Friday, December 14, 2012

A note to my readers

Hello readers,
Sorry I have been away for a few months. Health issues, plus my Daughter's wedding have intervened in my life, but things are stabilizing now, so I will once again be posting. I will however, start over toward my goal of a book a day for a year! Happy Holidays to all..I look forward to the coming year. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Accidentally Amish by Olivia Newport Review 68

Accidentally Amish by Olivia Newport
Two intertwined stories, one very old, one very new. One the history of the other, one a fresh start. Annie meets Stuart, and starts to look at a completely different way of life.
Jakob looses his wife and starts leaving an old, comfortable way of life. Both will lead them and their families into uncharted waters. Can an Amish man turn away for love? Can an English woman give up everything English for love, or for herself? Two sweet but difficult stories, both worth reading.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lucretia and the Kroons By Victor LaValle review 67

Lucretia is a young girl, trapped by her life in a world she doesn't really understand or want to be part of. Her best friend, Sonny, is dying. Her other "friends" tease and mock her. She has a dream? Drug trip? Psychotic break? the day her friend Sonny dies. She knows Bad things happen to Kids.
A difficult book to read, but holds your attention like a train wreck in slow motion. To see the beginnings of a descent into madness is hard, but fascinating.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Time to Love by Barbara Cameron Review 66

Jenny had been through the worst war could offer. Although she was not a soldier, she still had been severely injured by the IED that had been thrown at her as she reported on the plight of children in the midst of a war.
She felt like she had lost everything, her Looks, her ability to move and speak easily and fluently, and her career.
She was crippled and shattered. All she could think about was getting to her grandmothers home to hide from the world and her problems. After her Mom had died, her Amish grandmother's house was her summer retreat, where she felt loved and peaceful. A tiny part of her wondered about Matthew, the Amish boy who had been her close friend as a teenager and the tentative kiss they had shared before she left that last summer.
Would she find that same sense of peace and safety now? Enjoy Jenny's journey as you follow her struggles to find her place in her new reality and learn to trust in Gods plan for her.
ISBN# 978-1-4267-0763-6

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Sleeping Night By Barbara Samuel Review 65

Angel and Isaiah grew up together, they had loved each other most of their lives. But this was the South in 1946. Neither one had ever admitted it, even to themselves. Because She was white and he was black and that could get them both killed.
It is a heart wrenching story of love, violence, hatred and evil. Both in Europe and in Texas. A story that will chill you to the bone. Made worse by the fact that you know it could be true. I won't give away the end, but I know, this is one story you will never forget, and hopefully we will neither forget or forgive the things that happened  in our country, in Hitler's Europe, in the end both were born of unmentionable evil.


Friday, June 22, 2012

From Streetlights to Stars by Becky McGurrin review 64

how does an Irish Catholic Family end up as Mennonites? Not a question many folks would ever think to ask. But here is a book that answers that question in a most beautiful, simple fashion. It provides an insight into the Mennonite church from both an insider's and outsiders perspective. Fascinating and fun to read, it is a good chance to ponder the questions for your self "What do I believe and why"? We all can gain something important by taking time to do just that every few years. I think you will enjoy following this family as they travel down a path very little traveled by most.
ISBN #9781932676129

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rum Punch Regrets By Anne Kemp Review 63

Abby was lost..or more accurately had lost...her fiance, her perfect wedding and now, her job. Then her sister Leigh calls and insists she needs to fly to the Caribbean to get her secret house ready for sale. A house that Abby had never heard of and neither had Leigh's husband! That "house" turns out to be an Inn, well maybe more of a B & B. With guests, staff and a renter!  The renter Ben, lives in the pool house. he's studying to be a veterinarian and none too happy when Abby ends up on an air mattress in his pool house! They both seem able to just rub each other the wrong way without trying. Nothing is turning out to be what it seems. Will the Inn ever get repaired enough to be sold? Will Abby find a good man? Will Leigh ever stop treating Abby like an irresponsible teenager? I won't tell. This is one sweet little drink of a book you will have to sip yourself..but don;t be surprised when it sneaks up on you with a punch!
 ISBN# 978-1-937957-70-4

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tyler's Magic by Malcolm Ater Review 62

A true story about a boy who taught his Harper's Ferry community, and many others, what hope, determination, and honor can do.
Tyler Moore had Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease that effects a child's ability to breathe, digest food, and fight infections.  Most children with Cystic Fibrosis never see their 20th birthday. All Tyler wanted was to be a normal kid. Then he realized he might be  part of something that would remain forever. Tyler led his Junior high wrestling team to 39 victories in one season, his team carried on for one more to be the only Junior High in the State to ever win 40 matches in one season. To do it, they had to fight prejudice, cheating the weather, and a curse! It's an inspiring story.
For me, it was a bit more personal. My next door neighbor's daughter died from Cystic Fibrosis at 12 years old. These kids have to pack so much living into every year. They truly shine from the inside out.

Betty's Little Basement Garden By Laurel Dewey Review 61

Betty Craven had the perfect life. Well, that's what it seemed like to others. They never knew that she was empty inside and her house was emptying slowly as she surreptitiously sold her antiques and paintings. Her Husband was dead, Although if she were honest, maybe that was a small relief. Her son, Frankie was dead and that ripped her her out every hour of every day.
Betty hasn't created her perfect garden yet this year, her women's group meeting wasn't perfect enough to please her. Her neck was killing her. That drumbeat in her ear was driving her slowly insane.
What saves her sanity, love life, body and soul? Cannabis (don't call it "Pot" please, Betty would be offended) Not exactly what you expected is it?
Through the metaphor of weed, Betty teaches us what life can become when you let go of your fears, prejudices, misconceptions, and self doubt. A wonderful journey on Betty's discovery of herself.

ISBN# 978-1-61188-038-0

Sunday, June 3, 2012

THREAT OF DARKNESS by Valerie Hansen review 60

Samantha thought her life was settled. She felt like she was helping those least able to help themselves. Then Bobby Joe, a childhood acquaintance, showed up in the ER with a comatose child and suddenly her well ordered life was falling apart. Who shows up in response to the 911 call? John Waltham, her former boyfriend who had left her years ago to be a detective in Dallas. The last time they had seen each other she had been begging him not to leave. Well, she had no intention of doing any begging now!
Circumstances conspire against her as someone comes after her! Destroying her car, dognapping her old, treasured dog. Then a little boy in danger draws her even deeper into danger. John is there fighting her tooth and nail to let him help and protect her. Will his efforts be enough? I won't spoil the end, but it won't be what you expect!

ISBN # 978-0-373-44492-2

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Las Vegas Bandits by Jim Cartwright review 59

Sam Matthews and his gang prowled Vegas in the 80's when gangs still had a bit of honor and life held promises for the future. Young men on the verge of being 20-something, they were beginning to try to work out their place in the world, and still young enough to enjoy using a stolen gas pump to carry a message to a rival gang.
First loves and brushes with death all conspire to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Wanting to know what happens next, but a bit fearful of what it might be. Growing up a gay young man anywhere in the world of the 80's must not have been easy, but Sam makes it look at least joyful. I can't wait to read the next book and see where the future lies for Sam and his band of merry young men.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Simple Amish Christmas by Vannetta Chapman review 58

Annie was homesick for her Amish family. Her nursing studies finished, Christmas season coming...The city seemed crass, artificial, empty. Then came the phone call from home...her father injured, she was needed at home. Everything moved so quickly.
Once she was home, things seemed dire. Her father unconscious, why wasn't he in the hospital? Samuel said he would be OK at home, but didn't trust her to nurse him. Who was he to treat her so disrespectfully? Grumpy and ill mannered is what he was! Samuel thought he had become used to being alone. Since his wife and child had died, he had settled down to his life as a solitary farmer and healer. What had happened to little Annie to make her so different? Life never turns out quite like we expect...the same holds true for Annie and Samuel.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Death's Acre by Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson review 57

The history of the “Body Farm”. A forensic laboratory that studies human decomposition in various locations and under various conditions. A fascinating look at the events that led up to the creation of the Body Farm. Learn how Patricia Cornwell was instrumental in making that existence public with her Book “The Body Farm”! Remarkable amounts of what we now know about how the human body decomposes have come from this small plot of land. A fascinating read, if maybe not for the faint of heart.

Healing Dr. Alexander by Tracy Wolff Review 56

Healing Dr. Alexander by Tracy Wolff
Dr. Jack Alexander never expected to be shot. His work in Africa was healing the sick and wounded.
Now he's back in the states, Atlanta, and his days as a surgeon are ended. He is bitter, frustrated and feels like his useful life is over.
Sophie Connors is a widow with two young very active sons. It seems her new next door neighbor is out to keep them busy. She isn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth!
See how this unlikely couple's relationship develops!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Skylark By Megan Spooner review #55

Lark was waiting to be "Harvested" and become a working adult and settle in to the rest of her life. She still misses her brother Basil, who dissapeared a few years before. Things don't go as planned. Kris, a boy she meets helps her escape the city. Outside is terrifying! A wild boy keeps shadowing her, adding to her fear. Eventually, she finds out his name is Owen and he helps her survive. She knows something in her has changed. Follow along her trials and watch her grow into a confident, strong young woman. Surprises await.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross #54

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar
By Kady Cross
Finley, Griffin, Emily and Sam a group of humans and augmented, repaired humans along with some very small helpers "organites" are traveling to America to look for their friend Jasper Renn who had been accused of murder and now disappeared! This saga will take them into the bowels of American society and poverty both. Richly detailed in Steam-punk style we manage to meet Nicolai Tesla along the way, utilizing his ideas and skill in ways he had never imagined. Jasper is being held captive by the clockwork collar on the neck of Mei Ling. A collar that will kill her if he doesn't do what Dalton, a local mob boss of sorts, wants him to do.
I won't spoil this story for you because you will want to read it to the very last page!


Monday, April 30, 2012

The Shadow Side by Linda Castillo, review #53

The Shadow Side by Linda Castillo
Adam thinks his life is effectively over. His partner and his wife have betrayed him, while he was recovering from an on the Job traumatic Brain Injury. He still has crippling migraine headaches, moments of rage and dizziness that he is sure may never go away. He figures his career as a cop is over so hew might as well drink. then comes the knock on his door. His brother and sister-in-law are dead. The cops think it's an open and shut case of murder suicide. But Adam knows better. He starts out to prove his brother didn't do this, couldn't have done this! He would never kill his wife and their unborn child! As he investigates, a new drug keeps coming up in similar brutal crimes..Valazine. He compiles the research he has done and sets out to prove to the link to the scientist who is about to win an award for developing it. Eli Barnes is sure this violent, dangerous man is mistaken...but when she sets out to prove him wrong, things start to happen...dangerous things. An action packed, edge of your chair sort of book that will keep you reading. I literally read it in one day. Won't give away the will have to read it for yourself!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

OOPS! Reviews 51+52

As I was reviewing my reviews, I noticed 2 duplications in the they are designated by a "b" and this will catch us up to where we should be. I spent a month in the San Francisco area,working on stuff for the Black Rock City Department of mobility ( ) We still need to do major fundraising! Therefore, I will be catching up for the next few weeks, you might see more of the kids books I review for my 3 year old granddaughter. I'm always looking for something different both for her and for me. I had a chance to see a bit more of the "Steam punk" art while I was up north and look forward to reading more Steam punk books. I really enjoyed the couple I have read so far. If you have read the book I've reviewed, feel free to add your comments. I enjoy seeing how different peoples tastes are in the books they read. I read the "Site Watch" Forum on the site for the same reason. One person says "I hated it, it was the worst book I ever read! Don't read this book unless you plan to roll your eyes and sigh a lot." and the next person says "I liked it, I thought the heroine was fun." So, ya just never know!
I've made it past the half way point and can't wait to see where I end up!

Twelve Dresses one Star A Silly Picture Book About Being Who You 50

Twelve Dresses one Star
A Silly Picture Book About Being Who You Robert Stanek
Sweet little book about being yourself. No matter how you feel or what you wear. If you are yourself, you are a STAR!!! Fun colorful illustrations show the little girl who stars in the book with different dresses, different emotions, but always, herself. May need some explanation for the youngest kids. Good, positive message.


Tweet! 49

Tweet! by Rebekah Matthew
A cute sweet little e-book. Simple, bright childlike illustrations are appealing. Babies to early readers should enjoy this little book. I know my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter would like it.

What Am I? 48

What Am I? By Jennifer Valentine
A cute easy riddle book for toddlers to early readers. I liked the riddles, simple but easy. The pictures disappointed me a bit, looks like mostly "clip Art" style without a cohesive style throughout. I love books that ask kids questions. It always gives them a sense of accomplishment when they know the answer. When you are reading with them, toddlers just crack up if you guess the wrong answer and love to correct you. A nice little book for younger kids.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

MECHANIQUE A Tale of the Circus 47

MECHANIQUE A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine
A disturbing place where humans take on metal bones, lungs, and wings. Full of both beauty and terror. Performers that never age, but that in and of itself is a horrible truth to face.
Moving through a world gone wild, with war, and evil and those in the circus mechanique form a warped, twisted family, with the Boss in charge, never showing her soft side.
Through it all...the wings...oh the wings. Beautiful, terrible wings that sing and shine and take over with their own brand of madness.
Like a horrible wreck, you cannot look away. You have to read to the last line, the last battle, the last gasp. Who can ever forget the circus. This is not the circus of your childhood. This is a circus of your nightmares....everything looks bright and sparkly, at first. As you look closer, you notice the frayed edges, the strained looks, the awkward moments that whisper "run now, before it's too late". But it's already too late. You are hooked and must read to the very end. It's well worth the read.
ISBN 978-1-60701-296-2

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Into the 46

Into the Free by Julie Cantrell
Millie is almost ten. She confides in her friend "Sweetie" a big, big tree, her oldest friend "Sloth" the old man who lives next door. Millie tries to protect her mama when her daddy Jack is home from the rodeo, but she's only almost 10. Mama goes away a lot as well, down into her "valley" inside her mind. It's a hard life, sometimes a cruel life, but that's the life she has. She loves to watch the gypsies when they come into town, with their bright colors, sparkling coins and stories, about their queen, their history their paths.
She meets a young gypsy boy and the two share an almost friendship for many years until she is 16 and her father almost beats her mother to death. River wants Millie to go with him, leave this place and travel the country. But she stays and watches her father die and her mother soon follows. Great things and horrible things follow. How will she choose? What road will she travel?
Sometimes tough to read, but worth the effort.
eISBN 978-0-7814-0800-4

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Get 45

Get Fluffy By Sparkle Abbey
Melinda was feuding with Caro, her cousin over grandma Tillie's brooch. That was a given. It should be hers! After all Grandma Tillie had left it to "her favorite granddaughter" and that was HER! Caro was mistaken in her belief that SHE was the "Favorite" one.
Mel was also feuding with Mona, the queen of Laguna Beaches dog loving divas. Caro didn't end up dead, but Mona did!
The annual Fur Ball, fundraiser for the animal shelter was the top of the social calendar for the doggie set. Mel as owner of the local upscale doggie boutique "Bow Wow" had to be there as well as all of the local doggie set. Even Gray, her undercover FBI fiancé was there. Tova Randall started the fight over of all things fleas! Then Mona had to insult my mama! Well things went downhill from there and Mel finds herself embroiled in the investigation of Mona's murder and in possession of Mona's spoiled afghan hound Fluffy as well. Blackmail, secrets, oh yeah, this story has them all. Somehow Mel finds herself in the middle of it all. Much to the displeasure of her fiancé Gray, and detective Judd Malone. Follow alone and see where it all leads.
More funny, suspenseful fun from Sparkle Abby!
ISBN 978-1-61194-121-0

Desperate 44

Desperate Housedogs By Sparkle Abbey
Caro and her cousin Mel both think that they were grandma "Tillie" Matilda Montgomery's favorite granddaughter. That explains the horrible brooch they keep stealing from each other. Perfectly clear..right? Well that's only the first thing that will take some explaining, some amateur detective work and some deduction to clear up.
Caro is the owner of the PAWS clinic, Professional Animal Wellness Specialist Clinic, in Laguna Beach. She caters to an upscale clientele that has issues with their dogs that they need help with. First a client dies right after Cara was with him. Turns out it was murder!
Ruby Point, an exclusive gated community has lots of secrets. Detective Judd Malone wants Caro to keep her nose out of those secrets and his murder investigation! Let's just say our ex-beauty queen, southern gal has not learned to let things go. Not just Grandma's brooch! A great, funny romp! I won't spoil it for you. I know you will love the lighthearted mayhem too. These are people I'd like to know more about!
ISBN 978-1-61194-050-3

Friday, April 13, 2012

Leaving 43

Leaving Lancaster By Kate Lloyd
Holly Fisher never knew her father. He died before she was born, in Vietnam As far as she knows, her mother Esther is her only living relative.
She is about to lose her job, a victim of the bad economy. Here relationship with her mother has always been strained. Now that she's living at home, even more than usual.
She has no idea how much worse things are about to get.
Her mother springs on her, with no warning, that her grandmother, who Holly thought was dead, is alive, sick, and wants them to come home to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
What will Holly and Ester find when they visit "Mamm Anna's" House. What will Esther do when she is forced to confront her past? Will Holly find the large extended family she has always coveted? Will Holly be able to forgive all the lies her mother told her, and all the things she never told her?
This book is a bit different from many "Amish Fiction" stories. It lets us inside the heads of some who have not lived Amish for years and some who never even know what it is to live Amish. A very enjoyable read, with a dash of twists, turns and romance thrown in for good measure. I was a bit frustrated to not find out all the answers, I hope they will come in more books from Kate Lloyd.
eISBN 978-1-4347-0472-6

Monday, April 9, 2012

Star trek FAQ..Review 43b (oops!)

Star trek FAQ by Mark Clark
Having been hooked on the Original Star Trek as a child, I thought I knew a lot about it. Well this book is filled with things I never knew, things I forgot I knew and things I didn't know anyone knew about Star Trek! An informative, fun and interesting read for anyone who has even seen Star Trek and wondered what was behind it. Other shows that had an influence on it, how the various writers and directors affected it, where and how a lot of our most familiar props came into existence. There are tidbits about the "Great Bird" (Roddenberry), what came before and what has come after. For anyone studying American Culture, this book would be a great asset! Even if you are not a "Trekkie" you may find many of the things in this book interesting!
ISBN# 978-15578-792-9

Sunday, April 8, 2012

God Said Not Yet!: One Man's Experience With "Terminal" 42

God Said Not Yet!: One Man's Experience With "Terminal" Cancer by Daniel Edward Neff
A refreshingly matter of fact narrative of one man's battle with cancer, doubt, assurance and faith. Not preachy, just telling you want happened and how. As the years passed on, he truly thought at times it was over, but......God said Not Yet! I enjoyed listening to the telling, and even more the fact that many years out, his recovery is still going strong. How many of us have gotten a "wait" or a "not yet" from God and grumbled against what we thought was unfair? Daniel reveled in Gods "Not yet" for him. A very enjoyable story with verses included

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Great Lenore..Review 41

The Great Lenore By J.M. Tohline
Richard met Lenore when she had been dead for 4 days. Wow, what a way to start out a book! Everything revolves around Lenore, her life, her marriage, her loves, her in laws, her husband, Her Lover.....well you get the idea. But it is Richard you will get to know the best. Richard of the sarcastic comments (only in his head), The brilliant thoughts (which he would love if they were in his head) and second novel..which may never get written. All because of Lenore. This was a book like none other I have read. The story, odd yet feels strangely familiar. I found myself drawn in and once in, stayed in. I won't reveal the end, but you will most likely get there in one sitting, because you won't want to put it down.
ISBN# 978-0-9845105-5-9

Hearts that Survive: A Novel of the Titanic..Review 40

Hearts that Survive: A Novel of the Titanic By Yvonne Lehman
We follow the youthful enthusiasm of Lydia, so in love with her John, as the Titanic sales towards history. A hidden pregnancy, The first ,and last Titanic wedding, and how fate and choices will effect all those who sailed on her maiden voyage.
Caroline is not as young, married, childless and comfortable in her niche in life. She yearns for something more, some higher purpose, someone who really needs her.
Each has a life shattering experience when the Titanic sinks. Each will make choices that will impact their lives in ways they could never imagine. Each find faith, and that happiness is a choice they each want to make. Life is not easy. Life is not without pain. Life with the Lord includes pain, and challenge, and joy.
You will find yourself engrossed in the lives and choices of Lydia and Caroline as they remain fast friends throughout their lives.
ISBN# 978-1-4267-4488-4

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Grave 39

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Ismae is 17 and knows she is marked as a child of death. Impervious to poison, Her life has been one of hard work, little love and being a feared outcast. When he father marries her off, she has a spark of hope that maybe her husband will be different. She immediately discovers the truth, this is just more pain. escaping from her husband, she is spirited away by an herbwitch to a convent that serves the "Saint" of death himself. She is trained as a deadly assassin and comes to feel safe and powerful. When politics threaten the safety of the convent she is sent to do her work. She finds herself cast together with Duval, a bastard son of royalty, sworn to protect his sister Anne and see her on the throne. Ismae cannot protect her heart from falling for Duval as they work together to save Anne. Will she be able to serve Death and her heart as well?
A compelling read! I finished it in two days even in the middle of a crisis at work! I was captivated by Ismae and her God of Death and Duval's earnest charms.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wonder..Review 38

Wonder by R.J.Palacio
August has a face like nothing anyone has ever seen. Like a screaming and running away kind of face. He has accepted that this is the face he has. Now he has to figure out how to cope with a world that has never seen a face like his. He has been homeschooled his whole life and now for 5th grade, his parents want him to go to school. A regular school. With kids who don't know him. Kids who have never seen him. For fifth grade. I know I have always thought that 5th grade is the hardest school year of anyone's life, much less, someone like August.
As we watch him and his classmates grow it is gratifying that none of them are as cruel and heartless as we all know modern children can be. You will tear up and stand up and cheer as you follow along with the life of August, his friends, his sister, her friends and how everyone is affected by what happens in August's life. Yes, everyone deserves a standing ovation, at least once in their lives.

The Whipping 37

The Whipping Club by Deborah Henry
A bleak and dismal tale of lost love, lost chances and lost lives. A young woman finds herself pregnant and in love. She sacrifices her child for the love of her man, who's Jewish mother can't accept her and who's Father dies the night he tells them of his love. Never knowing she was pregnant, she vanishes under a false story. She returns almost a year later. They marry, she never mentions their son, given up to be adopted in America. They have a daughter, and things are good. Until she hears from "Nurse" a woman who works at the "maternity home" where they took her child. Nurse tells her that her son is in an orphanage not far away. Guilt, and the need for her son, eat away at her. What follows is a dark depressing look into the orphanages, boys "schools" and the power of the church and police that will chill you to the bone. I found the type face changes (from one face to another and change in an out of boldface) very distracting. Sort of like a gruesome auto wreck I could not stop reading.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Little Pet Dragon..Review 36

My Little Pet Dragon by Scott Gordon
Very cute little e-book who's story is told by single pictures of him on each page. The Illustrations by Julien Tromeur and Dimitar Marinov are rich in detail, with a plain white background that allows the dragon, named "Ness" to shine. The dedication at the end to a little girl in a neck brace is very sweet as well. My 3 year old granddaughter liked it even though "You know grandma, dragons can be mean! But this dragon is nice."
No isbn# found

Dragons in a Winter..Review 35

Dragons in a Winter Wonderland By P.A. Woodburn
A cute little children's e-book from Amazon. Sweet story about a brother and sister dragon who fall through a door between worlds, from their hot summer one, into our cold winter one! They are found by a father and daughter out to cut a Christmas tree. They take the very cold dragons home, warm them up, then put them on a sledge and take them back to the door. The father and daughter visit the dragon's world and invite the Dragon family to spend Christmas with them in our world. A good story about how very different creatures can still be friends and enjoy learning about each other. The illustrations are fanciful and look like an older child's drawings. My 3 year old granddaughter liked it very much.
I couldn't find an isbn#

Spider Bones..Review 34

Spider Bones By Kathy Reichs
One of my favorite authors, Reichs has again combined fascinating science with a suspense filled story of choices, consequences and loss. Many in this book die young and not until the very end do we discover who certain characters are, really. In the end many mysteries are solved, old questions answered, the dead vindicated. But not all can be made right. I love her use of obscure science even more when it is obscure science I already knew about as in this case! A little slow in the middle, but absolutely worth the read.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

If Walls Could 33

If Walls Could Talk by Lucy Worsley
What a fascinating look at the history of what many would consider the mundane. I thoroughly enjoyed finding out about how bathrooms, kitchens, and homes have evolved into what we have today. Lots of fun minutiae! Did you know the King getting dressed was a social occasion? How about bedrooms being scary because you were afraid of being murdered there? Learning how to control your servants like an admiral was a task women had to learn if they were not to be embarrassed among their peers. Being afraid of cooking smells because they could kill you? It is wonderful to look back and see how much has changed and how much remains the same!
ISBN# 978-0-8027-7995-3

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Quakers of New 32

The Quakers of New Garden, a Four-in-one collection by Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Ann E. Schrock, Claire Sanders & Susette Williams.
I very much enjoyed these three stories. Each was different, but all were compelling in their own way.
The First, New Garden's Hope by Jennifer Hudson Taylor, is the story of Ruth and Josiah, an engaged couple and the trials, tribulations, heartache that come from how we all can misunderstand the actions of another. Without asking for an explanation (or not being willing to listen to one) Ruth sets the stage for what is to come.
New Garden's Crossroads by Ann E. Schrock was next, with it's story of Deborah, a Quaker involved with the underground railroad, and Nathaniel, a slave hunter who has come a far piece from his own Quaker roots. Can he change? Can Deborah learn to trust him?
New Garden's Inspiration By Claire Sanders follows Leah Wall as her Uncle, who's family took her in after her parents died, arranges a marriage between Leah and a farmer, Caleb Whitaker, who was widowed, and now is joining the Civil war and needs a new wife to care for his family while he is gone. Leah wants a true marriage. What does Caleb expect from his new wife? Caleb is wounded in the war and Leah must care for him. Will this be enough for them to build a true marriage relationship?
New Gardens Conversion by Susette Williams Beginings with Catherine taking care of a young man who was shot. Through him she meets Jaidon Taylor, a young Lawyer who volunteers at a youth center in a bad part of the city. Catherine finds herself volunteering at the same center. As their relationship becomes closer, she confides to him her promise to her late father, that she would never marry a man who wasn't a Quaker. What will they do when her church refuses to let Jaidon join?

Friday, January 20, 2012

How to Market Your Book..Review 31

How to Market Your Book By Mary D. Scott
If you are a new writer, you need this book! It takes you from how you are going to publish it to Marketing strategies and the in's and outs of how to promote your work. Very thorough and detailed. Templates for a full marketing plan, you can just plug in your books information. Set goals, a budget, how to target your market. A great reference book.

Spirit Driven 30

Spirit Driven Events By Mary D. Scott
Fascinating, factual accounts of "Spirit Driven Events" with lots of photos. The spiral binding works really well as it allows you to lay them flat and study them at your leisure.
I found it especially interesting that in one section the author was actually trying to "fake" the photos with techniques that have been touted as how people fake spirit photos. They didn't work! She was unable to recreate the effects in her true photos, and couldn't do it!
A great book to read if you are interested in this area!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gritty Grace..Review 29

Gritty Grace by David Rust
A compilation of newspaper columns from 1994 to 2001. I very much enjoyed hearing these ruminations and memories from this man of my father's generation. His are very different than those stories I heard from my father and grandfather, as my family is a plain one, from one of the historic "peace churches" and therefor, served the government in alternative service rather than the military. I very much enjoyed hearing this authors point of view and am glad he took the time to write it down! I fear we will soon lose many of these memories as this generation departs for a better place. I read it in a couple of sittings, but it could easily be read in "bites" as a coffee break book.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Her Only Hero..Review 28

Her Only Hero by Marta Perry
Laura McKay was a widow with a deaf daughter, trying to make their way in a world that seems big, cold and expensive! Ryan Flanagan was a firefighter, trying to find his own way in a family of firefighters, afraid to make a mistake that could hurt someone. Both had turned away from God in their own way. Laura struggled to turn the old building into a saleable apartment and shop so that she could pay for Mandy's cochlear implant surgery. There's an arsonist afoot, can Ryan find out who it is and stop them before his new boss arrests Laura?
I found this book interesting, having friends on both sides of the cochlear implant debate.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gods and 27

Gods and Fathers by James LePore
A chilling look at politics and consequences in our modern day world. A man's son rejects him, is framed for rape and murder. All to avenge another man's son. For Country, and faith, but really just for power and blood. There are no happy endings here. No happily ever after. Some life goes on, yes, but it is a pale, washed shadow of what life is meant to be. Chilled me to the bone, but like a spectacular wreck on the freeway, I could not look away.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

'Twas the 26

'Twas the Night By Sandra Hill, Trish Jensen, Kate Holmes
What an amazing book! You won't believe that it was written by three different authors. These authors have done the impossible, crafted a cohesive book, encompassing 3 (and more!) separate stories, that still reads like it was written by a single skilled storyteller. Sam, Stan and Kevin started out as three boys alone, held together by their "outsider" status. The only adult who believed in them was George, or so they thought. When fate brings them all together for Georges wedding, well, things get really interesting! A group of merry, senior Santa's, a huge snowstorm and a few short days craft together 3 happy endings. Each man finds something really special, and not just Love. I thoroughly enjoyed all the twists, turns and sparkin' heat along the way. You will fall into this story and not surface until the last page.

Banking on Love..Review 25b (oops!)

Banking on Love by Janice A. Thompson
Kellie Fisher is the picture of success. She and her husband Nathan are both successful, busy and moving up in their companies.
But things soon change. Kellie's father is hospitalized and may not survive. Kellie and Nathan rush to his side, and things look bleak. As time goes on, Nathan must return to work in the city. Eventually, Kellie starts working on line from her hometown. Soon they feel like they are living separate lives. Can their priorities line up again? Nathan is a city boy, it's what he knows and loves, Kellie is thriving back in her small hometown. Do they love each other enough to make it work?
I felt like the resolution was a bit too easy, but I won't spoil it for you. I still enjoyed traveling along the journey with them.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Don't Let the Goats Eat the Loquat Trees..Review 25

Don't Let the Goats Eat the Loquat Trees By Thomas Hale
What a fascinating peek inside the life of an American Surgeon in Nepal. I always really get enthused by learning about another's life from the inside, but I found this especially enjoyable since my father grew up in a foreign country, the son of missionaries and I grew up two blocks from a community of retired missionaries. Having worked in medicine most of my life as well, I could appreciate the medical intricacies also. Going from our life of plenty and excess into a society on the edge of survival is a type of culture shock I can only imagine. Add to that the desire to do your best for the Lord and the pressure becomes unimaginable I ached through the loss of every patient who died and cheered along when one was saved. A captivating book, full of personal insights and honest accounts of personal struggles. This is a special book. A must read for anyone considering missionary work.
ISBN# 0-310-21301-0