Monday, January 25, 2016

Amish Christmas at North Star: Four Stories of Love and Family by Cindy Woodsmall, Mindy Starns Clark, with Emily Clark, Amanda Flower, and Katie Ganshert.


Amish Christmas at North Star: Four Stories of Love and Family
Five stars for the four novellas which were each so different from the last!
I so loved reading these novellas.  Each was very different from the last.  The characters all started life being delivered by the local midwife, Rebekah.  They were all born on the same evening. 
I unfortunately can’t say a lot about the novellas I finished them just after going to the hospital with a rather uncomfortable reaction to a medication I had been taking for ten years.
  I was up all night but had my kindle with me and I was able to stay awake and read the ending of the last story.  As with any author you can like them tremendously and others not as much.   The four stories were all written very well but I did have a couple of the stories that I liked more than the others, that doesn’t take away that they were all very well written. Each time I read books about the Amish I learn something more about them that I didn’t know before. 
My Grandmother lives in a town that the Amish come to very often.  They sell their goods in a small store in town.  I have always been curious about them and it only takes a wagon with the familiar black carriage to make me think of my Grandmothers which always seemed more like home to me than my own home.  I’ve been able to visit a local cheese shop, I’ve bought rugs and was able to go into the little room separate from the house to see how the gal made the rugs and to pick out my colors.  The rugs are beautiful.  I also went with my grandmother to pick up some bake goods and to pick out a windmill that was made by the local carpenter; I got to go into his work room and met some of his children. He found out my Grandmother was in the car and had to come out and talk to her, he had read an article about her and he said that the older people are the ones you need to talk to and ask questions of as they have lived through much more than we have.  They put great stock into their elders.
Now I’ve gotten off subject of the four books, I can tell you that I read each they were each different in subject matter than the last, and I loved reading them. They were all well written with fully developed characters and I didn’t want to lie the book down for very long, before finding time to pick it back up and start reading again.  I had only read Cindy Woodsmall before, so I have some new authors to read in the future.  I enjoyed the stories and each had a different voice! "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A suspense filled drama of "Tangled Memories" written by Janet Scarbrough

I loved this book!  At the beginning Dr.Alexander Dominican is marrying Mary Adams.  The marriage is just to be  a marriage of convenience so that Alexander's infant daughter whose month died during childbirth, will not grow up without a Mother as Alexander had to. Mary's husband died and left a lot of debts, Alexander offers to pay those bills, that she can not afford to pay, in exchange for marrying him to become his daughter Elizabeth's Mother.  The marriage is one of convenience, after the wedding ceremony they go to his home and she is left to sleep in his dead wife's room as it is across the hall from the baby's room.  It seems almost immediately that Mary starts having these wildly real dreams of being in a hall married to a knight, who is much older than her. Pretty soon it isn't just while she is sleeping that she goes back in time, pretty soon it is not only when she sleeps that she sees herself back in the middle ages, married and very pregnant.  In addition to having this happen regularly she finds that someone in the home is trying to get her to leave.  They cut her suitcase to shreds and dump perfume all over her clothing and some other pretty nasty pranks, and her new husband doesn't seem to believe her.  There is a lot of tension in the home and Mary's life is not what she thought it would be.  The book was written with a suspense filled drama and you don't know what is going to happen next.  I did not expect what happened at the end.  I really am glad that I've discovered this author I'm going to enjoy reading her books!

Description as found here on Good Reads: After losing his wife, Dr. Alexander Dominican is determined his infant daughter will not grow up motherless as he did. Offering sensible, kind kindergarten teacher Mary Adams a marriage of convenience seems like the perfect solution. The widow’s husband left her with a mountain of debt. For Alex, paying it off is a small price to pay for his daughter’s happiness. Until his sensible new wife begins to lose her mind.

On the day of their marriage, Mary starts having frightening hallucinations of medieval England—visions that feel more like the memories of woman who lived centuries before. More terrifying, someone—or some thing—is stalking the new mistress of Marchbrook Manor. Could it be one of the sinister servants? Or Alex himself? Alex is reawakening hidden desires and longings in Mary, but until she can untangle the web of nightmares and secrets, she can trust no one. Not even Alex.

Alex has no idea he’s unleashing a destiny that’s taken him seven hundred years to fulfill.

If Alex and Mary are to salvage their future, they must first unravel centuries of…Tangled Memories.
(less)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Lessons On Loving - Four Stars - by Peter McAra

I think I am not the first to note that this was a man writing historical fiction!  I read so many books written by women.  This book was about Kate, who had finished getting her teaching degree and she has been to hear the suffragettes speeches on how women should be treated in the work place, not just at home having babies.  It is 1902 and Kate sees an advertisement for a governess to teach in Australia in a back woods sheep farm.  She decides to write and ask for the position.

She does get the position money to travel there and told of places to stay until she arrives.  She does arrive at the station finally to find that not only is she not to teach a child but she is there to teach  the man who owns the farm.  His upbringing really ended at age eight. His Mother died when he was eight years old she used to teach him at home and his Father died not too soon afterward.  He learned all that he knows from servants really.  He isn't close to a local town, so the way he talks, his knowledge of things is rather crude.

Kate finds herself living in his home having meals with him, teaching him, and she finds that she is attracted to him.  Her job though is to teach him to speak in a more refined manner to help him with his manners, his reading, diction, etc.  His Mothers wish for him was to marry a proper English woman and he has one he wants to marry but he must get himself up to snuff as it were so that he may even feel as if he would be considered.  Laetitia really just put up with him because her father said she should.  She was never considering him as someone she should marryf!

When next she sees him he  speak differently, his manners are different his awareness of the world around him is totally different.  She finds that she thinks him very changed and not quite so out of her league as she thought him at first.  The ending of the story of course is pretty much as you might expect.  Although the book was enjoyable, I did like the bits of history and info about sheep farming etc., that was included in the story here and there.  It was a good story a fast read.

I believe I received this book through net gallery in exchange for an honest review.  I would give this story four stars.

Here is the description as found here on Good Reads: Wanted: Governess. Properly qualified in English, to instruct male pupil in rural location.

Sydney, 1902. Desperate for a job, Kate Courtney travels to the faraway New England Ranges to interview for a governess position. She is greeted by wealthy landowner, ruggedly handsome Tom Fortescue, and is shocked to find that her new charge isn’t a small boy—but the grown man.

It was Tom’s mother’s dying wish that he find a refined, elegant, English bride to marry. But a country man with country manners can never win a lady fair. Tom needs Kate to smooth away his rough edges, make him desirable to the English rose he wants to marry.

But the more time Kate and Tom spend together, the closer they become, and Tom has to decide between the dreams of his childhood, and the reality that is right in front of him.

Kentucky Blue Bloods by Janet Scarbrough Book Eight in the Series

I received this book in exchange for an honest review: I'm so happy that Janet Scarbrough decided to put a street team together as I had never read any of her books. I have to say I have been missing out on some very talented writing. 

Her novel had a female character "Regina Ward" who was strong willed, although broken in many ways emotionally by growing up with a father who was at times; a drunk that gambled often to the misfortune of his family. I could name that tune I grew up like that. She manages to keep the family farm together while living with her Grandmother who died and left her the farm. Reggies father gambles away four of the yearling horses from their Kentucky horse farm in a poker game and Reggie knows it is up to her to save the farm. Months earlier she had been in the company of Parker Stuart, who was in charge of his Fathers racing empire, and after a few days she was involved with Parker and she realized her heart was about to be broken once again by another man and she up and left without a note. 


Parker appears at her Grandmothers Farm to pick out the horses that his Father won in a poker game, and he wants to even the score with Reggie. He doesn't have a clue as to why this woman just up and left him without a word, that doesn't usually happen in his world, he usually has to get rid of them. He finds that on the farm she is the one who gets up with the sun and works as a man would all day long, mucking out stalls, working with the horses right aside the one caretaker of the farm that there is, basically when it comes to the help she is it. This isn't anything like Parker is used to. He hasn't seen anyone who has to work so hard every day to make the farm run and to keep the horses in good shape to train them for racing...she certainly wasn't born with the silver spoon in her mouth that he had! 

Her character is gritty hard working, full of heart and very believable I love to read books that have strong female characters. The story line is full of drama, struggles between the characters, very real emotions with great depth in the characters. This book was a fast read for me I was so drawn to it I found myself up half the night finishing it on my kindle as i wanted to find out how the story wrapped up. The author had some surprises in the book that I didn't see coming which are always added fun to the reading!

Here is the description of the book as found on Good Reads: 
No one crosses Parker Stuart, caretaker to his family’s thoroughbred racing empire. Parker retaliates against anyone who dares slight him or his blue-blooded British family, especially Regina Ward and her poker-playing father. The previous spring, Reggie had had the nerve to walk out on him after a torrid, three-week affair. Now, when Parker arrives in Kentucky to collect his family’s winnings, he’s determined to settle the score with the lovely Ms. Ward.

Regina Ward doesn't consider herself a damsel in distress. After all, this is America, and she’s accustomed to depending upon herself. However, when her father loses four of the yearlings from their central Kentucky horse farm in a poker game, Reggie knows it’s up to her to save what’s left of her family’s homestead and her proud Kentucky heritage. Can she do it when Parker Stuart, the most arrogant and infuriating Brit she’s ever met, shows up in the Bluegrass?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ties That Bind – The Amish of Summer Grove – Book One by Cindy Woodsmall - 5 Stars


9781601426994 (125×187)
Ties That Bind – The Amish of Summer Grove – Book One by Cindy Woodsmall - 5 Stars
This book moved quite a bit quicker than many of the Amish books I’ve read in the past.  I could give you a description of those in the book, but I have a breakdown of that below in more about the book.  The book starts out with a woman giving labor, actually there turns out to be another woman in the same facility, then there is a fire, they get the women out, then they get the babies out.  Everyone is safe, and all is well, or is it?  An unusual beginning for a book about the Amish.  Moving into the women who were born that day, or at least one, she is trying to buy a café and she also finds herself in love with a man whom she wishes to marry.  Then something comes up that throws every character in the book into worry.  I can’t say more without giving the result away.  The book sure ends in a way that I could not see coming at all.  This story isn’t slow paced.  It is well written with characters that are well developed.  I really enjoyed the book, and I was disappointed when it was over. I wanted to be able to immediately start Book 2.   A great place for a book to leave you, wanting more!  The description of the book is shown below.  I think I’ve said enough for anyone reading this to decide if they wish to read this book or not.  I would say, read the book!  "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review." 


About This Book:
Ariana’s comfortable Old Order Amish world is about to unravel. Will holding tightly to the cords of family keep them together—or simply tear them apart?

Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish. 
*
Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.     

Ties That Bind is the first novel in the Amish of Summer Grove series.

Author Bio


Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of numerous works of fiction and one of nonfiction. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media. She lives in the Foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her family.

- See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=242924#sthash.zEa8CiNt.dpuf

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Making Angel (Mariani Crime Family, #1) This one I do recommend!!

An author I read very often asked me to read a book written by someone else. I'm so glad I took her up on it otherwise, I would never have read this book. It's not my usual read at all.  I got started with this book and I couldn't put it down. I don't think I've read any book that involved a mafia family.  It was sizzling, full of romance and unexpected twists and turns. I would love to read any follow up book this author may write. Since she labeled the book Mariani Crime Family #1, I'm going to be watching out for book #2. It was a real pleasure to read this authors work, she isn't predictable and she writes characters that become very real to you as you read about them.  You end up caring about what happens to them.  I really do recommend this read if you are looking for something different, unpredictable.

Here is the description as found on Good Reads: “Wowza! Making Angel rocked my world. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I love the way Amanda can weave a captivating story while pulling me in with the emotion. I recommend her books to anyone!” - New York Times Bestselling Author, Tracey Jane Jackson

Heir to a powerful Las Vegas crime family, D’Angelo Mariani’s survival depends on his ability to prove his value to his father. Forced out of the technology lab and into the underworld, Angel is on the brink of pulling off the impossible when he runs into a captivating humanitarian who changes everything.

Markie Davis is all about compassion, service, and the ultimate adrenaline rush. After a year-long stint volunteering in an African orphanage, she’s in Vegas to check up on her wayward little sister. Markie never anticipated meeting someone like Angel.

Everyone knows Angel's family is dangerous, but the secrets Markie's been keeping might just be fatal… (

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Moment of Weakness by Karen Kingsbury - A compelling read!

9781601428486 (125×205)
A Moment of Weakness by Karen Kingsbury
Jade and Tanner were friends as children, they swore they would always find each other when Jade was torn away when her Father left town and of course she had to go also.  One summer they do get back together, but he goes away on a mission, it's only three weeks that he is gone but Jade panics when she realizes almost immediately that she is pregnant.  She goes to ask his Mother if there is an emergency number that she can call to get in touch with him.  His Mother tells her lies in order to make sure Jade won't reach out to him and she'll go on with her life in a different direction.  She ends up marrying someone else in order to be sure of having two parents for her child.  She wouldn't have it any other way.  Tanner goes away to school to become a lawyer but he takes his law degree in a direction his parents don't approve of. He goes into business taking cases that help those who want to defend their rights to have their faith and to publicly show it.  I don't want to tell the entire story that would spoil it.  The book was interesting to me in the way they each talked to their God.  Tanner becoming a christian is very much a tear jerker.  The book has so many dark overtones to it, it was always kept interesting but the very dark overshadowing tones to it were always there and then the end came and everything was solved!  A little to pat for me but she had to end the book some how.  I do love Karen Kingsbury's writing and I can't put her books down once I start reading them.

I did receive this book from http://BloggingForBooks.com in exchange for an honest review which I've just done. I love that I can receive books from them, I send them to the library my Mom works at when I am done with them.

More About the Book:
Here is the description of the book: Had they found each other again after all these years, only to lose everything that matters most?"
"As children, Jade Conner and Tanner Eastman were best friends--until scandal drove them apart. Then, one golden summer, they find each other again. Through endless days they share their hearts and souls and dreams of forever. Then, in a moment of weakness, they make a decision that will tear them apart for nearly a decade.

In their own separate corners of the country, Jade and Tanner have become fighters for religious freedom. Now Jade's unfaithful husband is determined to destroy her in a custody battle that will rock the nation and shake people's understanding of faith and freedom. Could Jade lose her only child because of her faith? Only one man can help her in her darkest hour. And only one old woman knows the secret about that summer and the truth that can set them all free."

About The Author:

Karen Kingsbury is a #1 New York Times Bestselling novelist with more than 25 million books in print. She is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller as her last dozen novels have hit top spot on national bestseller lists. Several of Karen’s books are in production as theatrical and Hallmark original movies.
Karen lives in Nashville with her husband and five sons, three of whom were adopted from Haiti. They live nearby to their actress/designer daughter who is married to Christian recording artist, Kyle Kupecky.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus - A supernatural mystery/thriller Five Stars!

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  I am very glad I did!  This author's book pulled me in from the first couple of pages.  His writing is up there with a young Stephen Kind and David Koontz.  He has a little ways to go but he will be right up there with them. This book is about a creepy monster of a man who spies anthers daughter and decides he wants her and will do anything to get her.  Why he wants her so badly and why he does the things he does will be explained later in the book. It has mystery, suspense, edge of the seat bone chilling realism mixed with the supernatural.  A father's daughter is taken and the only person who could possibly have taken her as far as the police are concerned is the Father.  What he needs to do to clear his name and to try and get his daughter back while exposing some very strange and supernatural characters is quite a ride through this book.  I couldn't put it down!  I think this author is headed for great things and I recommend anyone who likes this type of book, and even if you aren't sure, to pick it up and read it. You won't be disappointed!

The description as found here: From the author of Jack Templar Monster Hunter comes a supernatural thriller for adult audiences. Jack Tremont moves his family to the quiet mountains of Western Maryland hoping to leave behind a troubled past and restart his life. Instead, he finds himself caught up in a nightmare when his daughter Sarah is targeted by Nate Huckley, a mysterious and horrifying stranger driven by a dark power that will stop at nothing to possess Sarah. When Sarah goes missing, suspicion falls on Jack and he must uncover the secrets of the small mountain town of Prescott City and face the evil secret hidden there. As he digs further, he learns the conspiracy reaches more deeply than he could have imagined. Finally, he will have to face the question, What is a father willing to do to save his child? The answer? Anything. Anything at all.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Karen Kingsbury's "Waiting For Morning" 4 Stars



Waiting For Morning by Karen Kingsbury.
Hannah loses her husband and one daughter as they were hit by a drunk driver flying through the light and hit them so hard two immediately died on the spot.
Hannah has a daughter that did live through the accident but Hannah can’t be there for her as she believes life will never be right until she makes sure that the person who got behind the wheel driving drunk is put into jail without parole. That isn’t going to happen but she is working with the group MADD and spending all of her time hating that person who took her family away from her.

Hannah who had been so involved with her church life and friends there, she no longer has any time for her old friends she has shut God out of her life. She is sure he wasn’t there doing her job and he let Brian Wesley take her family away.

Her daughter during this time, feels as if the wrong daughter died. She wishes she herself would have died and not her sister, things would be good at home had the right daughter lived. She feels as if her Mom doesn’t even see her any more. She is considering suicide.

I was pulled into this book and was really engrossed in reading and finding out how things were going to go, what was going to happen next. It was a good book and I did enjoy reading it and took a few things away from the book that I was thinking about after finishing it.
I did receive this book through “Blogging For Books” in exchange for an honest review.


ABOUT WAITING FOR MORNING

“I’m afraid there’s been a car accident…”

As Hannah Ryan waits for her family to return home from a camping trip, she realizes she has everything going for her—a husband other women admire, two charming teenage daughters, and a loving Christian home. As the sunny afternoon turns into twilight, her uneasiness grows along with the shadows. Then a car pulls into Hannah’s driveway, bringing two police officers…and devastating news that shatters her life forever.

In the days that follow, Hannah struggles with unspeakable feelings of sorrow and rage—feelings that fuse into one chilling purpose for living: revenge against Brian Wesley, the drunk driver who has caused all her pain.

In her fury, Hannah shuts the Lord out of her life. She’s determined not to forgive Wesley or the God who allowed this tragedy to happen. Can two caring people help Hannah rediscover her faith…before bitterness destroys her?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KAREN KINGSBURY is a USA Today and New York Times best-selling author, with nearly twenty million books in print. Dubbed the “Queen of Christian Fiction” by Time magazine, Karen has written more than forty Life-Changing Drama, which encompasses the Redemption, Firstborn, and Sunrise series, as well as stand-alone novels such as Like Dandelion Dust, When Joy Came to Stay, and This Side of Heaven. Karen and her husband, Don, live in the Pacific Northwest and are parents to six children, including three adopted from Haiti. Visit her Web site at www.KarenKingsbury.com

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Awful Mess by Sandra Hutchison - I loved this book! Couldn't put it down!!

I loved this book. I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I had to carry it around with me as I couldn't put it down and had to sneak a few pages in where ever I could. I haven't had a book hook me like this one in quite a while.  I highly recommend this book to everyone!

I got the book as a free one from Shelf Awareness I believe.  I liked the other book by this author that she said she had a copy of her first book around her home and she went ahead and sent it to me. She knew I would give an honest review!  Also the book would end up at a  small library in Linden Iowa where my Mom donates her spare time.

Here is the descriptions as found here on Good Reads: In this witty and suspenseful update of The Scarlet Letter, self-proclaimed "heathen" Mary Bellamy arrives in a small town and quickly gets caught up in the lives of an unhappily-married Episcopal priest and a handsome town cop. Soon she's facing a crushing job loss, a scandalous pregnancy, a painful secret, and a dangerous ex. Can Mary arrive at any kind of redemption ... or is this awful mess her last?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire by Sandra Hutchison - 5 Stars!

I really didn't know what to expect when I cracked this book open. Obviously the title gives a small hint that this book won't be a light chick read.

David the local physics professor survives a plane crash but loses his wife and daughter, he can't remember anything of the actual crash which is really disturbing to him.  He just wants to end his life and soon.

His sister hires Molly (who used to baby sit his daughter Emily) to make sure the casseroles left at the door are heated and that David eats and takes his medications. Molly is pretty wise beyond her years and she suffers being made fun of by the local kids because of her Mothers weird art projects which are displayed locally when they are finished.  Molly just wants to get away!  She does go to her Fathers part of the time but his new wife and daughters don't treat her very well there either.

She is most comfortable when she is with David which she finds kind of confusing.  David is very attached to her also which he knows there is nothing he can do with that!  She is way to young.....

Molly does have to deal David's depression and she really doesn't know what do do about that. She is so attached to David, the locals all come to assume what is going on with Molly and David.  

I don't want to go too much into the story and ruin the middle and the ending of the book for you.  This is a great read and the book is engrossing and very real, all of what happens to Molly, David, her Mother are all things that could happen in any small town.  The talk alone is something that could happen in any town.

I received this book through Shelf Awareness in exchange for my honest review. I really didn't know what to expect when I cracked this book open. Obviously the title gives a small hint that this book won't be a light chick read.

David the local physics professor survives a plane crash but loses his wife and daughter, he can't remember anything of the actual crash which is really disturbing to him.  He just wants to end his life and soon.

His sister hires Molly (who used to baby sit his daughter Emily) to make sure the casseroles left at the door are heated and that David eats and takes his medications. Molly is pretty wise beyond her years and she suffers being made fun of by the local kids because of her Mothers weird art projects which are displayed locally when they are finished.  Molly just wants to get away!  She does go to her Fathers part of the time but his new wife and daughters don't treat her very well there either.

She is most comfortable when she is with David which she finds kind of confusing.  David is very attached to her also which he knows there is nothing he can do with that!  She is way to young.....

Molly does have to deal David's depression and she really doesn't know what do do about that. She is so attached to David, the locals all come to assume what is going on with Molly and David.  

I don't want to go too much into the story and ruin the middle and the ending of the book for you.  This is a great read and the book is engrossing and very real, all of what happens to Molly, David, her Mother are all things that could happen in any small town.  The talk alone is something that could happen in any town.

I received this book through Shelf Awareness in exchange for my honest review. 

As found on Good Reads: It’s the summer of 1977 in a small town in Western Massachusetts. Physics professor David Asken has just lost his young family in a plane crash he somehow survived. Sixteen-year-old neighbor Molly Carmichael used to be the babysitter, but now will be keeping house for him while he recuperates. He’s quietly planning to end his life just as soon as he can drive again, but may not be willing to wait that long after he comes across his dead wife’s journal and encounters more hostility than he had ever imagined. Molly is trying to cope with being known as Tampon Girl, thanks to a sculpture by her notorious artist mother, but she will have to deal with much worse than that after a drunken teenage party.
Both man and girl are going to have to grow up the hard way, and it’s their unexpected connection — fraught with potential scandal — that may just help them do it. This provocative coming-of-age novel asks: Is there ever a time when doing the wrong thing might be exactly right?
This is the second book from Sandra Hutchison's, whose debut novel THE AWFUL MESS: A LOVE STORY, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist, has been downloaded by over 55,000 readers

As found on Good Reads: It’s the summer of 1977 in a small town in Western Massachusetts. Physics professor David Asken has just lost his young family in a plane crash he somehow survived. Sixteen-year-old neighbor Molly Carmichael used to be the babysitter, but now will be keeping house for him while he recuperates. He’s quietly planning to end his life just as soon as he can drive again, but may not be willing to wait that long after he comes across his dead wife’s journal and encounters more hostility than he had ever imagined. Molly is trying to cope with being known as Tampon Girl, thanks to a sculpture by her notorious artist mother, but she will have to deal with much worse than that after a drunken teenage party.
Both man and girl are going to have to grow up the hard way, and it’s their unexpected connection — fraught with potential scandal — that may just help them do it. This provocative coming-of-age novel asks: Is there ever a time when doing the wrong thing might be exactly right?
This is the second book from Sandra Hutchison's, whose debut novel THE AWFUL MESS: A LOVE STORY, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist, has been downloaded by over 55,000 readers

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Against The Grain A Gluten Free CookBook written by Nancy Cain

9780385345552 (364×450)


Against The Grain

EXEXTRAORDINARY GLUTEN-FREE RECIPES MADE FROM REAL, ALL-NATURAL INGREDIENTS

By NANCY CAIN
I was excited to get the first book, cook book, since I had been told I was allergic to most of the grains.  I don’t have celiac disease.  Unfortunately the book was geared toward the celiac disease person and didn't give a lot of information when it came to those who were allergic to Buckwheat flour, wheat, rye, pumpernickel, barley oat, eggs, dairy, yeast etc.I didn't find anything in the book that I wanted to make and I did spend a lot of time looking through it. 

 It is very well written if you are a person with celiac disease  The photographs are really well done!  I would give the book four stars as it is well written for the market she geared the book to. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

ABOUT AGAINST THE GRAIN

Revolutionary all-natural recipes for gluten-free cooking–from the owner of Against the Grain Gourmet.
Nancy Cain came to gluten-free cooking simply enough: Her teenage son was diagnosed with celiac disease. After trying ready-made baking mixes and finding the results rubbery and tasteless, she pioneered gluten-free foods made entirely from natural ingredients–no xanthan or guar gums or other mystery chemical additives allowed. That led her to adapt many of her family’s favorite recipes, including their beloved pizzas, pastas, and more, to this real food technique. InAgainst the Grain, Nancy finally shares 200 groundbreaking recipes for achieving airy, crisp breads, delicious baked goods, and gluten-free main dishes.
     For any of these cookies, cakes, pies, sandwiches, and casseroles, you use only natural ingredients such as buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, and ripe fruits and vegetables. Whether you’re making Potato Rosemary Bread, iced Red Velvet Cupcakes, Lemon-Thyme-Summer Squash Ravioli, or Rainbow Chard and Kalamata Olive Pizza, you’ll be able to use ingredients already in your pantry or easily found at your local supermarket.
     With ample information for gluten-free beginners and 100 colorful photographs, this book is a game changer for gluten-free households everywhere.

ABOUT NANCY CAIN 

NANCY CAIN is the owner of Against the Grain Gourmet, a line of gluten-free breads and pizzas available at supermarkets and natural food stores nationwide. She lives with her gluten-free family in Vermont.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist a fabulous read!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.  I loved this book by Deeanne Gist!  I haven't read the other books that she has  written in the era of the Chicago's World Fair, I'll have to rectify that soon.

Everyone has written their reviews and their favorite parts of the book the review crew have all done a fine job.

I want to address the part that Deeanne has changed publishers, and she has decided not to write for the inspirational crowd anymore she believes that God has led her to start writing for the rest of  the crowd.  She can then tell stories that lead young girls/women to believe there are good men out there, men who will treat them well and love them they way they are supposed to be loved.

Even if the men aren't involved with the church, there are still men out there who are good men loving faithful men who will make a good life with them. I could tell by the video that she didn't make this change easily but felt she needed to make this switch.

She asked who our favorite characters were and I would have to say that Flossie's love interest Reeve was my favorite, he was so driven to show her what type of guy he was and what type of world he would open up for her after he was ready to show her. He worked a long time before even seeing her after he left the boarding house.  The book was fabulous a one day read for me I couldn't put it down!

The description of this book as found here on Amazon is: From the bestselling author of It Happened at the Fair and Fair Play comes a compelling historical novel about a progressive “New Woman”—the girl behind Tiffany’s chapel—and the love that threatens it all.

As preparations for the 1893 World’s Fair set Chicago and the nation on fire, Louis Tiffany—heir to the exclusive Fifth Avenue jewelry empire—seizes the opportunity to unveil his state-of-the-art, stained glass, mosaic chapel, the likes of which the world has never seen.

But when Louis’s dream is threatened by a glassworkers’ strike months before the Fair opens, he turns to an unforeseen source for help: the female students at the Art Students League of New York. Eager for adventure, the young women pick up their skirts, move to boarding houses, take up steel cutters, and assume new identities as the “Tiffany Girls.”

Tiffany Girl is the heartwarming story of the impetuous Flossie Jayne, a beautiful, budding artist who is handpicked by Louis to help complete the Tiffany chapel. Though excited to live in a

boarding house when most women stayed home, she quickly finds the world is less welcoming than anticipated. From a Casanova male, to an unconventional married couple, and a condescending singing master, she takes on a colorful cast of characters to transform the boarding house into a home while racing to complete the Tiffany chapel and make a name for herself in the art world.

As challenges mount, her ambitions become threatened from an unexpected quarter: her own heart. Who will claim victory? Her dreams or the captivating boarder next door?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Wood's Edge A Novel by Lori Benton - My Review - 4 Stars!!

9781601427328 (293×450)
The Wood’s Edge
A Novel
By Lori Benton
I loved this book!  It was a very interesting read.  It was written during the time when the United States as we know them do not exist.  The colonist’s had come and taken over land in the name of the Crown.  The Indians in the area agreed to stay in their areas and colonists were to stay in theirs. It didn’t last long though, the Indians were not happy as the colonists were hunting and making their hunting land non-existent when it came to game to be found for them to feed their family’s.  During one fracas at the downfall of the Fort William Henry one Major Reginald Aubrey’s wife had just delivered a son, unknown to her the son was dead.  There was a woman in the Fort who had just delivered twin boys.  The Major didn’t think twice about it as the woman lay sleeping she had two boys one looked white like her and the other looked like his Indian Father.  The Major took his dead son and put it in the place of the white baby.  He found that it was more than he can live with the rest of his life.  He also found a little girl left in a wagon her family gone, but she was alive.  He named her Anna and took her home with him.  His wife never found out what he did so that she would have a live son when she awoke. 
The Indian woman knew what happened to her second son, and she sends her son to spy on the Aubrey land to find out what is happening with her other son.  Her husband wants his son back.  They go to the edge of the woods only to have Anna find them there. They don’t tell her why they are there. They find out from Anna that the son known as “William” has gone away to school in England.
Their son travels many times to the edge of the woods to meet with Anna to hear how William is faring in England and he tries to find out when William is expected home.  He never tells Anna his real reason for visiting. Eventually he is visiting to find information on William but also because he is interested in her. They fall in love and telling her Father, seems like an impossible task. 
During the time William is gone; Anna has been learning the trade of midwifery and healing with herbs which I find fascinating in and of it. 
There is of course a huge blow out when Two Hawks parents wish to speak to the Major in regard to their missing son and eventually Two Hawks must speak to Major Aubrey of his love of his daughter Anna.  They want to be together.  That was just not done during those days.  I had to keep reading I wanted to find out what happened to Anna, Two Hawks, William and Major Aubrey.
I give this book four stars.  The history of the area and what was happening during that time period was studied by the author.  She took pains to make sure the book was true to many aspects of the history of the time. I love to read about the authors and what drives them to write the books they write.  It is always interesting.
 "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

More About The Book:
At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact? 

The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths. 

On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples. 

When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?
More About The Author: Lori Benton was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of Burning Sky, recipient of three Christy Awards, and The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Review of: A Fifty-Year Silence, Love War and a Ruined House In France - by Miranda Richmond Mouillot - I gave this book three stars.


9780804140645 (134×202)



My ReviewMiranda Richmond Mouillot takes on the task of trying to put together her Grandparents lives, Armaund and Anna who married during WWII, bought a house, escaped from refugee camps in Switzerland, had two children and then split up.  Something happened while they were living she as a physician and he as an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials.  She left him with their two children and they never spoke or saw each other again for the next fifty years.  Her Grandfather won’t’ even speak his wife’s name.  Miranda moves into the stone house that is their property although they never lived there in the south of France.  Miranda spend her time researching every letter, every journal everything she can get her hands on that happened during the time they were married, she writes letters to her Grandmother who will answer some questions, she asks her Grandfather questions and he is suffering from some onset of Alzheimer’s and will some of the time share tales of their marriage and what happened during the war and afterward.  Some of the time he will not give her answers he just asks, what did your Grandmother said happened.  I usually love books based on this time frame, based on what happened to many of the people who went through WWII.  I didn’t like this book, I kept reading hoping to like the characters, I didn’t, hoping to find that Miranda had finally found information that would lead to something of an interesting story the further I got into the book the further I hated the time it was taking her to find information.  There were many times there were phrases in French, I didn’t understand them and there was no footnotes to explain, much of the time she would research only to come to dead ends.  The book really wasn’t interesting to me until three quarters into the book.  I really wanted to like this book and I just didn’t like the process of her personal search.  This book was probably really interesting to family and friends who read the book who knew the family; I don’t believe this was the book for me.  I’m really sorry it just seemed a bit dry and I found myself stumbling through this book finding interest three quarters into the book when they started finally to really get and share answers and also to describe more about what was going on with the Nuremberg trials and its effect on Miranda’s Grandfather, and others who lived through them. "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

More About The Book:
A young woman moves across an ocean to uncover the truth about her grandparents' mysterious estrangement and pieces together the extraordinary story of their wartime experiences

In 1948, after surviving World War II by escaping Nazi-occupied France for refugee camps in Switzerland, the author's grandparents, Anna and Armand, bought an old stone house in a remote, picturesque village in the South of France. Five years later, Anna packed her bags and walked out on Armand, taking the typewriter and their children. Aside from one brief encounter, the two never saw or spoke to each other again, never remarried, and never revealed what had divided them forever.

A Fifty-Year Silence is the deeply involving account of Miranda Richmond Mouillot's journey to find out what happened between her grandmother, a physician, and her grandfather, an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials, who refused to utter his wife's name aloud after she left him.  To discover the roots of their embittered and entrenched silence, Miranda abandons her plans for the future and moves to their stone house, now a crumbling ruin; immerses herself in letters, archival materials, and secondary sources; and teases stories out of her reticent, and declining, grandparents.  As she reconstructs how Anna and Armand braved overwhelming odds and how the knowledge her grandfather acquired at Nuremberg destroyed their relationship, Miranda wrestles with the legacy of trauma, the burden of history, and the complexities of memory.  She also finds herself learning how not only to survive but to thrive – making a home in the village and falling in love.

With warmth, humor, and rich, evocative details that bring her grandparents' outsize characters and their daily struggles vividly to life, A Fifty-Year Silence is a heartbreaking, uplifting love story spanning two continents and three generations.

More About The Author:


Photo © Tristan Zilberman

Miranda Richmond Mouillot was born in Asheville, North Carolina. She lives in the South of France with her husband, daughter, and cat.




Thursday, February 12, 2015

My Review of "It Was Me All Along" by Andie Mitchell - I give this book 4 Stars -

9780770433246 (125×188)








It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell

I very much was able to understand the character Andie Mitchell and her relationship with food and the things that happened during her life that would set off her eating/binging.  I have had smaller weight issues but have found that I will eat to stay awake to watch a program will eat when I’m angry, will take two of anything when one was sufficient.  I went on weight watchers twice so far in my life, which is not so much like that which Andie went through but I was able to look at her life and see some similarities.  The story gave me some tips on how to stop some of my eating issues and I plan to put them in place. 
Andie ballooned up to 268 pounds by the time she was twenty. When Andie went to Rome she found a way of eating that changed her life.  Setting aside time and enjoying every bite in modest sized bowls of pasta etc.  She lost weight during the time she in Rome without even trying it just went away.  She found that the man she had loved for so many years who wanted to marry her, who also had weight issues which never bothered her before, now she knew she couldn’t marry him and she knew she no longer loved him.  She set out into a lifetime of changes and in the end the best change was in how she felt about herself.  She found that she loved her self all parts of herself and that was the best change of all!
“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

More About The Book:
A heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance.

 
All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped on the scale on her twentieth birthday and it registered a shocking 268 pounds, she knew she had to change the way she thought about food and herself; that her life was at stake.. 

It Was Me All Along takes Andie from working class Boston to the romantic streets of Rome, from morbidly obese to half her size, from seeking comfort in anything that came cream-filled and two-to-a-pack to finding balance in exquisite (but modest) bowls of handmade pasta. This story is about much more than a woman who loves food and abhors her body. It is about someone who made changes when her situation seemed too far gone and how she discovered balance in an off-kilter world. More than anything, though, it is the story of her finding beauty in acceptance and learning to love all parts of herself.

More About The Author: 
ANDIE MITCHELL is a writer, recipe developer, and lover of cake. Her popular blog, CanYouStayForDinner.com, shares the inspiring story of her successful weight loss and continued passion for good food. She lives in New York City, where she is the social media director for ShriverReport.org. 


 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Hope Crossing: The Complete Ada's House Trilogy, includes The Hope of Refuge, The Bridge of Peace, and The Harvest of Grace / My Review / Five Stars on this one!!


Hope Crossing by Cindy Woodsmall

Hope Crossing: The Complete Ada's House Trilogy, includes The Hope of Refuge, The Bridge of Peace, and The Harvest of Grace

 My review: I've probably read Cynthia Woodsmall's stories at one time or another although I don't remnember doing so.  From the time I opened the first book in this trilogy of three books in ome, I couldn't seem to put the book down.  I love to read about the Amish I find their way of life fascinating.  There are many Amish who live in the same town as my Grandmother and when there I see them with their horse and buggies coming and going quite often.

Cynthia Woodsmalls' books gave me another glimpse into their lives.  The book wasn't something I could put down easily.  I found myself picking it up for a few pages to read before bedtime and then putting off going to bed or doing whatever else I should have been doing and instead reading.  

She takes you into her books and involves you right into the stories.  You feel as if you know the characters, or at least want to know as much as you can about them, their lives and you want to keep reading to find out how she is going to end each story, and in this case, you don't have to end it, as their are three books and you can get started right where the last one ended.

 Only from the beginning of each book, other characters in the same towns paths crossing each other so you feel as though you are reading on about old friends as each book unfolds to the next.  The books are rich in the characters faiths, as well as their doubts with their faith in some cases and the problems their lives cross over, problems that happen to the non-Amish  as well so that makes these characters seem even more believeable.  I do wish I had as much faith and could remain as steadfast in my faith of what is to come as they are.  I think at times by reading books such as these, their doubts and challenges and the solutions that come their way help me in some small way as I enjoy their stories.

Warning, if you are a person who has problems holding on to books of great weight, this book is pretty heavy.  I found that I would be sitting at my table reading there or in bed anywhere that I could prop the book open to keep reading.  I should have chosen to read the kindle version as this is pretty hard on the hands and wrists for someone with arthritis problems.

I received a copy of this book from “Blogging For Books” in exchange for a fair review.


More About The Book

Hope Crossing: The Complete Ada's House Trilogy, includes The Hope of Refuge, The Bridge of Peace, and The Harvest of Grace
by Cindy Woodsmall (Goodreads Author)
Hope Crossing…where Ada’s House stands as a haven for weary souls looking for kindness, faith, and second chances.

The Hope of Refuge:

Two very different women are pulled by their strongest desires. Deborah Mast joined the Amish church and longs to marry her fiancé, but he is changing. Cara Moore is forced to look into a life that was meant to be hers. Will Ada’s House help them realize their hearts’ desires or will it force them to accept what life has done to each of them?


The Bridge of Peace:

Living out her passion for teaching, Lena Kauffman’s work is suddenly interrupted by a series of pranks and accidents targeted toward her and her students. When tragedy strikes her dear friend Grey Graber’s family on school property, the school board begins to blame her for the trouble. As grief and confusion take their toll on Grey and Lena’s friendship, they are both forced to face a new reality that may offer the peace and love they each long for.

The Harvest of Grace:

Fleeing a terrible mistake, Sylvia Fisher dedicates herself to saving the failing Blank farm. When prodigal son Aaron returns, he is surprised by this unusual farmhand who opposes all his plans. Will Aaron and Sylvia’s unflinching efforts toward opposite futures mask the bigger picture—a path to forgiveness, grace, and the promise of love?
This three-in-one collection includes the entirety of the best-selling Ada’s House trilogy, now at a new low price

More About The Author:

Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall
Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of numerous works of fiction and one of nonfiction. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media. She lives in the in the Foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her family.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Michael Phillip Cash's "The After House" A Fabulous Read!! Paranormal, Suspense, Mystery, Romance and even Humor!


<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23343135-the-after-house" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img alt="The After House" border="0" src="https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1413178671m/23343135.jpg" /></a><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23343135-the-after-house">The After House</a> by <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7060225.Michael_Phillip_Cash">Michael Phillip Cash</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1157650025">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
As soon as I saw that this book was available through shelf awareness I believe, I had to enter to get a copy, of course the premise is you give an honest review in exchange for the gook.<br><br>I've read a lot of Michael Phillip Cash's books and this latest one did not disappoint  me.  The After House is a book that covers many genrs, paranormal, suspense, mystery, romance and even has some humor included. The author doesn't mess about with a lot of frivolous extra to the story, he gets right at it. I get pulled in right from the beginning and I didn't want to put this book down.<br><br>It was intersting to me because it was based on the ghost of a captian of a whaling shiip and I knew nothing of that.  There was a story in the beginning that was pretty exciting telling so much about a whaling ship going down from a sperm whale that they hit and it didn't do what it usually would do it turned on the ship and tore it apart.  <br><br>Next we are going to a woman who is newly divorced moving into a home with her little girl, only to find that from the beginning the little girl could see the ghost in the house.  The ghost had been there in the home he had bought for his family, where he had come back looking for them and they were gone.....<br><br>He had a painter in the house for years a male whome he spent time with whispering in his ear as he slept and the painter turned out fabulous artwork of whales, whaling boats in action, and he painted a mural in the house which the woman is told must be left intact during her rental time.<br><br>The story is fabulous and a real must read and I don't want to tell the entire story for you here....<br><br>Here is the description as found on Good Reads: Remy Galway and her daughter Olivia are rebuilding their life after a failed marriage in a 300 year old cottage in historic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Little do they know, another occupant is lurking in the haven of their own home. Will the After House be their shelter or their tomb?
<br/><br/>
<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/2429900-brenda">View all my reviews</a>

Friday, January 2, 2015

"A Love Undone" An Amish Novel of Shattered Dreams and God's Unfailing Grace. Written by Cindy Woodsmall - My Review


9780307730008 (134×202) A Love Undone

An Amish Novel of Shattered Dreams and God's Unfailing Grace 
Written by Cindy Woodsmall

I do so love to read about the Amish, my Grandmother lives in a small town up north where we see Amish buggies in town all of the time. They do like to purchase/sell things and see the homeopathic practitioner there.
On to the book....Joline Keim lost her parents both at the same time in a buggy accident. she was supposed to marry the love of her life Van, and he just couldn't take on her entire family of brothers and sisters younger than she, she wouldn't leave them to be split up, so she takes on the raising if her sister and brothers.  and Van goes off and within a year is married to someone else. She meets horse trainer and father to a sweet nine year old.  The book is really all about Andy being a "grass widower".  Joline didn't hear him when he said he was a grass widower and she helps out with training horses that have been abused to get them to be ride able again.  Joline thinks Andy is a free man being a widower to marry again and she falls for Andy almost from the first day.
A Grass Widower is someone who marries and their spouse leaves, they can't divorce it isn't allowed and in Andy's case he doesn’t even know where his spouse is she had a mental problem wouldn't be treated for it and just left one day and never contacted him again.  Didn't try to see her son.  So Andy is not someone who can be marriage material.  Joline one day tells him how she feels about him, she also lets him into her secret, she paints paintings and she is good. Since their Bishop believes that pictures are not something that would be allowed by God she has to hide away in her Uncles Attic to paint.
So we have a husband and son abandoned to forge a path alone and a young woman who sacrificed her dreams, how will the God of grace and hope help them find their way, the book asks?
The book is rather complex in its story. There is quite a bit of information on how the Amish live, not quite as much as I've seen in other stories.  The book held my interest and I found myself reading when I should have been doing something else...a true sign that it is a interesting Amish story about a romance that can't happen and how they get around it or do they?
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

About This Book

A husband and son abandoned to forge a path alone.
A young woman who sacrificed her dreams.
How will the God of grace and hope help them find their way?

At nineteen years old, Old Order Amish Jolene Keim was on the brink of happily-ever-after when everything changed, stealing the future she expected and burdening her with an unbearable decision. For the next ten years, Jolene throws herself into family life—and then she meets Andy Fisher. The horse trainer and father to a sweet nine year-old challenges her and holds up a mirror to issues Jolene has been unwilling to face.

Andy is cautious about his deepening friendship with Jolene, but he believes she knows the truth about him – that he is a grass widower. As a man whose wife has abandoned him six years past, he is unable to divorce or remarry according to the Amish ways. Andy has wrestled with God concerning his reality, and he had found peace with the solitary future facing him…until he met Jolene.

As Andy and Jolene find themselves confronted by difficult choices, will they trust in God's guidance—or will the allure of their deepening friendship only lead to further temptation?

About This Author:

Cindy Woodsmall


Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of numerous works of fiction and one of nonfiction. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media. She lives in the Foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her family.