Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Somebody Like You by Donna Alward. 5 Stars - another favorite romance author for me!

Laurel returns to Darling (a very small town) which she left years ago, after a particularly nasty divorce.  She once kissed a boy on the towns kissing bridge at age five.  He is now the towns Sheriff Aiden.  She keeps running into him, especially after her new business is vandalized.  These two were also high school sweethearts for a minute.  The entire town is pushing for these two to reunite and get their picture kissing once again on the kissing bridge which is supposed to make your love dreams come true.  Many have.

People keep interfering with their lives, especially Lauren's who doesn't want anything to do with romance after just going through a divorce.  Town people and relatives believe the two should be together and they will push until it happens.

I love Donna Alwards books. She is a new favorite romance author for me!

I was given this e-book by netgalley.com in exchange for a fair review!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Pieces of Happiness by Anne Otsby - It was ok

I don’t know why this book wasn’t an easy read for me. I felt since I had promised to read and review it that I should finish it so I kept reading.  I wondered if it were because I had a day or two when I wasn’t feeling so well that I had put the book down, and maybe I hadn’t paid enough attention when reading the beginning but as I kept reading I don’t think this was the case.  I guess this book just wasn’t for me.  It was about five friends in their sixties, who decide to live together on a cocoa farm in Fiji, where one of the friends already lives and invites them to join her.  They leave their homes and move in there.  They decide to start a chocolate business, and it’s not so much about the chocolate business but about the things they discover about themselves and each other while spending all of their time together.  There were some surprises for me, I guess that was what helped me to keep reading.  I was kind of interested in the chocolate business but that isn’t as much described as the relationship between the friends, both past and present is discovered.  There was enough to keep me reading but I think I may have stopped reading it if I hadn’t promised the review.  I’m not the most fabulous writer, I can’t break down what went wrong with the book for me, for the writer. Maybe I should stick to romance novels……  My apologies to the author.

The e-book was given in exchange for an honest review from Net Galley:

Description as found on Net Galley: 
A novel of five lifelong friends who, in their sixties, decide to live together on a cocoa farm in Fiji, where they not only start a chocolate business but strengthen their friendships and rediscover themselves. 

"I've planted my feet on Fijian earth and I intend to stay here until the last sunset. Why don't you join me? Leave behind everything that didn't work out!" 

When Sina, Maya, Ingrid, and Lisbeth each receive a letter in the mail posing the same question, the answer is obvious. Their old high school friend Kat—Kat the adventurer, Kat who spread her wings and took off as soon as they graduated—has extended the invitation of a lifetime: Come live with me on my cocoa farm in Fiji. Come spend the days eating chocolate and gabbing like teenagers once again, free from men, worries, and cold. Come grow old in paradise, together, as sisters. Who could say no?
     Now in their sixties, the friends have all but resigned themselves to the cards they've been dealt. There's Sina, a single mom with financial woes; gentle Maya who feels the world slipping away from her; Ingrid, the perennial loner; Lisbeth, a woman with a seemingly picture-perfect life; and then Kat, who is recently widowed. As they adjust to their new lives together, the friends are watched over by Ateca, Kat's longtime housekeeper, who oftentimes knows the women better than they know themselves and recognizes them for what they are: like "a necklace made of shells: from the same beach but all of them different." Surrounded by an azure-blue ocean, cocoa trees, and a local culture that is fascinatingly, joyfully alien, the friends find a new purpose in starting a business making chocolate: bittersweet, succulent pieces of happiness.
     A story of love, hope, and chocolate, PIECES OF HAPPINESS will reaffirm your faith in friendship, second chances, and the importance of indulging one's sweet tooth.

Seeking Sarah - written by ReShonda Tate Billingsly - 5 stars!

After the death of her Father, Brooke Green discovers her Mother who was supposed to be dead since she was seven years old is very much alive!  She goes on a hunt to find her Mother, Sarah and finds she has been living in Atlanta with a great career and a brand-new family!  She is so filled with rage at her Mother who abandoned her that she goes about a very shocking plan of revenge on her.  How could she leave her at Seven years old, never came back and she got married and had another little girl a grown step son and a loving husband.  This story takes you on quite the jaunt and is shocking at how far this girl is going to go to ruin her Mothers perfect life!  Fast read, and you find out that revenge is not the best thing for your own peace of mind.

Description as found on Good Reads:

From the national bestselling and award-winning ReShonda Tate Billingsley comes this gripping and emotional exploration of the complex bond between mother and daughter.

From the time Brooke Green was seven years old, she has lived with the pain of losing her mother. Her father has done the best job he could in raising her, but a piece of her always felt empty. On the day of her father’s funeral, her grandmother breaks the shocking news: her mother, Sarah, is very much alive. She abandoned her family because she claimed she wasn’t fit for motherhood. After doing some research, Brooke discovers her mother is living in Atlanta, enjoying a great career…and a brand-new family. Stunned, Brooke doesn’t know if she wants answers or revenge against the mother who abandoned her. When she meets Sarah’s husband, Tony, Brooke sees the perfect way to make her mother pay. But her plan for revenge just may leave everyone in danger, and end up costing Brooke more than she ever bargained for. 

No One But You (Silver Springs #2) by Brenda Novak (Goodreads Author) - A must read - 5 stars!

I loved this book!  Great read. I picked it up at a garage sale for a $1.  Best $1 spent.
This is the story of Sadie Harris who is going through the nastiest divorce from Sly her mean and cruel ex husband.  He does everything he can to make sure that she won’t be able to make it on her own, with their little boy Jayden, (who he doesn’t’ seem to care about).  This guy things he’s all that as he’s wearing an officer’s uniform he feels he can get away with anything.
As she knows she needs to find another job other than waitressing, to be able to afford living on her own with her son.  He does nasty things by going everywhere that a job has been posted and warns everyone don’t hire my wife!  He doesn’t get it that she isn’t going to come back even if she has to leave town.
She finally gets hired by Dawson Reed who stood trial for the murders of his adoptive parents, the entire town believes him still guilty even though the charges showed him being innocent.  He wants Sadie to help get the house in order so that he may bring his special needs sister home from the place where she has been taken care of since the murders.
Sadie was almost afraid but she finds that he is nothing but an admirable guy, innocent of any killings, who is working so hard to take his sister home.  He even starts helping Sadie with the things her husband has been doing to her or trying to do to her.
Eventually they start to have feelings for each other even though the entire town sees him a murderer.  What lengths does Sly go to, you’ll have to read the book and see.  I was surprised at what the author was able to think up and put into the book.  She must have researched this type of thing well.  I gave this book 5 starts!  Absolutely pick it up!

Description of the book as found on Good Reads:

New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak welcomes you to Silver Springs, a picturesque small town in Southern California where even the hardest hearts can learn to love again

Struggling to make ends meet after a messy divorce, Sadie Harris is at the end of her tether. Her waitressing gig isn't enough to pay the bills let alone secure primary custody of her son, Jayden, a battle she refuses to lose. Desperate, she accepts a position assisting Dawson Reed the same Dawson Reed who recently stood trial for the murder of his adoptive parents. Joining him at his isolated farm seems risky, but Sadie is out of options.

Dawson has given small town Silver Springs plenty of reasons to be wary, but he's innocent of the charges against him. He wants to leave his painful past behind and fix up the family farm so he can finally bring his dependent sister home where she belongs.

As Sadie and Dawson's professional relationship grows into something undeniably personal, Sadie realizes there's more to Dawson than the bad boy everyone else see she has a good heart, one that might even be worth fighting for.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Smallest Thing by Lisa Manterfield - Very engrossing read - 5 Stars

Wow!  I didn’t remember the description of this book. I opened it on my kindle started reading and had problems putting it down when it was time to go to bed!  I had to pick it up when I got back up.  I’m recovering from back surgery so I can read more often than usual……good thing because this book is just really hard to put down.  I haven’t read one like this before loved the premise, loved the book.  It pulls you in makes you love the characters and has you wanting to know what will happen to them, where this story is going to take you!  Fast moving story of a young girl living with her Father working for him in a very small village, who is planning on taking off with her boyfriend and moving to London.  Doesn’t help the boyfriend is from a family hers has feuded with for years.  Then the doctor in the village dies, and others stat getting sick.  The government forces a quarantine of the village.  Great story, pick this one up!
Description as found on Good Reads:          
The very last thing 17-year-old Emmott Syddall wants is to turn out like her dad. She’s descended from ten generations who never left their dull English village, and there’s no way she’s going to waste a perfectly good life that way. She’s moving to London and she swears she is never coming back.
But when the unexplained deaths of her neighbors force the government to quarantine the village, Em learns what it truly means to be trapped. Now, she must choose. Will she pursue her desire for freedom, at all costs, or do what’s best for the people she loves: her dad, her best friend Deb, and, to her surprise, the mysterious man in the HAZMAT suit?

Inspired by the historical story of the plague village of Eyam, this contemporary tale of friendship, community, and impossible love weaves the horrors of recent news headlines with the intimate details of how it feels to become an adult—and fall in love—in the midst of tragedy.

The Promise of Dawn (Under Northern Skies #1) by Lauraine Snelling (Goodreads Author) - 5 Stars - Wonderful Book!!

Beloved Author Lauraine Snelling Launches New Immigrant Series
I loved this book!  From the beginning I was sucked into the story.  It began in Norway with Signe and her husband Rune and their three boys.  They get a letter from her Uncle Einer and Aunt Gerd who have a farm in Minnesota.  They are in Norway where things have become rough as far as jobs, getting a home or land of your own jobs……
They travel to America by ship, go through Ellis Island, travel some more by boat, and by train and finally get to Minnesota.  They find the home in Minnesota is filthy and Gerd is in her bed unable to get up and help with anything.  Uncle and Aunt are demanding and loud and before long even the boys are doing a man’s day of labor.
Signe and Rune are run off their feet from morning til night and before too long Signe begins to think there is no God watching over them and they will never be able to have a home and their own land.
The author went into great detail telling all of the work of lumberjacks, using, original first washing machines, cooking stoves, sewing machines, working with animals on the small farm and life in general back in the early 1900’s.  I found the entire story fascinating, you are drawn in and can almost see the details of the story as described by the author.  I couldn’t believe how much work the women got done in a day and how hard they had to work at everything!  I really loved the characters of this book and really disliked the Uncle and his wife.  I found the story so very interesting!  I love historical fiction, and this one does have all of the bones of a great story.  I can’t wait until the next book comes out this being the first in the series, Under Northern Skies!
I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review I believe from Bethany House.
Description as found on Good Reads:
When Signe, her husband, Rune, and their three boys arrive in Minnesota from Norway to help a relative clear his land of lumber, they dream of owning their own farm and building a life in the New World. But Uncle Einar and Aunt Gird are hard, demanding people, and Signe and her family soon find themselves worked nearly to the bone in order to repay the cost of their voyage. At this rate, they will never have land or a life of their own.

Signe tries to trust God but struggles with anger and bitterness. She has left behind the only life she knew, and while it wasn't an easy life, it wasn't as hard as what she now faces. When a new addition to the family arrives, Signe begins to see how God has been watching over them throughout their ordeal. But after all that has happened, can she still believe in the promise of a bright future?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Marriage Season (The Brides of Bliss County #3) by Linda Lael Miller - I gave this one 4.5

Bex made a marriage pact with her friends Hadleigh and Melody.  She married for love but her true love died in a war, he never came home.  She is busy running her fitness club making a chain of them and absolutely not interested in another marriage in spite of the pact.

A new man comes to town with two young sons and she keeps getting thrown together with Tate because the sons have made friends with her nephew.  Her friends also like throwing her into the mix. 

Linda Lael Miller has been a favorite of mine for years.  I liked this book but it didn’t throw me into love with it.  I did read it pretty quickly.  It was the last of the Brides of Bliss County, and I’ll be holding out for her next book.  I give this one a 4.5.
I had back surgery and can’t tell you why I didn’t love this as much because I read it while on pain meds.  My apologies to the author. 

I did receive this book in kindle format through Good Reads in exchange for an honest review.  Not one of my best reviews but I put it off to0 long. 

 (Goodreads Author)
Description as found on Good Reads:
Will the marriage pact be fulfilled? Return to Mustang Creek, Wyoming, with #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller for more Brides of Bliss County! 
Since Hadleigh, Melody and Bex—the best of best friends—entered into a marriage pact, two of them have found (and married) the men of their hearts. But Bex doesn't think she'll be as fortunate as the others. Her own first love died years ago in a faraway war, and Bex has lost hope for a happy marriage of her own. She concentrates on her business, a successful chain of fitness clubs, instead. 
Then, when single father Tate Calder comes to Mustang Creek with his two sons in tow, who befriend Bex's eight-year-old nephew, she and the handsome, aloof newcomer are constantly thrown together. But is the marriage season over? Or can a man with doubts about love be the right husband for a woman who wants it all?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Nom de Plume (The Bluegrass Homecoming Series Book 3) by Jan Scarbrough

Great story!  I liked the title didn’t know what it meant until I started reading the book.  It was a fun read!  The son writing his Mothers books under her name and hiding out in her house so that no one knew that it wasn’t she who was doing the writing.  I should have said re-writing she had many past manuscripts that he was able to have his new help type up so that he could get them in to be published.  He needed the money to take care of his Mother.  No one was ever to know.  The new typist couldn’t figure out why his writing was so bad after she had typed up books written by her.  Of course, she going through a divorce and he being alone for so many years, eventually there has to be a spark.  She wasn’t having it, she was going to stop working for him and leave so that she could tell herself that she was not going to get involved with another man.
I received this book as an e-book from the author in exchange for an honest review!

Description as found on Jan Scarbrough’s web site: Devoted homemaker and mother C.B Lyons hadn’t known she was living a lie, right up until the moment when she caught her husband cheating. Betrayed and then divorced, with her dreams of a big, happy family smashed to pieces, C.B. takes her toddler son to Heritage Springs, Kentucky, to be near family. Typing manuscripts for a famous romance author seems like the perfect job until she discovers the hidden truth about the reserved, reclusive writer.
Madison Mallory is a best-selling romance author with a secret. “She” is a “he.” The original Madison is actually in a nursing home. Her son, Jamie Madison, is determined she’ll have the best care possible. Even if that means quitting his job and taking up his mother’s pen name to keep the romance—and the money needed for her care—flowing.
Writing about romance is one thing. Making it work in real life is harder for Jamie. C.B. has good reasons to distrust men, especially sexy ones with piercing blue eyes. When C.B.’s ex wants his family back, can the author and his assistant find a way to write their own happily-ever-after ending?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

High As The Heavens - by Kate Breslin - five stars!

This book was really an interesting read.  It was set during war time based mostly in Brussels in 1917.  Germans have occupied the city and have even taken over any homes they wish to have the occupants forced to give up bedrooms and play host or hostess to these men.  They take anything they wish to and make the people of Brussels lives miserable.  Many are starving while the Germans eat like kings. 

Evelyn Marche is a British nurse who has gone to live with her Mother after her husband was killed during the war, and she works as a Red Cross nurse at the hospital during the day while she works at her Aunt and Uncle’s café’ during the evenings.  She also works for the Belgian resistance and while going to meet someone in secret one evening, she rescues a pilot who is in bad shape from a down airplane.  She hides him away and try’s her best to get him out of Brussels, but many things happen to impede that trip.  There are many secrets between the two and the biggest secret well you’ll have to read the book and see. 

The book was pretty realistic there were many things about the book that I had seen similar stories on the history channel.  The book was based on some stories the author took some liberties with but then that is fiction often times built around something that was fact!

I received this book through Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Description of Book: 
High As the Heavens
by Kate Breslin (Goodreads Author)

In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle's café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She's a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo written by Taylor Jenkins Reid - 5 Stars - What a Great Read!!

Wow this book grabbed me from the first page and I couldn’t seem to put it down. I thought it was going to be something like the life of Elizabeth Taylor or one of those stars….the story is nothing like hers or anyone that I know of.  It seems so real!  It really pulls you in and the characters and the time lines in this book are so well fleshed out and well thought out.  I was really flummoxed when the big secret was revealed well there were really two huge secrets!  If you want to really get a great novel and read read read, it’s not a small paperback, then this is the book for you and there is a very touching but surprising romance that runs throughout her entire life.  I would recommend this book to just about anyone.  It has a mystery that doesn’t really reveal itself until the last few pages.  I didn’t spend too much time trying to figure it out I just kept picking up the book hoping it would be revealed soon.  Not so it kept me waiting for a very long time for the answer to the questions in my mind.  I loved this book!  I would probably read it again.

I believe I received this book from Good Reads.  Here is the description as found on Good Reads.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Goodreads Author)

From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.

You'll Never Know Dear - Written By Hallie Ephron - Five Stars Great Suspense Novel!

This book is unusual in that a child has gone missing and has been gone for 40 years! Unknown to some of the family members another child in the neighborhood was taken in much the same way and has never been found either and has been gone almost the same amount of time. The thing that they had in common, they both sat for Miss Sorrel to have porcelain dolls made in their likeness. She gave the first doll she ever made that way to her Daughter Janey before she went missing. The other doll she never delivered to the family, she didn’t believe they would want it after their daughter went missing. Every year on the Remembrance Day, the anniversary of Janey being gone Miss Sorrell would place advertisements in newspapers all around the region for a cash reward if someone would return Janey’s doll, she would then have some clue as to what happened to Janey. She doesn’t believe the police department has done enough the longer it’s been that her Daughter has been missing, and then one year, someone returns Janey’s doll for the reward! 
This book was quite the interesting read, with its background seeped in antique dolls, homemade porcelain dolls….. and missing children two in the same town. Lissie Woodham who was there when her sister was taken, she ran off following a puppy, and had no idea her sister was taken until she lost sight of the puppy and came back to the house and Janey was gone. She always blamed herself as she was supposed to be keeping an eye on her sister. There was an explosion and her Mother and Grand Mother were taken to the hospital, so she comes back home to help out. She finds out that someone has brought forward Janey’s doll. Her Grandmother in the hospital makes her promise that she will find the woman who brought forward the doll! 
This book was a great read and I enjoyed the mystery and the up’s and downs of the book, never figuring out the end of the book before the book gave it up! 

I won this book through Good Reads in exchange for an honest review:
An addictive novel of psychological suspense from the award-winning author of Night Night, Sleep Tight, about three generations of women haunted by a little girl’s disappearance, and the porcelain doll that may hold the key to the truth . . .

Seven-year-old Lissie Woodham and her four-year-old sister Janey were playing with their porcelain dolls in the front yard when an adorable puppy scampered by. Eager to pet the pretty dog, Lissie chased after the pup as it ran down the street. When she returned to the yard, Janey’s precious doll was gone . . . and so was Janey.

Forty years after Janey went missing, Lis—now a mother with a college-age daughter of her own—still blames herself for what happened. Every year on the anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, their mother, Miss Sorrel, places a classified ad in the local paper with a picture of the toy Janey had with her that day—a one-of-a-kind porcelain doll—offering a generous cash reward for its return. For years, there’s been no response. But this year, the doll came home.

It is the first clue in a decades-old mystery that is about to turn into something far more sinister—endangering Lis and the lives of her mother and daughter as well. Someone knows the truth about what happened all those years ago, and is desperate to keep it hidden.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Description as found on Good Reads:

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

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

Saturday, July 8, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 12, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, May 28, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis - 5 Stars!

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, May 6, 2017

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

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

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

The description as found on Good Reads:

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

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

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

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

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