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"