Thursday, May 17, 2018

Debbie Macomber's Newest Novel "Cottage By The Sea" 5 Stars!


Debbie Macomber’s newest novel Cottage By The Sea – 5 Stars!
This book was one I couldn’t put down. I’ve been late submitting my review due to pneumonia.  Even though I was sick I was able to keep reading and stay connected with the story.  It has such strong characters and story line, such a compelling subject matter, many at the same time all inter connected and very interesting and of course a love interest.  I would recommend this book to anyone who has a love of Debbie Macomber’s novel as she doesn’t disappoint with this book. I know I’m being short but the description is there and the story line is what decides a book for you.  I loved the book and may read it again at some point on my kindle.

I received the book through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review which you see above. I thoroughly enjoyed the book!

Description
A seaside town and its eclectic community help one young woman reclaim the light after darkness in a brand-new novel from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Debbie Macomber.

“Romantic, warm, and a breeze to read—one of Macomber’s best.”—Kirkus Reviews


Annie Marlow has been through the worst. Rocked by tragedy, she heads to the one place that makes her happy: Oceanside in the Pacific Northwest, the destination of many family vacations when Annie was a teenager.
 
Once there, Annie begins to restore her broken spirit, thanks, in part, to the folks she meets: a local painter, Keaton, whose large frame is equal to his big heart—and who helps Annie fix up her rental cottage by the sea; Mellie, the reclusive, prickly landlord Annie is determined to befriend; and Britt, a teenager with a terrible secret. But it is Keaton to whom Annie feels most drawn. His quiet, peaceful nature offers her both comfort and reprieve from her grief, and the two begin to grow closer.

Then events threaten to undo the idyll Annie has longed for. And when the opportunity of a lifetime lands in her lap, she is torn between the excitement of a new journey toward success and the safe and secure arms of the haven—and the man—she’s come to call home.

In this heartwarming tale, Annie finds that the surest way to fix what is damaged within is to help others rise above their pain and find a way to heal.

True Hearts Desire by Caroline Fyffe


I really liked this book.  It had a lot of story line going on with the five sisters, along with a friend who may not have been a friend, we’ll see.  Lavinia is the main character in this story and Rhett Laughlin is the man who arrives to town and lets the sisters know that everything that ever happened in their lives has been published in newspapers, along with the fact that they have inherited their father’s ranch and money and that they are now very well off, as long as they stay there at least six months.  After that who knows if they will all want to stay. Lavinia had an offer to study under a hat milliner and she loves her hats. It was her hearts desire to become a milliner and open her own shop. She would have to leave though in order to do that.  Rhett has become quite the distraction. Her heart keeps confusing her.  The book was easy to read in one day, one that kept me interested, had strong characters, a moving story line, based in the west, and a romantic twist, along with a good mystery.  I found it to be really entertaining.

I received the book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review which I have here.  I always love receiving books in the mail or online and being allowed to read and review books I may not have had the opportunity to pick up otherwise. 

Description
USA Today bestselling author Caroline Fyffe invites you back to Eden, Colorado, where five sisters have inherited the town—and are winning over men’s hearts one by one.
Since their father’s death summoned Lavinia Brinkman and her four sisters to Eden, Colorado, Lavinia has been content with her new life. Well, almost. Lavinia’s heart’s desire—creating the elaborate hats she loves—doesn’t belong in this small town. How can she choose between the life she has and the life she wants? Especially when she’s so utterly vexed by the handsome scoundrel who’s just arrived in Eden.
Rhett Laughlin intends to fulfill a dream and open a profitable restaurant in the growing town. Instead, he’s marched right into trouble with one of Eden’s most eligible bachelorettes. But as much as Lavinia Brinkman is making things difficult, Rhett can’t keep himself from thinking about her.
With every spirited encounter, the animosity between Rhett and Lavinia is starting to look a lot like attraction. And the town of Eden is about to discover what happens when these rivals find what truly lies in their hearts…

A Note From the Publisher
Caroline Fyffe was born in Waco, Texas, the first of many towns she would call home during her father’s career with the US Air Force. A horse aficionado from an early age, she earned a bachelor of arts in communications from California State University, Chico, before launching what would become a twenty-year career as an equine photographer. She began writing fiction to pass the time during long days in the show arena, channeling her love of horses and the Old West into a series of Western historical’s. Her debut novel, Where the Wind Blows, won the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart Award as well as the Wisconsin RWA’s Write Touch Readers’ Award. She and her husband have two grown sons and live in the Pacific Northwest.

The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy (High Sierra Sweethearts #1) 4.5 stars!



I love to read stories based in the old west with strong women characters and this book didn’t disappoint.  I picked the book up yesterday and never put it down until I was finished. I had to see it to the ending.  It was a very entertaining read.  Not really as complex as some books get but then I don’t always want them that way.  I enjoy a good yarn, strong characters, great elements of the old west and Mary Connealy didn’t disappoint me in the least!  The romance was believable but the ending left me just a little curious…….it was obviously leaving it open for the next book in the series there were a few things that were unfinished but I’m sure Mary Connealy will take care of those in the next book. 
The story of Trace and Deborah was fun to read, enjoyable and I wanted to see the end of their chase to find the people that attacked her wagon train and killed everyone in it except herself her sister and two children.
The book had mystery, romance, suspense and elements of the old west and wagon trains, cowboys and Indians and I enjoyed it very much. 

I received this book through the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for posting an honest review which you see above.  Just receiving the book to me doesn’t mean I will absolutely give it five stars I try to be as honest as possible.

Description as found on Good Reads:
She's the only witness to a wagon train attack. Keeping her safe, though, means his world is about to be turned upside down.

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes an attack by the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he's finally carved out a home and started a herd--while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail. He'd hoped the days of driving off dangerous men were over, but the latest attack shows otherwise.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace becomes an accidental guardian when he offers the only shelter for miles around and agrees to take them in until they can safely continue their journey. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling--yet enticing.

Trace and Deborah find themselves drawing ever closer as they work together to bring justice to the trail and help the group survive the winter--but every day closer to spring means a day closer to leaving the mountains forever.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie - 5 Stars


The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie – 5 Stars
This one was quite the mystery.  It was centered around some of the people who were affected by a disaster in Chicago a building blew up leaving many without Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers, etc.  The unusual thing is that this book is about a young man who captures a photo of a woman as she sees the building blow up that has family in it. He asks to use her likeness and changes her life forever.  He does a documentary of several woman affected by the bomb and this story is about them.  The strange thing is that there is a huge unraveling going on as the book proceeds and you don’t really see what is happening until the very end.  I loved this book.  It wasn’t one of those that I couldn’t put down until more into the book, but I don’t always read mysteries.  Once the book was moving along, or rather when I had more time to dedicate towards it, I got involved and then had to stay with it until it ended.  I was surprised by the ending. It had me thinking after I put it down.  I can’t talk about the ending because that would ruin the book for others.  Catherine McKenzie has always been able to tell a good yarn and I really liked this one. I’ve read a couple other books written by her.  For those of you looking for a book to sink your teeth into one that will take some time and keep you going until the end, this book is for you.  I received this book as I won it through a contest on Good Reads.  The authors who give away their new books hope for an honest review in exchange although it is not promised I always try to do that for them and this is mine. 

Here is the description of the book as shown on Good Reads:
Can you hide a secret with the whole world watching?

When an explosion rips apart a Chicago building, the lives of three women are forever altered.

A year later, Cecily is in mourning. She was supposed to be in the building that day. Instead, she stood on the street and witnessed it going down, with her husband and best friend inside. Kate, now living thousands of miles away, fled the disaster and is hoping that her past won’t catch up with her. And Franny, a young woman in search of her birth mother, watched the horror unfold on the morning news, knowing that the woman she was so desperate to reconnect with was in the building.

Now, despite the marks left by the tragedy, they all seem safe. But as its anniversary dominates the media, the memories of that terrifying morning become dangerous triggers. All these women are guarding important secrets. Just how far will they go to keep them?

Friday, March 30, 2018

Kentucky Cowboy (Bluegrass Reunion #1) by Jan Scarbrough 5 Stars!


Kentucky Cowboy by Jan Scarbrough – 5 Stars
This is one of those lovely romance novels, with lots of back story, a few fairly steamy love scenes which are not erotic in nature, that you can pick up and polish off in a few hours.  You don’t want to put the book down as it is decidedly interesting and it weaves its way into your brain and the story line is such that you have to finish it before the day is out.  The nice thing is that you can.  It’s not overly long and drawn out, just the right amount of drama, romance, and entertainment for a rainy day or a nice lie in!  I found myself carrying the book with me from room to room from the time that I received it in the mail until it was finished.  The back story is well developed and the interesting thing is that this book involves a professional bull rider in the rodeo and for those of us who have never ridden a bull it’s pretty interesting.  This particular bull rider does this for a living and is on his way to the million-dollar grand prize for year as the best.  He has to go home and settle his Mothers estate in the middle of his quest and runs into the girl next door who was always the love of his life in high school until one fateful night when he pulled a stupid stunt and she walked away from him never to speak to him again for years.  Of course, him staying next door for a few weeks to sort things out she can’t avoid him, her niece for whom she has custody runs next door attracted to this cowboy and all of his interesting story’s along with her baby sitter.  Of course, she must retrieve her when she comes home on more than one occasion, which means she can’t stay silent.  He weaves his way back into her head and heart and the book comes to a beautiful conclusion. 
Mandy Sullivan, veterinarian has custody of her niece and never wants her sister to return to claim her as she’s been raising Georgia ever since her sister took off leaving behind the infant to raise.  Mandy doesn’t do danger, she lost parents to that kind of living, and she won’t have it in her life.  Of course, she can’t have everything her way.  No one can really control their destiny or stay in a nice safe bubble the rest of their lives and there in lies her problem.  You also can’t really choose who your great love will be because love has a way of coming up and smacking you between the eyes and some times it can’t be ignored, especially when it comes to one very handsome, very smart sweet-talking cowboy!
So, there I’ve said enough go pick up this book and give it a read, I believe you’ll love it as much as I did as well as anything else written by this author, I love her books I’ve read many and never found one I could put down.
I received this book through a drawing that Jan Scarbrough held on her web site.  I was lucky to be one of 17 out of 77 entries.  Of course, she sent out the paperbacks hoping we would write an honest review and tell others how much we liked her book.  I have no problem with that I've read many of hers and they never disappoint.  Thanks Jan for the great read!

Description as found on Good Reads:
Professional bull rider Judd Romeo is a contender for the world title. He defies death for a living. But now he must deal with the death of his mother by settling her estate. Returning home to Kentucky, he runs smack dab into the arms of his high school sweetheart, a woman he’s never forgotten.

Veterinarian Mandy Sullivan learned early on that risk-takers are trouble. Having custody of her sister’s child, she is working hard to be both mother and father to the abandoned girl and doesn’t count on trouble showing up next door.

Mandy discovers she can’t avoid the famous cowboy, and she’s never quite put him out of her mind. When Mandy’s sister comes back threatening to take away the little girl she loves as her own, will Mandy finally realize Judd is not the same man he once was?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Daring To Hope: Finding God's Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful by Katie Davis Majors


Katie Davis visited Jinja, Uganda on a missionary trip while in High School. She fell in love with the area and upon graduation she went back there to live and work.  She started her non-profit Amazima Ministries International in 2008.  She has several outreach programs, doing so much great work for and with the people of Jinja, Uganda.  She married Benji Majors who like her hailed from her home state of Tennessee later in life.  She was 27 when she wrote this book.  Many are mentioning her first book, “Kisses From Katie” which I haven’t read, I guess it was fabulous also.
Katie wrote this book about her life as a missionary, her home life, the stories that have evolved while taking care of many people who needed medical care, some lived, some didn’t make it.  She has adopted 13 girls through the years in Uganda.  She chronicles her struggles with daily life as she takes care of those who have no one, often finding that her prayers don’t lead her to an ending that she has chosen.  This is a great book for those who have lost loved ones and wish to connect with God and understand why he allows some to die and some to live.  Why is a question that Katie asks often and turns to her Bible and God time and time again, looking for a story or passage that will provide her with an answer.  Katie has a faith that is so very deep and a love for others that is strong, her stories will provide many with answers they don’t even know they are asking. 
 "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."
How do you hold on to hope
when you don’t get the ending
you asked for?


When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease.

After unexpected tragedy shook her family, for the first time Katie began to wonder, Is God really good? Does He really love us? When she turned to Him with her questions, God spoke truth to her heart and drew her even deeper into relationship with Him.

Daring to Hope is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible—the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn’t come. It’s about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It’s about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God’s goodness in the least expected places.

Though your heartaches and dreams may take a different shape, you will find your own questions echoed in these pages. You’ll be reminded of the gifts of joy in the midst of sorrow. And you’ll hear God’s whisper: Hold on to hope. I will meet you here.
SEE LESS
How do you hold on to hope
when you don’t get the ending
you asked for?


When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease.

After unexpected tragedy shook her family, for the first time Katie began to wonder, Is God really good? Does He really love us? When she turned to Him with her questions, God spoke truth to her heart and drew her even deeper into relationship with Him.

Daring to Hope is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible—the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn’t come. It’s about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It’s about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God’s goodness in the least expected places.

Though your heartaches and dreams may take a different shape, you will find your own questions echoed in these pages. You’ll be reminded of the gifts of joy in the midst of sorrow. And you’ll hear God’s whisper: Hold on to hope. I will meet you here.
SEE LESS
How do you hold on to hope
when you don’t get the ending
you asked for?


When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease.

After unexpected tragedy shook her family, for the first time Katie began to wonder, Is God really good? Does He really love us? When she turned to Him with her questions, God spoke truth to her heart and drew her even deeper into relationship with Him.

Daring to Hope is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible—the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn’t come. It’s about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It’s about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God’s goodness in the least expected places.

Though your heartaches and dreams may take a different shape, you will find your own questions echoed in these pages. You’ll be reminded of the gifts of joy in the midst of sorrow. And you’ll hear God’s whisper: Hold on to hope. I will meet you here.
SEE LESS

Description as found on Blogging For Books:
How do you hold on to hope 
when you don’t get the ending 
you asked for?
How do you hold on to hope
when you don’t get the ending
you asked for?


When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease.

After unexpected tragedy shook her family, for the first time Katie began to wonder, Is God really good? Does He really love us? When she turned to Him with her questions, God spoke truth to her heart and drew her even deeper into relationship with Him.

Daring to Hope is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible—the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn’t come. It’s about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It’s about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God’s goodness in the least expected places.

Though your heartaches and dreams may take a different shape, you will find your own questions echoed in these pages. You’ll be reminded of the gifts of joy in the midst of sorrow. And you’ll hear God’s whisper: Hold on to hope. I will meet you here.
SEE LESS

When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease.
After unexpected tragedy shook her family, for the first time Katie began to wonder, Is God really good? Does He really love us? When she turned to Him with her questions, God spoke truth to her heart and drew her even deeper into relationship with Him.  
Daring to Hope is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible—the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn’t come. It’s about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It’s about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God’s goodness in the least expected places.  
Though your heartaches and dreams may take a different shape, you will find your own questions echoed in these pages. You’ll be reminded of the gifts of joy in the midst of sorrow. And you’ll hear God’s whisper: Hold on to hope. I will meet you here.SEE LESS
When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease.

After unexpected tragedy shook her family, for the first time Katie began to wonder, Is God really good? Does He really love us? When she turned to Him with her questions, God spoke truth to her heart and drew her even deeper into relationship with Him.

Daring to Hope is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible—the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn’t come. It’s about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It’s about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God’s goodness in the least expected places.

Though your heartaches and dreams may take a different shape, you will find your own questions echoed in these pages. You’ll be reminded of the gifts of joy in the midst of sorrow. And you’ll hear God’s whisper: Hold on to hope. I will meet you here.
SEE LESS
How do you hold on to hope
when you don’t get the ending
you asked for?


When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease.

After unexpected tragedy shook her family, for the first time Katie began to wonder, Is God really good? Does He really love us? When she turned to Him with her questions, God spoke truth to her heart and drew her even deeper into relationship with Him.

Daring to Hope is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible—the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn’t come. It’s about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It’s about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God’s goodness in the least expected places.

Though your heartaches and dreams may take a different shape, you will find your own questions echoed in these pages. You’ll be reminded of the gifts of joy in the midst of sorrow. And you’ll hear God’s whisper: Hold on to hope. I will meet you here.
SEE LESS
How do you hold on to hope
when you don’t get the ending
you asked for?


When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease.

After unexpected tragedy shook her family, for the first time Katie began to wonder, Is God really good? Does He really love us? When she turned to Him with her questions, God spoke truth to her heart and drew her even deeper into relationship with Him.

Daring to Hope is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible—the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn’t come. It’s about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It’s about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God’s goodness in the least expected places.

Though your heartaches and dreams may take a different shape, you will find your own questions echoed in these pages. You’ll be reminded of the gifts of joy in the midst of sorrow. And you’ll hear God’s whisper: Hold on to hope. I will meet you here.
SEE LESS
How do you hold on to hope
when you don’t get the ending
you asked for?


When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease.

After unexpected tragedy shook her family, for the first time Katie began to wonder, Is God really good? Does He really love us? When she turned to Him with her questions, God spoke truth to her heart and drew her even deeper into relationship with Him.

Daring to Hope is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible—the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn’t come. It’s about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It’s about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God’s goodness in the least expected places.

Though your heartaches and dreams may take a different shape, you will find your own questions echoed in these pages. You’ll be reminded of the gifts of joy in the midst of sorrow. And you’ll hear God’s whisper: Hold on to hope. I will meet you here.
SEE LESS

Biography:

Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda over a decade ago with no idea that this would be the place that God chose to build her home and her family. Today, she is a wife to Benji and mama to her fourteen-favorite people. Katie and her family invest their lives in empowering the people of Uganda with education, medical care, and spiritual discipleship. She is also the founder of Amazima Ministries, an organization that cares for vulnerable children and families in Uganda and the author of the New York Times bestseller Kisses from Katie.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Women In The Castle by Jessica Shattuck 3.5 Stars


The Women In the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
I finished this book a week or more ago but didn’t sit down right away to write the review. I struggled with this book. It seemed to start out ok, but this book was one that seemed to catch me for a chapter or two and then drag along then pick up for a while and then drag along.  I have always enjoyed reading books about WWII this one just left me hanging between reading sessions.  It wasn’t a book that I picked up and couldn’t put down until I finished it.  I wished that it had. I really had more hope for this book than it delivered for me.  It was nice that it seemed to tell the story of how these women met and were married to men who were plotting to kill Adolf Hitler and about their lives, after WWI, up to and after WWII.  The men were killed.  Marianne made a promise to find the women and their children after the war and to bring them back together and help them recover.  She does that, and the story tells as she finds the children and two of her friends. It tells of the women and each of their stories and how they lived through WWII, and where they ended up.  It also tells the stories of how they stayed together and tried to recover their lives after the war.  The difficulties that they faced and some of the small joys.  The book is pretty sad, and the interest for me lagged I’m very sorry to say.  There were some historical facts shared in the book and I found them to be interesting.  There were many people who found the book to be much more interesting than I so I can’t say don’t read it, just examine the book and read a sample of it before you decide to buy it, find out if the book is for you first.

 As always, I thank Good Reads for allowing me to read a book by a new author, a story I may not have been able to read otherwise.  I won this book through Good Reads.com and it was sent to me with the hope that I would leave an honest review of the book which I have.

Here is the description of the book as found on Good Reads:
Three women, haunted by the past and the secrets they hold

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.

First Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin s mother, the beautiful and naive Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resister s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.

As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war each with their own unique share of challenges.

Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah s Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

All The Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth J. Church - This is a must read - 5 Stars!


At eight Lily lost her family to a car accident, she only survived.  She was sent to live with her Aunt and Uncle.  Her Aunt is very cold and she doesn’t know how to raise a little girl.  Her Uncle begins visiting her bedroom at night and her Aunt just looks the other way.  Lily begins taking dance classes and she is given a “scholarship” out of the blue.  She finds an escape in her dancing.  She starts putting money away and as soon as she can, she plans on going to Vegas to become a showgirl dancer there.  Lily suddenly needs to leave home, it’s time, so she changes her name to Ruby Wilde and heads to Vegas.  This is the story of Lily and Ruby, her life and times growing up and branching out.  Her life and her loves. The story is gritty, real, engrossing and hard to put down.  I enjoyed the story of Lily/Ruby.  Of her life during 1960’s Las Vegas and her quest for real love, whatever that is.  She must figure that out, which isn’t easy because she hasn’t seen it in a very long while. 
I received this copy of All The Beautiful Girls from Net Galley in exchange I provide very honest reviews!

Description as found on Net Galley!
No one captures the exuberant passions and inner struggles of women like Elizabeth Church.”—Martha Hall Kelly, author of Lilac Girls

A powerful novel about a gutsy showgirl who tries to conquer her past amongst the glamour of 1960s Las Vegas—and finds unexpected fortune, friendship, and love.


It was unimaginable. When she was eight years old, Lily Decker somehow survived the auto accident that killed her parents and sister, but neither her emotionally distant aunt nor her all-too-attentive uncle could ease her grief. Dancing proves to be Lily’s only solace, and eventually she receives a “scholarship” to a local dance academy—courtesy of a mysterious benefactor.

Grown and ready to leave home for good, Lily changes her name to Ruby Wilde and heads to Las Vegas to be a troupe dancer, but her sensual beauty and voluptuous figure land her work instead as a showgirl performing everywhere from Les Folies Bergere at the Tropicana to the Stardust’s Lido de Paris. Wearing sky-high headdresses, five-inch heels, and costumes dripping with feathers and rhinestones, Ruby may have all the looks of a Sin City success story, but she still must learn to navigate the world of men—and figure out what real love looks like. 

With her uncanny knack for understanding the hidden lives of women, Elizabeth J. Church captures both the iconic extravagance of an era and the bravery of a young woman who dances through her sadness to find connection, freedom, and, most important, herself.

Advance praise for All the Beautiful Girls

“A gorgeously written novel with the bite of a gin martini, All the Beautiful Girls goes beyond the splashy, gaudy dazzle of Las Vegas in the sixties to reveal the beating heart beneath the glamorous fa├žade of a showgirl with big ambitions.”—Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of At the Water’s Edge

“A razzle-dazzle novel about loss, love, and friendship . . . All the Beautiful Girls pulls back the curtain on the glamorous, titillating world of showgirls, revealing the emotional bruises hidden beneath the dazzling costumes
.”—Melanie Benjamin, New York Timesbestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Girl Friend by Michelle Frances – What a Riveting Read! 5 Stars


Great read! I couldn’t put the book down once I got a second chapter into it.  It starts out slowly but then builds fast.  There is romance, mystery and suspense….
Girl meets boy, then she meets his Mother.  Mom doesn’t make her feel welcome in their rich pretentious life, she tries, but she just can’t warm to this girl.  She really wants to keep her boy who is now in a program to be a doctor, to herself.  This girl keeps coming between them.  She starts snooping amongst the girls belongings while they are visiting their home in France……she finds the girl has told some little white lies.  She soon finds out this girl will do anything to hold on to her son and then she must do anything to keep her from him, the son has no clue for a while what is going on!  Warning Will Robinson, this girl is dangerous but then there is his Mother also!!  Pick this book up I promise you, you won’t be disappointed!

I won a copy of this book through Good Reads, and for that I’m giving it an honest review…..I Love It!!!


Description as found on Good Reads:
The addictive Number One bestselling thriller, perfect for fans of Into the Water.

A girl. A boy. His mother. And the lie she'll wish she'd never told.

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances is a gripping and chilling debut psychological thriller, based on the fall-out following an unforgiveable lie. It looks at the potentially charged relationship between girlfriend, boyfriend and his mother, which most women can identify with, and locates it in an extreme but believable setting.

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three-year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn't had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura's life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she's not all that she seems. 

When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Serendipity's Footsteps by Suzanne Nelson - 5 Stars - Awesome book!

Serendipity’s Footsteps by Suzanne Nelson
Suzanne Nelson takes you on a journey that covers the past, Berlin 1940’s and present day, three women whose lives will intersect.  This book is about shoes, but so much more, it is the journeys one takes in them and how our lives come together with these journeys.  She takes us on a fabulous journey that will make you forget your present-day obligations and make you want to stay with the journeys of these women to see what is going to happen next!  How will she ever get these three women to come together and where in their journeys will it happen?  This is an awesome book with true history woven in with fiction, I learned some more about the camps that the Jewish people were forced to live in that I didn’t know until I took this journey it was a piece of history!  You really need to pick this book up and let it take you on your journey with these three women and the people that they meet, it is definitely a five star book.  I want to follow this author and see what she comes up with next because the way her mind works is worth waiting for the next book and I’m sure it will be as wonderful as this book was!  A fabulous writer!  The book was supposed to be geared toward the young adult but that didn’t make it any less interesting for me. 
I won this book through Good Reads; the author hopes that winners will write an honest review of the book which I did!
Description of book as found on Amazon: From Nazi Germany to a modern-day orphanage in the American South, three girls separated by decades and thousands of miles are about to give up when a single pair of shoes binds them all together.
 
Dalya is the daughter of a cobbler in 1930s Berlin, and though she is only fifteen, she knows she will follow in her father’s footsteps. When she is forced into a concentration camp one violent November night, she must leave behind everything she knew and loved.
 
Ray is a modern-day orphan, jagged around the edges in every possible way. She sees an impulsive escape to New York as her only chance at happiness; there, she knows she’ll be able to convert her sorrows into songs.
 
Pinny is an unwavering optimist and Ray’s unintended travel companion on her passage to a new life. She inherited from her eccentric mother a fascination with shoes as a means of transformation and expression.
 
A single pair of shoes entwines these lives. How these women connect across different times and places is an unforgettable story of strength, love, bravery, memory, and the serendipity that binds us all together.
Information on Author Suzanne Nelson as found on Amazon:

When she was in kindergarten, Suzanne Nelson jotted down in a school keepsake album that she wanted to be a “river.” Though she clearly had issues with spelling, she persisted, composing cryptic poems about rainbows, fairies, mud, and even "Star Wars" in spiral notebooks all through elementary school. When she was seventeen, she filled four journals with her handwritten first novel, titled “The Dream Keeper.” To escape her chores, she often lied to her parents about what time her shift started at the local fast food joint so that she could spend an extra hour writing in the parking lot in her mom’s faded Buick. Her first published novel was The Sound of Munich, followed by Heart and Salsa, The Ghoul Next Door, Cake Pop Crush, and Dead in the Water. She is a shameless fan of “The Sound of Music,” Hershey’s kisses, Charlotte Bronte, and Jane Austen, and can often be caught daydreaming of romping about gothic castles in lovely Victorian gowns. She was born in New Jersey, grew up in Southern California, attended college in Texas, and spent eight years as a children’s book editor in New York City. She now lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut with her family. (less)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert – 4 Stars

I did enjoy reading this book as I was involved in the first segregation of Pontiac I was bussed over to the other side of town.  I didn’t like it as the schools weren’t as clean and well kept up.  I didn’t really love getting mixed in with kids from that side of town at first but by the time I got the second school on my side of town with a mixed group I found that I had some friends in some of the classes that were black.  I remember that I didn’t feel as safe over at Eastern Jr. High as I did when I was at Kennedy.  I hadn’t been educated in a mixed crowd it was good to face my fears and find out that things weren’t going to be as bad as I thought.  In the book there are several women with children who have different problems and the stories revolve around them.  I thought that the book seemed to slow a little in different parts so that was why I didn’t give it five stars.  It wasn’t that I opened the book and wanted to read it all the way through and forget my responsibilities as I do with some books so this wasn’t a five on my scale.  It was eye opening as there were some things in the story line that I wouldn’t have thought about and I saw the bussing through their eyes.  It was a good read and some would enjoy it more than I, I am sure.  Not every book is for every person.
 "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

ABOUT NO ONE EVER ASKED:
Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district–and in their lives.
When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray–the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser–faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones–the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge’s top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she’s stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as “this” or “that”, when such complexity exists in each person?
ABOUT NO ONE EVER ASKED
Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district–and in their lives.

When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray–the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser–faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones–the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge’s top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she’s stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as “this” or “that”, when such complexity exists in each person?
SEE LESS
ABOUT NO ONE EVER ASKED
Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district–and in their lives.

When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray–the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser–faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones–the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge’s top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she’s stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as “this” or “that”, when such complexity exists in each person?
SEE LESS

ABOUT KATIE GANSHERT


KATIE GANSHERT is the author of several novels and works of short fiction, including the Christy Award-winning A Broken Kind of Beautiful and Carol Award-winner, The Art of Losing Yourself. Katie lives in eastern Iowa with her family.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Smash Cut by Sandra Brown - Five Stars!!

Wow!  I have always loved Sandra Brown’s books, but had forgotten just how fabulous a writer she is.  This book delivers a great mystery or whodunit, along with very well-developed characters, and spins and turns to the story until you are wondering who killed Paul before it’s over also.  Could it have been someone else other than the obvious?  What was the motive?  I love the characters in this book, Creighton is the sort of character you love to hate!  The story line is just rich with details and I love the interaction between Paul’s mistress Julie and the attorney she made sure couldn’t represent Creighton.  How she did that is a fabulous mile high story!  You won’t be able to put this book down until the end and even then, you’ll be sorry that it’s finished! 
I
 received this book as a gift from the author, through Good Reads (I was a giveaways winner) and am leaving my reviews of the book absolutely on my own, my own opinion and score of 5 Stars!  Had I been able to give more I would have.

Here is the description as found on Good Reads:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes this thrilling new novel full of jarring, cinematic twists and breathless suspense that will have you on the edge of your seat.

When millionaire Paul Wheeler is murdered, his family retains renowned lawyer Derek Mitchell to defend the victim’s nephew Creighton— although the police have not charged the young man with the crime. Wheeler’s mistress, Julie Rutledge, who is also a suspect, believes that Creighton is the killer, despite his rock-solid alibi, and she’ll do almost anything in her quest to prove his guilt—even ruin Derek’s career. But the more Derek learns of Creighton’s darker side, especially his bizarre fascination with movie murders, the more he comes to believe Julie is right. The clock ticks down to a shocking ending as Derek and Julie join forces to find the truth. Has Creighton begun reenacting cinema’s goriest scenes? And who will be his unwilling costars? They won’t know until the final SMASH CUT.

Should've Been You (A Man Enough Romance) by Nicole McLaughlin

Wow this book had some hot love making in it!  Also, very creative.  Yes, I know now you are thinking I should read it to find out what she is talking about.  Yes, you should. I had sisters that were fraternal twins.  One was sunny and pretty and got more attention she was very outgoing. The other was not as pretty, more introverted and felt badly when she would be on the end of someone paying more attention to her sister for those reasons. I use past tense because I lost that sister this last summer at age 58.  Back to the book this book does have a similar set of twins.  Becca has always been attracted to the next-door neighbor Jase.  She has had a secret crush on him for years.  She’s done nothing about it because her sister has always been right there flirting and touching and hanging out with Jase whenever he was around.  When she gets engaged to someone who is not Jase, Becca and Jase find themselves spending more time together when she comes home over Christmas.  Secrets come out that change everything and involve Becca’s sister and a long ago lie regarding Jase and Becca.  Really good story line and this one kind of reminded me of my sister, which was a little sad for me.  It really is a good read and I believe as long as sexual encounters aren’t a problem with you and your reads, you really should pick this one up if you like a good romance!  Hot romance!

I received this book free from Net Galley, in exchange for an honest review. This book was in kindle format
Here is the description of the book as found on Net Galley:
Childhood neighbors get a chance at love in Should’ve Been You, an achingly romantic novella in Nicole McLaughlin’s Man Enough series!
National Guardsman Jase Beckford wants to live a quiet life raising cattle and taking care of his mother. His childhood friend and neighbor Hannah is still his best friend, but when he walks into the Walters house one morning and sees her twin sister Becca for the first time in five years, he wonders if he missed out on something special.
Becca Walters has nursed a secret crush on Jase since childhood, but he always preferred Hannah, so she buried her feelings assuming her sister and Jase would one day turn their flirtation into a real relationship. And this Christmas, she is anticipating a proposal of her own, so Jase’s reappearance in her life doesn’t mean anything. Much. Okay, maybe more than Becca would like to admit.
However, when Becca’s sister gets engaged to someone who’s not Jase, Becca and Jase find themselves spending more together. And when secrets are revealed, suddenly those dormant feelings come back to life; but is the possibility of something between them worth risking the happiness of everyone they love?