose a different path from his brothers, both of whom became first responders in the lovely little town of Darling, Vermont. Rory's always had an affinity for animals--and the ladies. Known for his impressive track record in breaking hearts, Rory never meant to hurt anyone; he's just never been in a hurry to settle down. It's not as if he needs to pay a visit to the town's famed Kissing Bridge to magically find love. He'll know The One when he sees her. . .right?

Oaklee Ferguson is the kid sister of Rory's best friend--and, even now that she's all grown up, remains immune to the pet-doctor's charms. When she shows up at Rory's clinic late one night--devastated after hitting a stray dog with her car--Rory's so-called -bedroom eyes- are the last thing on her mind. Still, his care and kindness toward the dog, and his concern for her feelings, catches Oaklee by surprise. . .and soon the two (and rescued dog makes three!) begin to share a deep connection that neither could have ever imagined. Could it be that love has been waiting for them by the bridge all along....

Friday, May 19, 2017

Shacking Up! by Helena Hunting - this one was 5 stars - A very hot read!

Ruby Scott is a struggling actress.  She is three months behind in her rent and she has a huge audition and the night before she runs into a stranger at her friends engagement party and he kisses her and then coughs on her.  She doesn't get the job, she was throwing up!  She is going to be put out on the street and if that happens she may have to go and move back home and work for her Step-Mother at her Fathers company, the Step-Mom is four years older than she is.  Her friend comes up with a solution. Her friend has a male friend who has to leave town for five weeks and needs someone to care for and feed his unusual pets.  She sends Ruby to meet Bancroft Mills (a hotel magnate) to see if he will let her take on the job of caring for his pets for five weeks.  She goes, to see about the job, and he's the guy who made her sick (but he also is the guy that she thinks of as the "awesome kisser!)  

Bancroft feels really guilty that she lost her job due to his kissing her instead of his date who was supposed to be coming out of that bathroom door......he made her sick and she didn't get the job and she's lost her place to live.  He offers his huge condo to her for the five weeks so that she can get on her feet and get a job while taking care of his pets. It's the least he can do. In addition she loves his pet ferret and his spider.  He helps her pack her boxes up and move them to his penthouse apartment he goes over everything she could possibly need to know so that she can take care of his apartment and his pets.  He leaves money for her and has grocery delivery to the apartment so she has food and roof over her head.

Bancroft video chats with Ruby while he's gone to see how his pets are doing and the chatting and sexual innuendos are really funny and things heat up over the five weeks he is gone.  When he gets home things have really changed and nothing is as he expected it to be!!!  

This book was so different from those I've been reading lately, it is sexually explicit, it is funny, it will keep you up reading it until you are done and and you may lose some sleep after you are done with the book.  The characters and their dialogue are so great they some times have you laughing out loud!   I think I would read anything written by this author any time.  She's very entertaining.  

I received this e-book through net-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Description as found on Goodreads: Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long

Thursday, May 18, 2017

With You Always (Orphan Train #1) by Jody Hedlund - 5 Stars - A Christian Romance

There have been a few books written about the orphan train of the old days, none as well done as this book. I love to read a christian based book now and again to change things up, they make me think and reflect.  This story is about the daughter of some immigrants that come to New York, the daughters find themselves on their own with no way to earn a living and they come across a woman who runs a mission and finds work for the woman who stay there.  Most of the woman are those who were trying to get away from prostitution, although the same isn't to be said of Elise and her sisters.  They also have a two boys very young that they have taken under their wing and made a part of their little family.  They are working very hard to keep them all together.
The oldest daughter finally has to leave, as the great depression happens and the work for the woman stops.  She must find work so that she'll be able to put some money away to get a place to live for her little family and to be able to send for them.  She travels by train to a small town that is being built along the Illinois Train Line, the town of Quincy.  Two brothers (twins) are in competition to build up two new towns, and the must marry for love and do it all in six months the winner will be able to take over their sons massive fortune and businesses.  Both are romancing some women who are in New York women from rather well off family's.  Thornton though finds he is having difficulty developing feelings for his lady.  He's met Elise and he can't get her out of his mind.  Elise ends up working for Thornton in Quincy and she really messes with his mind!  He really goes out of his way to help her out. The book is a great read and has a lot of real history thrown into a very complex romance/story.  I lost hours while nursing a cold reading the book.  I really did love this book.  I received an e-copy of the book through net galley and Bethany Books in exchange for an honest review.

Here is the description as found on Good Reads: Riveting Look at the Orphan Train from Historical Novelist Jody Hedlund

When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She's had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children's Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn't want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance. 

The son of one of New York City's wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother's shadow and is determined to win his father's challenge. He doesn't plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though. 

The Garment Maker's Daughter - by Hillary Adrienne Stern / 5 Stars - A book that will leave you thinking long after you've finished it!

This was a very engrossing. The characters were very real. I did enjoy the book I had a hard time putting it down as I wanted to get to the end and find out if all of the problems that came up would be solved in the manner I thought they should. The characters in this book are working in a sweatshop sewing shirt waists.....they are locked in and there is a fire. Two friends go in completely different directions and don't see each other again until...........can't say it will spoil the ending. There is a boyfriend who is trying to get everyone to strike the factories, one character who is totally involved in the group of suffragettes of the time. History is woven into this story. I really enjoyed reading it and I did stay up really late one night trying to get to the good part at the end. If you like a good romance with history thrown in, this book is definitely for you. The characters are well developed and very complex. Great book! I did receive this book in exchange for an honest review!

Description of the book as found here on Good Reads: The Garment Maker's Daughter is a multigenerational saga of immigrant dreams and sweatshop realities, labor strikes and women's rights. It is the story of Lena Rothman, a shirtwaist-maker and active suffragette whose plans get derailed when she falls in love with her best friend's boyfriend; Jake Brenner, a passionate labor organizer determined to lead the shirtwaist-makers on a high-stakes strike; and Daniel Cowan, a brilliant and ambitious night-school student hobbled by a shameful past.

Fate draws them together. Emotions bind them to each other. But secrets will tear them apart. When a devastating blaze engulfs the shirtwaist factory, Lena must fight for her life. And in the chaos of the fire's aftermath, mistakes will be made with consequences that continue into the next generation.

Spanning the first half of the twentieth century, this is a story about unforgettable characters and the threads of friendship, love, betrayal, and redemption that form the fabric of their lives. The Garment Maker's Daughter is that rare novel you'll be thinking about long after you've finished it.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis - 5 Stars!

I really liked this story. It was very unusual in that it has a character, Sally Riehl who is Amish, almost 20, hasn't joined the church yet and is filled with wanderlust.  She gives up the trip she has saved for a long while to help a young man with the funds and has a trip to New Jersey to the seaside fall into her lap to work as a nanny for a 9 year old. She is free on the weekends, which is where the story gets even more interesting.  She meets a young marine biology student who is Mennonite not Amish.  He turns out to be someone she is attracted to unlike the young men back home.  The story just sucks you in, and I have never read of a an Amish person at the seashore.  Nothing like the usual Amish stories.

I received this book from  Bethany House through Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Here is the information on the book from Good Reads: When a well-to-do family asks Sallie Riehl to be their daughter's nanny for the summer at their Cape May, New Jersey, vacation home, she jumps at the chance to broaden her horizons beyond the Lancaster County Amish community where she grew up. Curious by nature, Sallie loves reading and learning, and she fears that her chances of making a good match with an Amish farmer will be hampered because of it.

Though she loves taking care of nine-year-old Autumn Weaver during the week, Sallie has free time on the weekends to enjoy the shore. It is there that she meets Edward Kreider, a young marine biology student who talks freely about all he's learning and asks about her interests, unlike the guys she grew up with. Sallie wonders if this is the kind of relationship she's been longing for. Then again, Ed isn't from her community--and he's Mennonite, not Amish.

Sallie is afraid of what her parents would think about her new friendship. But that's not all she's fearful of. When unexpected danger threatens Autumn, Sallie will have to put her fears aside. Will this be a summer to remember, or one to forget

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Baker's Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan - A Fabulous Read! 5 Stars

Wow I loved this book. It was engrossing, well researched, hard to put down!!  I really have to say I would read anything written by this author any time.  He was a journalist for over 20 years and won numerous awards for his work in the field before he turned to writing fiction. This is his third book, I really need to find his first two.

The Baker's Secret is about Emma, a young lady who was apprenticed to the local Baker.  She watched as he was taken away by the Germans, and then she was forced to make bread for them.
She lived in a small Normandy village.  After they took all of the Jewish people away, there were still quite a few villagers living there, then the Germans took over some of the homes, some of the woman had affairs with them.  The food that they were given with their ration cards, became less and less.  The people of the village were getting sick and some were dying.  Emma was getting flour to make bread for the Germans and she decided to use the clean straw in the barn, there were no more animals to use it.  She ground it up and mixed it with the flour, eventually making 2 extra loaves, that she hid from the Germans, and she gave those to people in the village.  She actually started trading things that some had extra or no need for, in exchange for things that they needed and eventually really became to the villagers a shining beacon of hope.  She was very smart in the way she was able to steal eggs and keep them warm so that they finally hatched and then she had six chickens to lay eggs for her to share with those who were in desperate  need.  You really have to read the book to find out more, it was just a wonderful read......
I received the book, an advance readers copy, from Good Reads in exchange for an honest review.  This is one of my favorites.

The description as found on Good Reads:

From the critically acclaimed author of The Hummingbird and The Curiosity comes a dazzling novel of World War II—a shimmering tale of courage, determination, optimism, and the resilience of the human spirit, set in a small Normandy village on the eve of D-Day

On June 5, 1944, as dawn rises over a small town on the Normandy coast of France, Emmanuelle is making the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days since the Germans invaded her country. 

Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

But in the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers. 

But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them.

Home On The Range (Double S Ranch book 2) by Ruth Logan Herne - I gave this book 4 Stars

This is a Christian Romance a change from the books I’ve read lately. I like to change up my reading now and again, and I was really hoping this book would be a great change for me. 
I almost always enjoy cowboy romance, and this one started well.  It centered around Nick Stafford who inherited the ranch, he had two young girls whose mother had walked out on them.  He was having a really hard time with the oldest she was acting out terribly.  The principal of her school refers him to a therapist, her sister as it turns out.  He doesn’t want to go, but he finally gives in and finds the woman in a very small house buried deep in the woods.  Turns out she was in hiding from her past.  She was convinced finally to work with his daughters.  Of course, eventually there is something there.  I can’t say anything more or I will give away the entire book.
I have no idea why but the book seemed to lag toward the middle for me.  I liked the story but it just didn’t seem to pull me in and have me connecting with all of the characters.  The quotes from the bible were always those that I had heard many times before and they did connect to the story.  Things picked up as I went through the book and I did enjoy the ending.  This book was part of a Trilogy, it was the second in the series. I hadn’t read the first book, it was fine as a standalone. 
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.   I received it through
About Home on the Range:
Can the brother left behind and a woman without hope work together for the good of two precious children?

Nick Stafford stayed in central Washington, working his family’s large ranch after his brothers left to pursue other passions—but his toughest job is being a single dad. As a child, he watched his father fail at marriage and parenting, so Nick was determined to show him up. He’d be a better husband, father, and ranch manager than Sam Stafford ever was. Despite that commitment, three years after Nick’s wife left him, he has a daughter in trouble at school and both of his girls are facing issues that force him to rethink his stubborn plans.

For Dr. Elsa Andreas, life fell apart when tragedy caused her to abandon her family therapy practice and retreat to the backwoods of Gray’s Glen. Her school principal sister believes Elsa can guide the Stafford girls and that working with kids will draw Elsa out of her protective bubble.

Summer on the Double S teems with life and adventure. Amid the bounty of God and land, will Nick and Elsa find the courage to build futures based on faith rather than fear?

About The Author – Ruth Logan Hernehas more than a million books in print, including eighteen Love Inspired contemporary novels and Back in the Saddle, Book 1 in the Double S Ranch series. Ruth is a founding member of Seekerville, a popular writing-collective blog. A country girl who loves the big city, Ruth and her husband live on a farm in upstate New York.

The Wingman by Natasha Anders - 5 Stars - Pick this book up I don't believe you'll be disappointed.

Daisy McGregor (who considers herself a wall flower) finds herself receiving attention from one hot man, Mason Carlisle and she knows something is up. She overhears his brother making a comment about his being his wing man so that he can get Daisy's beautiful and popular sister Daffodil's attention. It back fires and he's not happy. Neither is Daisy finding out she's been used for a hoax.
She decides to ask Mason Carlisle to make it up to her by being her wing man at her sisters wedding.
He accepts because he finds her wit fascinating and is strangely attracted to her. He tells her that they should have several dates before the wedding so that everyone can believe he is actually her date at the wedding. 

I can't say more about the book without spoiling it for you. I can tell you the book is a hoot to read, the sexual scenes are very much hot, I found myself laughing out loud and engrossed by the story. I read it in one day, I couldn't put it down. I love it when authors make a story seem so real that when something happens in the book that is funny they write it so well that it makes you laugh out loud. Pick this book up I don't believe you'll be disappointed.

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Here is the description of the book as found on Good Reads: 
She was supposed to be his one-night distraction. But their attraction is undeniable.

Introverted Daisy McGregor is used to being a wallflower, but what she lacks in style, she makes up for with an acerbic wit, a passion for life, and a deep devotion to her family. So she’ll suffer through her sister Dahlia’s bachelorette party and accept the cloud of pity for going stag to the wedding.

Out at the pub, sexy bad boy Mason Carlisle is a reluctant wingman tasked with entertaining Daisy while his brother flirts with her oldest sister, Daffodil. When the plan fails and Mason’s true intent is revealed, he feels intense guilt—and a sensual spark of desire for the unlikeliest of women.

Daisy decides to use this unfortunate encounter to her advantage: to make it up to her, Mason will be another kind of wingman, playing the role of her boyfriend and wedding date. Will their ruse unravel completely—or will Mason and Daisy’s undeniable attraction ignite a scorching love affair that knows no rules?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Kisses Under The Spotlight Alex Jackson Series Book 1 - by Joanne Dannon - 5 Stars!

This book was a quick read for me!  I really enjoyed the story of superstar Alex Jackson (he sings, taps, a little of everything to old Gershwin style music) and physiotherapist Violet McKenna.  She, was working at a hotel, on call for anyone who had an injury in the hotel, when she is called in to look at Alex Jacksons ankle.  He jumped from the top of a piano and landed wrong.  She always thought that he was soooooo handsome and talented, even had a calendar and a few pictures up in her bedroom.  After she meets him, she throws those away, she was so disappointed that he was such a prima donna.  When he asks her to join his tour so that she can keep his ankle in performance ready shape, she had to be really convinced to join because her first contact with him wasn't so great.  She finds he can be nice, down to earth, when he isn't in a lot of pain and looking at perhaps not being able to dance in a contest coming up for which he really wants to win.  He needs Alex with him to make sure he will be ready for that and that he will be able to perform at all of the scheduled stops in between.
Well it isn't long before the conflict turns into sexy banter, then into sex between the two and the scenes are smoking.  If you don't like explicit sex this book isn't for you.  In the end Alex and Violet part ways, she doesn't want a life that is always moving, she wants to settle down into a home she's already picked out and do her work from there.  Traveling for a life is something she just doesn't want.  Her childhood taught her to dislike moving all of the time.
I won't say more as you will have to read the book in order to see how things work out.
I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I did enjoy the book!
Here is a description as found on Good Reads:
Fairy tales aren’t just for princesses

Superstar Alex Jackson steers clear of any emotional involvement after a series of life-changing events turned his life, and heart, inside out and upside down. Broken and deeply scarred, he has sworn to remain single and emotionally aloof to all women.

Physiotherapist Violet McKenzie, is distrustful of men—famous men being at the top of her list for good reason. She’s learned a thing or two about them and has made a conscious effort to stay as far away as she possibly can.

Until sexy Alex needs her professional assistance after a stage mishap and she becomes his personal physio. Violet has sworn off love, but when Alex’s hot kisses keep her up at night longing for more, she wonders if she can remain steadfast to her personal promise to never fall for the wrong guy again.

Can a superstar and an ordinary girl have a happily ever after, or is that only reserved for the songs Alex sings?

Praise for Joanne Dannon - “A sexy superstar hero who has it all except the love of the right woman and an ordinary working girl whose job propels her into the heart of the hero's glamorous life. Joanne Dannon's wonderfully emotional story will sweep you away.” – Rachael Thomas, Harlequin Presents author.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Before We were Yours - by Lisa Wingate -- 4 Stars

Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale.

This story is based on two timelines, one with 12 Year old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings who live on the river with their Mom and Dad.  Mom has a really bad delivery of twins gone wrong and has to be taken into the hospital.  Somehow she is coerced to sign away her children who were left to their own on the river in their boat, the Arcadia.

They are whisked away to The Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are told that they will see their parents soon but that is a lie, they find out everything about the home is based on lies.

Present day a Senator's daughter comes upon a woman in a Senior Center she is visiting and the woman steals her bracelet.  When she goes to collect it she looks in on the woman and the story begins in present day as she hunts for what she thinks might be her Grandmothers past, and it doesn't line up with the pretty Senator's daughter who is being groomed to run for a Senate seat herself one day.

I believe I won this kindle book from Good Reads in exchange for an honest review.  The book drags just a bit, I was able to pick it up and put it down at will, it took a while before the two stories come together and things start moving then.  I was hoping this book would be one that has me from the very beginning and that it would be one I would be totally engrossed in.  The subject matter, although the characters for the most part were fictional, there was actually an orphanize run by the same woman and they stole parents children, kids along the streets, told Mothers their new borns were born dead, they did terrible things and then made great amounts of money by selling the children famous families that had the money to buy them.  It's a good read, one worth reading, and you feel that everything that happens to the children there is just wrong!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

My LIfe To Live - How I became the queen of soaps when men ruled the air waves by Agnes Nixon - 4 Stars!

I was never home during the day so wasn't able to sit and watch daytime soaps, although I did hear about Erica Kane and certainly knew who Susan Lucci was! The book was a fascinating read about the woman who was not only a writer for two soaps that ran so very long, "All My Children" and "One Life to Live." She was not only a writer she had a husband and children and was pretty much the patriarch of her family's, those at home and those in her shows who she did consider family! It is really too bad that she wasn't able to see the book of her life finally published! Her children used her words and wrote and typed and got the job done even though she had suffered a stroke. You can feel the love of the woman as you hear her story. I'm not a writer, I read, I do reviews and I received this book from in exchange for an honest review.

 I can't tell the story of how this book came to be, or how her life started, it was all there in the book, her life was very interesting even for someone who didn't get to stay home and watch daytime soaps.

Here is the description as found on Good Reads: From the Emmy-winning creator and writer of All My Children and One Life to Live, a memoir of her trailblazing rise to the top of the television industry, including behind-the-scenes stories from some of the most beloved soaps of all time
Before there was Erica Kane, Adam Chandler, or Victoria Lord, there was Agnes Nixon, a young girl who dreamed up stories for paper dolls. Those tales she imagined--ones filled with ambitions, rivalries, and romances--would soon parallel her own path to success. In a memoir filled with as much drama as the soaps she penned, Nixon shares her journey from Nashville to New York City, as she overcomes the loss of her fiance in World War II, a father intent on crushing her writing dreams, and the jealousy of her male colleagues on her way to becoming one of the most successful names in television.
While fans will delight in Nixon's own incredible life, they will also love her behind-the-scenes insight into her most popular shows. Inside, she shares the inspiration for Erica Kane and how she cast Susan Lucci in the role; an excerpt from the never-before-seen All My Children story bible; entertaining anecdotes about her shows' beloved casts and special guests, including Carol Burnett, Kelly Ripa, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffett; and more.
But My Life to Live is also a portrait of a pioneer. Driven to use her ratings power for good, Nixon fought and broke network taboos by wrestling with controversial social issues ranging from women's health, interracial relationships, and the Vietnam War to drug addiction, LGBT rights, and AIDS. By infusing her characters with sensitivity, humor, and humanity, she enabled millions to examine an opposite point of view. And long before Shonda Rhimes launched a golden age of female showrunners, Agnes Nixon positioned ABC to become the media giant it is today. She is a true television legend, and her candid and inspiring glimpse behind the curtain of the television industry will charm soap fans and story lovers alike.

Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson - Five Stars!

I know I've read Tracie Peterson before me, I've always enjoyed her writing. She does great background studying before she starts her books.  You will learn something that happened in history, was true of the land she is writing about, and some times the characters really existed although she may have made some of it different to keep the story moving.  She often sprinkles great points from the Bible in her books, they are well chosen and make me reflect which can't be all bad.  Even if you don't believe, there are some of her points that she is trying to make that is just a good way for everyone to behave.  

In this book she tried to make the point that we are all alike under our skin, we are afraid of that which is different from us, but if we just make the point of trying to learn about other people, you will find they aren't so different.  They have the same fears, goals, although they may have things they were taught that are extremely different from our culture.  That is what is different the cultural aspects.  Maybe the language.  Some people such as the indians at the time of this writing really had sad lives, they distrusted the whites, of course, we took their land and killed all of their buffalo, then moved them off to reservations eventually.  This even pointed out that different tribes were not the same.  

The characters in this book  were so enjoyable to read about and I would love to read about Grace, Mercy and Hope in the next book.  Tracie often writes several books so that you can enjoy the characters, the land, as things progress in the next books.  I believe the last books I read of hers were based in Alaska.  I believe I received this book through from Bethany House.  I got this in exchange for an honest review and I read this book in one day...and I gave it five stars!

Description of book as found on Good Reads: Tracie Peterson Begins Compelling New Series Set on the 1840s Frontier

Grace Martindale has known more than her share of hardship. After her parents died, raising her two younger sisters became her responsibility. A hasty marriage to a minister who is heading to the untamed West seemed like an opportunity for a fresh start, but a cholera outbreak along the wagon trail has left Grace a widow in a very precarious position.

Having learned natural remedies and midwifery from her mother, Grace seeks an opportunity to use her skills for the benefit of others. So when she and her sisters arrive at the Whitman mission in "Oregon Country," she decides to stay rather than push on. 

With the help of Alex Armistead, a French-American fur trapper, Grace begins to provide care for her neighbors, including some of the native populace. But not everyone welcomes her skills--or her presence--and soon Grace finds herself and those she loves in more danger than she imagined possible.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel - Five Stars for this sick twisted tale!

Wow I knew this book was going to different, after I started it I had problems putting it down.  It started a little slow but you could tell it was worth the effort.  It's sick and kind of twisted, but then there are families that are sick and twisted out there.  This one was surprising to me, I kept waiting for her to blurt out the real secret of the family and then I was still surprised even though I had a feeling it was going to be that.  Lane's Mother committed suicide when she was 15 years old. She never had a normal relationship with her Mother, and as badly as she wanted it, it wasn't to be.  

She was sent away to a family she had never met, Grandparents she had never met actually wanted her, they had no idea where her Mom had run to.   They didn't know  she had a child.  But then that was a reason to run.  I didn't know just exactly why until almost the end of the book.  I kept hoping Lane was going to get out of there for good, she did for a while, but then she went back as her cousin who also lived with her Grandparents, Allegra, came up missing.  There was something to Allegra being gone and Lane knew it.  She wasn't going back to Las Angeles, until she found out what happened to Allegra.  

This book was one that I won through the ReadItForward people, hoping for an honest review which I've given it.  The books is creepy and dark,  but very worth reading!  

Here is the description as found on Good Reads: Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.

After her mother's suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother's mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane's first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands Romance Collection - 5 Stars!

What a great collection of stories set in Turtle Springs, Kansas.  After the war, so many of the men were lost and never returned to Turtle Springs, that the businesses are failing, women are on the brink of losing their homes.....  Seven different authors wrote seven stories about a different woman set in this city where the female mayor decides to advertise for mail order husbands!  They are to come to Turtle Springs and spend a few minutes with each woman until each agree to a man/woman and the courting can begin.  Of course they have all sorts of men, some are not there just for the women some are their for their farms, money if they have any, etc.  Each of these women are desperate for the help of a man in their life and choose a man to court them.  I received this book of novellas in kindle format in exchange for an honest review through I thoroughly enjoyed each of the stories and had fun envisioning each story as it played out.   Each of the stories complemented the others as they often had characters from other stories that were active in the next.  Reading about mail order brides is something I enjoy doing, this was a fun twist and I believe they were well written!

Description as found on Good Reads: Meet seven of Turtle Springs, Kansas, finest women who are determined to revive their small town after the War Between the States took most of its men. . .and didn't return them. The ladies decide to advertise for husbands and devise a plan for weeding out the riff raff. But how can they make the best practical choices when their hearts cry out to be loved?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Anywhere With You by Britney King - I gave this 4 Stars!

I guess this book was the second story of Jack and Amelie, I wouldn't have known it.  It seemed to have their story pretty well mapped out it didn't seem like an extension.  This book is about that someone in your life that you feel you really love, maybe you are always out of sync with the other and things just don't seem to be happening at the right time, so you grab second and third chances for those fleeting  moments of extreme happiness and hopefulness that it can last.  Amelie has some problems with depression, she has to address it or she will start drinking.  She has to get a handle on her health in order to really be of any good to anyone in including herself.  You can not really love anyone properly until you can love yourself I believe.  This their story Jack and Amelie, he talks her into taking a road trip before going back to the man she is engaged to and also works for.  He tells her she can pitch this as a trip to photograph perfect places to send someones ashes into the world at the end of their life.   Jack lost his Father.  The characters are very believable and real, they invite you into their world and you want to keep reading to find out if they will in the end be with each other!
I won this book through Good Reads!

Here is the description of the book as found on Good Reads: They say opposites attract. For Jack and Amelie, that statement is about as close to the truth as it gets. 

She runs from anything that so much smells like love. And, well, as for Jack, he's always been a fan of the chase. Especially where she's concerned. 

Which is exactly what happens when he proposes... to accompany her on a cross-country road trip. 

A bet is made. True to form, Jack puts everything on the table--while Amelie keeps her cards tucked close to her heart. 

The question remaining when it all shakes out--is whether it's possible they can both win? 

Will a road trip across the country finally teach them to meet in the middle? Or simply drive them further apart? 

This is the continuation of a love story that (like many) was never really over.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff - I gave it five stars

I've always had a fascination of that period during WWII, there were so many stories.  This particular story is the coming together of two women, who don't realize how much they have in common until they've been together a very long while.  One was married to a German officer, who was told that his wife who was Jewish, was no longer accepted as his wife, he threw her out of the house on the German's say so.  She returned to the only thing she knew the circus.  She couldn't go back to her family's circus that was disbanded as they were known as Jews.  No she has to go and beg for a spot with a circus that had always been a competitor.  She was well known as an aerialist.  She changes her name and goes to work hoping to blend in.  She finds a man with the circus that she grows fond of.  She doesn't know until the story is almost over how much he thought of her.  The other girl a 16 year old dutch girl kicked out of her home because she was pregnant by a German officer, she cleans the stop at the railway in order to get food and a roof over her head.  Her baby when born was taken from her before she could see him. 

She is outside by one of the railcars and hears babies crying, she looks in and the car is filled with babies bound for the concentration camp.  She takes one of the children and runs, she isn't dressed for the winter snow and she ends up face down in a snow bank not doing well when a circus worker finds her and the baby.  She is taken in by the circus, telling everyone the child is her brother, of course anyone who takes care of the baby boy knows it's a Jewish child as he was circumcised.  She is told she can stay but only if she can learn to be an aerialist the other woman, an expert really resents that she has to train this woman and really doesn't believe she can learn to do what she must in a few weeks.  The stories are two lives so intertwined with those of the others in the circus which travels and performs in cities across Germany until one day when something awful occurs.  I loved reading about the circus and the entire history lesson that is combined with the fiction.  I gave the story 5 stars.  They don't let you say 4.5....I loved it, I didn't feel it was amazing.....which is what 5 stars is supposed to be.
I received the book, I believe, from Good Reads in exchange for an honest review.

Here is the description of the book from Good Reads: A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan's Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival .

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night. 

Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.


A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan's Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival .

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night. 

Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Nickerbacher - A Chapter Edition by Terry John Barto - Pick it up if you have children to read to you won't be disappointed!

I received this book from the author Terry John Barto, as I had read the picture book about Nickerbacher the Dragon and loved it so much! The author wanted me to see this book which had been expanded into an early chapter edition. The book was so cute, I loved all of the fabulously funny drawings on every page, no color this time! I could see the reader if a kid owned the book coloring the pictures and making the book their own. Coloring for a past time is so in right now!!

Nichbacher has a job, to guard the princess Gwendolyn. He doesn't like his job, and wants to pursue becoming the first stand up comedian dragon! He and Gwendolyn are friends and she said she would help him, they came upon others who had never heard of dragons doing stand up, but they were supportive. Nichbacher's Father was not supportive, he didn't want his son to do anything but his assigned job!! Dragon's don't do comedy! They blow out flames and protect princesses!

Nichbacher had a try several times but he finally gets his chance to star on The Knight Show. The book is not only charming for children. There are so many things in the book that are a play on words which the children may not pick up on but the adults absolutely will. The book is a fun read for children and adults alike! I love the book and am going to be sending it to the library I support with books that I review. Mom is a volunteer librarian and they have story time at their library in Linden Iowa. The kids will love it I'm sure!

When you get a chance if you have children who read, pick this book up, you won't be disappointed!

Here is the description as found on Good Reads: Nickerbacher is a dragon and aspiring comedian who travels to La La Land to audition for The Late Knight Show. Hoping to prove to his father - and the world - that dragons can be funny. Nickerbacher befriends a prince and a princess who help him realize his dream while paving the way for equal rights of all citizens.

If Not For You by Debbie Macomber - Five Stars

This book is about Beth and Sam.  Beth's Mother is the queen of manipulating a person to make them do as she wishes.  She wants to control her daughters life, her daughter does what she can to get away, she makes a deal with her Mom to leave her alone for six months.  No contact.  Beth went to live near her Aunt Sunshine, who is a big hit in the Art world.  Aunt Sunshine never married, and she has nothing to do with Beth's Mother, they don't speak haven't as far back as Beth can recall no one will tell her why.  Beths friends set her up for a blind date, only they don't tell the guy that Beth is coming to meet him, he knows what is going on the minute he meets her.  This book is about living, how people can't help themselves they have to meddle in others lives, they want to help them, make things better, and it often flys back in their face but they keep trying.  It is also about how life happens and often times we have so much pride we will make a decision not best for our life but it is made during an emotional time, and we won't go back and say it was our fault, let's fix this.  
People do the most stupid things in the name of love, and they often enough have too much pride to want to go backwards.  So the book is about living really and it does have really well developed characters,, is well written, I've heard it is 3rd in a row of books around some of these characters, but it didn't stand out as a series book.  It was great as a stand alone I wouldn't have picked it as one in a series.  Debbie Macomber writing as she does with great love for her characters and great endings for them also!  Loved the book!

I received a kindle copy to read and give an honest review from  I would give this five stars. Couldn't put it down.

From Good Reads the description: An emotionally stirring novel that shows how obstacles can be overcome, differences can be strengths, and sometimes a choice can seem wrong even though it s absolutely right

If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved from her native Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where she s reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher. If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts. Sam is everything Beth is not and her parents worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who s rough around the edges. Reserved and smart as a whip, Beth isn t exactly Sam s usual beer-drinking, pool-playing type of woman, either. 

But if not for an awkward setup one evening, Beth might never have left early and been involved in a car crash. And if not for Sam who witnessed the terrifying ordeal, rushed to her aid, and stayed with her until help arrived Beth might have been all alone, or worse. Yet as events play out, Sam feels compelled to check on Beth almost daily at the hospital even bringing his guitar to play songs to lift her spirits. Soon their unlikely friendship evolves into an intense attraction that surprises them both. 

Before long, Beth's strong-willed mother, Ellie, blows into town spouting harsh opinions, especially about Sam, and reopening old wounds with Sunshine. When shocking secrets from Sam s past are revealed, Beth struggles to reconcile her feelings. But when Beth goes a step too far, she risks losing the man and the life she s come to love.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Eat Beautiful: Nourish your skin from the inside out, by Wendy Rowe. Foreword by Sienna Miller 3 Stars

Eat Beautiful: Nourish your skin from the inside out, by Wendy Rowe.  Foreword by Sienna Miller

 I found this book to be overwhelming.  For those looking to get healthier from the inside out, this book would be great for them.   She talks about fasting, things you should stop eating as they are bad for your gut and your skin.  She basically tells you how you should change your diet, then she has the book split into four seasons with recipes and beautiful photos of the meals, she tells all of the nutrients, calories, what will be good for your body with that particular recipe and how.  She really goes into detail with recipes that are for foods found readily available for that season.  The photos of the models and the foods are beautiful.  She has at the end of the book some recipes for facial masks, toners, etc. some of her own recipes….and why you should use it.  I wonder why they only chose to show young beautiful models, not anyone with skin problems, no faces of different ages, no men……
This book would be great for someone looking for these types of solutions.  For me, it is overwhelming and I wouldn’t use it personally.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Description as found on Good Reads:

World-renowned beauty and make-up expert Wendy Rowe knows skin inside out. In this refreshing beauty book, Wendy will teach you how to keep your skin healthy and let your inner and outer beauty shine.

Wendy has devised over 70 easy and delicious recipes specifically designed to feed your skin with the nutrients it needs to glow. Each of the recipes correlates to an essential skin-feeding ingredient that will help target specific skin problems and common complaints. From cucumbers, ‘the internal cleanser’, to limes, ‘the natural astringent’ and carrots, ‘the immunity booster’, there are also breakdowns of the vitamins and nutrients each of these familiar ingredients provide.

And not only will there be methods for feeding your skin, there will also be suggestions on how to keep your skin pampered with recipes for homemade masks, scrubs, mists, cleansers and toners, as well as an informative troubleshooting section for confidence-zapping skin problems. Wendy provides specific advice for foods to embrace or avoid depending on your skin. 

Split into the four seasons, this stunning book can be dipped in and out of, or followed like a seasonal plan, and will ensure that you achieve beautiful, radiant skin all year round.