Friday, September 30, 2011

Those Across the River is a bone-chilling read.

Orville Francis “Frank” Nicholas and his wife, Eudora move to Whitbrow, Georgia. Frank has inherited a house from his mother’s sister. Though before his Aunt passed away, she wrote Frank a letter instructing him to sell the house instead. Frank gave the letter a very brief thought but the offer was too good to pass up, especially when Eudora would have a teaching job if they moved.

When Frank and Eudora arrive,, the townsfolk seem nice enough. Though, they do warn Frank and Eudora to not cross the river and go into the woods, especially at night or you will never be seen again. The warning does nothing for Frank. He does venture into the woods and there he meets a strange boy, who is buck naked. After this incident, Frank does not go into the woods again.

I did not find this book to be horror scary as so much as I did more like creepy scary almost psychological. There was a lot of build up and hinting as to who and what exactly the people across the river were. Yes, you read right. I said “what” when describing the people across the river. This is all I am going to say about this matter as I don’t want to give away anything else about this book. You will just have to read it for yourself.

This book had elements that made me think of M. Night Shyamalan’s movie, The Village. Only this book was way better than this movie. My only complaint and it is minor is that the people across the river were mentioned throughout the story but they did not make their appearances until the last third of the book, except for that one incident when Frank did venture into the woods and met one of the people…a young boy. That was a little bit of a disturbing moment. Those Across the River is a bone-chilling read. One that you don’t want to read right before bed or you could be up all night!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Horse Dreams

Ellie James is in the fourth grade. She is obsessed with anything horse related. She is constantly getting caught day dreaming about horses in class. Maybe that is why when Ellie spots a real horse, no one believes her. It was shaggy and covered in mud. When Ellie gets home, she tells her dad about the horse but he also does not believe her. Ellie’s mom arrives home and informs the family that her day went well until she lost a horse. Will Ellie’s dream horse become a reality?

Horse Dreams is the first book in the Backyard Horses series. This book is a quick, enjoyable read. This book is the perfect read for a young girl ranging from ten to twelve years old. The chapters were short and the writing was simple without being too wordy. I liked this because I know that having read some books to my nephews that younger children have a short attention span, so if the book is not quick than they will lose interest fast. The font was something that I noticed instantly. It was about a fourteen point font. Large enough that a young reader could have no problems reading this book by themselves. The title of each chapter was spelled out and shown underneath the word in sign, so that you knew how to say the words in sign language. At the end of this book is a glossary of horse terminology as well as the alphabet in sign language. So this book is not only one that you can read with your daughter but is also educational.

Kitchen Counter Cooking School

I have to admit that while I did find this book educational at the same time it was like I was reading a text book. Mrs. Flinn is good at explaining techniques and the why but it is the why that can be overwhelming. For example if Mrs. Flinn is referencing to something and has a foot note to add , which goes with a word or even an ingredient that you might not be familiar with than she will go into great detail in her foot notes. I understand the need to maybe explain these things in depth as this book is really geared towards what I felt were like the layman person or basic cook. Again, not saying that there is anything wrong with this but I was wishing to learn more than just the basics. Of course, I did enjoy learning how to properly butcher a whole chicken. I now shave some new yummy rubs to try on chicken. Also, I appreciated that Kathleen did an update chapter on all of the nine cooks that took her cooking boot camp (which is what I am going to call it

Utterly Charming is a fun, unique twist on a classic story.

Nora Barr manages her own law firm. Only business is really slow. So slow in fact that if Nora does not get some clients soon than she will be forced to go out of business and work for another law firm. This is Nora’s lucky or maybe unlucky day.

Aethelstan Blackstone is a mage or a wizard. He and his associate Sancho Panza ( I know but this is really his name) are in need of an attorney. Blackstone and Sleeping Beatuy aka Emma (hey, this is not your classic fairy tale) are suppose to be together but Emma’s guardian will have no part of the arrangement. Thus, this is why Blackstone needs an attorney. He wants to fight Emma’s guardian.

Utterly Charming is a fun, unique twist on a classic story. The only bad thing I had to really say about this book is that I was craving a little more romance between Blackstone and Nora. For a romance book, there was not much going on in that department except for some eye glazing and some kisses. Other than this, I enjoyed this book. I thought Santo kind of stole the show. I liked his brass attitude and he was not afraid to say it like it was. I felt a little sorry for Emma. I can not imagine being in a coma and than waking up in the 21st century.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

101 Puzzle Quizzes

Well, the Grabarchuk family has done it again in 101 Puzzle Quizzes. They have given us puzzles of all sorts of shapes and choices and they are not simple. But, they are a lot of fun and although I’m certainly not good at them, they do provide so relaxation and would be a great gift for someone with a Kindle or e-book who is going on a train, plain or long car trip.

My favorite on in this book is #38, Nine Floors. Very colorful and fun! These are not puzzles for children (unless a member of MENSA) but who’s to say we can’t have our own fun once in awhile. I love forward to the next Grabarchuk edition and to see what they’ve come up with next!

Purchase a copy here

Jeremy Robinson’s Great Kindle Giveaway Blog Tour

This is an FYI that My blog will be participating in this blog tour for October 17th.

You can find more inforation about the tour here.

The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken

Review by Nancy

Zoe Clark wasn’t having the best year. A week before her wedding her fiancĂ© (and housemate of over 10 years) finally “comes out.” Then he uses the paper they had chosen for invitations for invitations for his upcoming nuptials to: his boyfriend.
Zoe works as a headhunter for possibly the most manic woman I’ve ever read about. Carol is nuts. Totally. It seems as though her life’s mission is to take her employees into the asylum with her. But for some reason, Zoe is a favored child and, since she did triumph in getting a lawyer to sign and earn the company over 600K in signing bonuses, she is let off the hook (sort of).

Then come the flowers from a secret admirer across the way who seems too good to be true. Remember what your mom always told you? This would have been a good time to listen. Still, Oscar wines and dines Zoe, goes home to meet her nutso family on Thanksgiving and proposes to her in front of them!

In the background are Kevin and Angela. College best friends and confidantes. Angela is a hard working, hard loving account executive and Kevin is currently managing the campaign for the hopefully the next mayor of New York. Too bad they can’t manage themselves as well!

Mari Passananti has written a fabulous debut novel about love, careers in the Big Apple and secrets. The characters are well-written and very true to life. The background stories are great and I absolutely loved Carol, the manic from hell. Here’s to many more Passananti tales!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Deeply Devoted is worthy your money and time.

Peter Andersen is a farmer in Wyoming. His mother has been pressuring him to get married. Since the ratio of men to women in Wyoming is about five to one, Peter decides to put an ad in the newspaper for a bride. Catherine Olsen answers the ad. Soon she and Peter are communicating with each other be mail. Catherine is about to meet Peter for the first time. And because Catherine is the only caregiver to her sisters, Greta and Anna, she is bring them along as well. Hopefully, Peter has the room for two extra people.

Deeply Devoted is book one in the Blue Willow Brides series. I like reading about the old West. One of the things I also find fascinating is reading stories about mail order brides. I have only read a hand full of these stories but I enjoy them. I thought that Mrs. Brendan did a wonderful job of portraying the West and the characters. I didn’t really have a favorite person in this story as I liked them all. Each person was unique in their own way. Out of the three sisters, Catherine was the most reserved. Though, she really did try hard to adapt to being a farmer’s wife in the West. Though this book is published by a Christian publisher, it is not preachy in any way. The only thing I would say is that the romance is more on the sweet side than spicy. Deeply Devoted is worthy your money and time.

“Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

The Hum and The Shiver Giveaway


The Hum and The Shiver is set in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, where the author himself was raised. The Hum and the Shiver spins a fascinating tale, combining mythology with American folklore in the dark valleys and hollows of the Smoky Mountains—where songs live…and kill.

When the first Europeans came to the Smoky Mountains, the Tufa were already there, quietly living in the hills and valleys of Cloud County, their origins lost to history. But there are clues hidden in the songs they have passed down for generations. The Hum and The Shiver tells the tale of Private Bronwyn Hyatt, a true Tufa and soldier returning home from war. The book follows her struggles to join in the song of her people and let it lift her onto the night winds and soar beyond her haunted homeland.

ALEX BLEDSOE grew up in Tennessee, and draws much of his inspiration from his homeland. He’s been a reporter, editor, photographer, and door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. He is also the author of the Eddie LaCrosse books—The Sword-Edged Blonde (Tor, 2009), Burn Me Deadly (Tor, 2009), and Dark Jenny (Tor, 2011). He lives with his family in Wisconsin.

Keep up with him on Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace, and read his blog here.

If this book sounds good than just leave a comment with your email address. Open to US and Canada only. Ends October 3rd. Thank you

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Goblin King is worth its weight in gold.

Roan is the Goblin King. He lives in the Shadowlands and his heart has been replaced with gold. Roan has been summoned by a woman. When Roan arrives, he finds the woman unconscious and bleeding. Roan takes the woman back to Shadowlands.

Eliza awakes to find herself in a strange land with a strange man. Though the man is not a stranger to Eliza. In fact the last time that Eliza saw the Goblin King was when she was a young girl. At that time, Roan told Eliza not to summons him again. Now that she has, Roan does not plan to let her go. Because every king needs a queen, Roan wants Eliza to be his queen.

Shona Husk is a new to me author. I like the premise of this new series about hunky goblins. I have to admit that if all the goblins look like Roan than I would not mind being a goblin queen. I think that green might just become my new favorite color. Eliza on the other hand was someone that I had to warm up to in the beginning. I wanted to shake her and tell her that she was making a huge mistake wanting to go back to Earth and her fiancé. Who was a major jerk by the way. Of course, Eliza did get her head on straight in the end. The romance was good but mild at best. Eliza and Roan did not really hook up until later in the book. They were separated most of the time. Ms. Husk did create a magical world. The Goblin King is worth its weight in gold. I will check out the next book, Kiss of the Goblin Prince.

Try the prequel, The Summons: A Goblin King here

This book was flawless like a gem…it sparkled and shined.

Vivienne, Alexander, Gareth and Gwyneth’s father has passed away. It is now time for the reading of the will. Vivienne does not know what the will has in it as she was adopted. Luckily for Vivienne, her father loved her like his own and left her something. Actually their father left them all something, only there is a catch. Each of the siblings has to work for their fortune at different businesses. The businesses are failing and the siblings must make them successful within two years. If the siblings do so than they each will receive one million dollars but if the siblings refuse this offer than all they will receive is five hundred dollars.

Vivienne is to manage the Christie Diamond Brokerage House in Kimberley, Cape Colony in Africa. Vivienne thinks this is the perfect plan. She is stuck in a bad marriage and it costs money to keep up with her life style. She leaves her husband, Viscount Bancroft, Miles Durham behind. Vivienne should have realized that it would not be so easy to get rid of Miles. Miles plans to teach Vivienne a lesson.

Miles became even better when he adapted to his environment and got dirty. He was like Indiana Jones…rough, tall, handsome, and even carried a whip. He knew just how to get under Vivienne skin and push all the right buttons. It was entertaining. I could not wait to see what Miles would do next. Vivienne was a strong woman. This was great because if she was a wilting flower than I would not have believed that Miles and her belonged together. The build up until they both gave in was steamy. Or course this book was not just all about the romance, there was a good story line to go along with it. I can not wait to read Alexander’s story next. This book was flawless like a gem…it sparkled and shined.

The Outer Edge of Heaven

Review by Nancy
Charlie Evans was a good girl. She avoided her mother and father as much as possible because her plan for her future didn’t match theirs by far more than a county mile. Her best friend since forever, “Fo” Forest Eldridge, was in her corner, even had a plan for helping her avoid going back East for summer vacation.

If Charlie joins him working on his uncle’s ranch in Montana. She couldn’t buck bales but she could ride herd over the younger kids. She was fine with that, being a natural Mom at heart – even if her parents were sure she would marry Elroy the divorce lawyer when she finished at BYU Law School which she didn’t want to go to any more than she wanted to marry Elroy.

But Fo’s cousin Luke had her wish she could stay in Montana ranch country and especially on the Langston family ranch where she could talk with him daily. He was committed to Lindie, the girl his older brother got pregnant; because that’s what Luke did, he fixed things for everyone. No one seemed to want to fix things for Luke, though.

Charlie meets up with an ornery cowboy, Lindie doesn’t want to get married, Charlie’s parents show up with Elroy in tow and Wilbur learns to escape! What more could you ask for in an absolutely splendid story of Christianity and love?

Purchase the book here

Sunday, September 25, 2011

More stories from Grandma

I read the first two books and loved them. I enjoy hearing about when Mabel was a little girl just as much as Arleta does. The best part of these stories is the lessons that Mabel learned. Things like stealing is bad from Windfalls, you can not believe every advertisement from Face Cream from Godey’s Lady’s Book and dogs can spell in The Dog Who Could Spell. In this book, I get to know Mabel’s best friend, Sarah Jane better as well. They were always getting in trouble. Mabel maybe just a little more as she was a bit of a tomboy and not afraid of heights. So she was always climbing trees and running her good dresses.

In Treasure from Grandma’s Attic, Mabel and Sarah Jane are older. Thus, so are the stories. The stories are not so carefree but also start to touch on issues like dying, crushes, and deceiving to name a few. Of course, I still liked reading these stories. I just felt a little sad that Mabel and Sarah Jane were growing up. I know that they had to but in my mind I will still picture them as little girls playing dress up.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fabulous Finds

I found this book to be filled with lots of interesting and intriguing facts about appraisals and the life of an appraiser. Probably a lot more than I ever wanted to know. You know the say “You can not put a price on happiness”. Well if you are an appraiser, you sure can try and in some cases it can be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Lee does a good job of explaining what she does as an appraiser. She explains things in a way that make me want to learn more about her profession. The different people, places and valuable items that Lee found had some good stories to share. After reading this book, I now am armed with better knowledge on how to spot something of value and when I might be getting cheated. Which was the whole point of this book….to teach you how to spot a fabulous find.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

All These Things I've Done

Anya Balanchine is sixteen. She lives with her nana, mentally challenged older brother, Leo and her younger sister.

The year is 2083. A time where the country is in poverty, being run over with crime and almost every thing is considered contraband. This includes caffeine and chocolate!

Anya has recently broken up with her boyfriend, Gabe. Anya is not heart broken but she is mad for the fact that Gabe told everyone first. When Gabe does not show up to school, Anya does not think much about it, until her presence is requested in the principal’s office. Gabe has been poisoned. Gabe ate some bad chocolate. Chocolate that Anya gave him. Can Anya prove her innocence?

I did not really know what to expect from this book when I first sat down to start reading it. After finishing this book, I have to say that it was better than I had hoped. While, this story takes place in the future, it is not really on the sci-fi spectrum of the genre. In fact, I did not really see any great advantages to living in the year 2083. Every thing is banned, there are curfews for children and teens as there is much crime…no, thank you. If eating chocolate is a crime, than I am a criminal.

I liked Anya. She seemed older and wiser than her sixteen years. She is because she had to be the rock and glue that held her family together. Besides Anya, I liked Leo as well. Other than these two, the rest of the characters did not have much going for them. There was some sparkle that was missing in this book. I would have liked to see Anya show what being a crime boss daughter is like as in if you mess with her and her family; you better watch your back. I saw a little but not a lot. It seemed like when it came to these types of things, they were muted down. Don’t know if this was partly because this is supposed to be a teen book. Ms. Zevin did do a nice job on this book.

A Heart Revealed

Emma thought she had found true love when she married Rory Malloy. Emma was sadly mistaken. Rory was both physically and verbally abusive to Emma. Emma has a disfigurement on the side of her face from the result of one of Rory’s many violent moments. Luckily for Emma, Rory took an interest in someone else and left Emma.

Charity is Emma’s friend. She knows that Emma needs help in the shop, so she tells her that she has someone in mind, her brother, Sean. As much as Emma needs help, she is unsure about Sean. Emma has a crush on Sean.

A Heart Revealed is book two of the Wings of Change novels. It can be read as a stand alone novel. I liked the first book in this series, so I was excited to read this book. I have to say that this book started out slow for me. There were too many other characters all introduced in the beginning and I knew that they were not the main focus of the story. It was Emma and Sean. So as I was reading the book in the beginning, I did not pay as much attention as I probably should have done so as I just wanted to get to the meat of the plot with Emma and Sean. Once the story did center on Emma and Sean, I thought they made a cute couple. Of course, Emma was a wall flower and needed coaxing from Sean to open up. There were some misses but overall this was a good book.

“Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

The Mark of Perillius: Sinexia, Book One

Review by Nancy

While growing up an orphan, Emberillius never dreamed he had a destiny. He had no clue he would end up a savior of Earth and he certainly didn’t know the Headmaster at his school was also his uncle. Nope, Emberillius Ash Jackson was a normal, sixteen year old until…..his uncle takes him off Hawaii to meet scientists, researchers and the like and he is whisked into a land called Sinexia to learn how to save Earth and Sinexia as well. He must stay there for 9 long years.

This story is a tale of growing up, facing fears and a little boy still looking for his mother. “Ash,” as he likes to be called, makes both friends and serious enemies on his travels. He is accompanied by a guardian named Solaria who is far superior to plain old humans and a martial arts trained named Major Minor (really). He also has a dog named Hurricane who is a lot more than he seems. Together this group sets out to learn of Sinexia, meeting many more friends along the way.

And that is my problem with this tale: it is interesting, really well written and I think a younger person would absolutely love it but I had issues with characters with names like Major Minor and Simperella. Great people but really bad names. I also thought there were too many characters and they were hard to keep track of. I loved the plot, I loved the backgrounds of each person/thing and you might be really happy with a huge cast. Give it a try, it is the first in a series of twelve!

Purchase a copy here

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Irma Voth is a tale of growing up, religious belief, cruelty and love.

Review by Nancy

Raised in Canada, Irma Voth followed along placidly when her father packed the family up and moved to northern Mexico. After all, father was the leader and no one questioned his ways. If you were a boy in the Voth family, work was hard and watching the way father treated your sisters was harder. For some reason, Mr. Voth didn’t like women. His two daughters, Irma and Aggie could do nothing to please him.
Which is probably why, when she snuck off to the rodeo, Irma fell for the first boy who was nice to her. Jorge. Two strikes already: Jorge was not Mennonite and he was Mexican. He also dealt drugs out of the shed by the house Irma’s father let them live in until he took off one day and didn’t come back.

A film crew arrives in the town to film a vision of a Mennonite family moving to Mexico. Mr. Voth prohibits all the group from helping them but some do. Irma being one of them because she can translate Low German, Spanish and English. Being shunned by the religious, Irma is lonely and her little sister wants only to come live with Irma – despite the fact there is no power and no food. Trouble arises with the film crew and Irma and Aggie go to tell their mother goodbye as they cannot come home. Mrs. Voth gives them her newborn daughter to take along as father will not love her, either.

Irma Voth is a tale of growing up, religious belief, cruelty and love. If Irma can endure the prior she may end up with the last, or she may live alone in the upstairs of a bed and breakfast forever, You will be sad, laugh and ponder your life against Irma’s and be glad you can.

Riptide is smoking hot!

Princess Bria Visconti has traveled from California all the way to Morocco. Her brother made an bad investment and Bria aims to get the money back and she will not leave until she has every last cent, she is owed.

The moment that Nick Cutter sees Bria, he knows trouble when he sees it and Bria is trouble with a capital T. Bria boards the Scorpion demanding what is her’s. Nick says that if she wants her money than she will have to haul it back up form the ocean floor. This will be one interesting treasure hunt.

Riptide is the second book in author, Cherry Adair’s new series about high-sea treasure hunting called Cutter Cay. Riptide is smoking hot! You could tell that Bria and Nick shared chemistry. It was a good thing they were always near water as there were a few times that they needed to jump in and cool down. I was glad to see though that Bria was strong and could hold her own against the bad guys. Just like Nick, I was afraid that Bria would be spoiled. There was plenty of action to be found in this book as well. It was not all just romance. I can not wait to hit the high seas with the next book in this series.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Mickey Boltar is fifteen. His father died in an accident and his mother is getting professional help. This leaves Mickey under the care of his Uncle.

After Mickey was walking to school, he passed by the Bat Lady’s house. An old woman, who lives on Mickey’s street. She says “Your father isn’t dead”. Before Mickey can question Bat Lady about her comment, she disappears back into her cave (oops I mean home). Mickey heads to school. The only two people Mickey becomes friends with are Ema and Spoon. They help Mickey to find Ashley. Will Mickey find Ashley and learn what Bat Lady meant about his father not being dead?

I was not aware that Mr. Coben was venturing out into the young adult world. I have to admit that I was not that impressed with this book. Though, I did finish the book, it was not because I enjoyed it. It was for the pure fact that I kept hoping that it would get better but it never did. The story line and characters seemed like they were under developed. I mean, I never really got to know Ashley and why Mickey felt such a strong connection towards her to want to save her. There were a lot of questions but not many answers to them. Like Mr. Coben was afraid that if he reveled too much, he would give away the story. There was too much mystery surrounding the characters. It was like someone telling a ghost story. I hope that some of this will be more polished in the next book. The ending was ok. It was kind of supposed to be a cliff hanger and get you excited for the next book. Well, no book two for this gal.

For anyone who is a foodie or just loves to cook

I applaud Lauren for knowing what she wanted and finding a way to pursue her dreams of wanting to be a chef. After Lauren’s disaster in France, some people would have thrown in the towel and been done but Lauren decided to try again only this time at three different locations. Lauren would apprenticeship. The first being in her home town of New York, than Tel Aviv, Israel and finally to Paris, France.

Lauren’s first stop…wd-50. Wylie Dufresne’s place. Anyone who is a foodie, works in the culinary world or is a fan of Top Chef is familiar with Wylie. Wylie is into molecular gastronomy. This technique is the movement to incorporate science and new techniques in the preparation and presentation of food. While, I didlikegetting the behind the scenes look into the restaurant world and Wylie’s place, I did wish that I could have learned some more about some of the different techniques Wylie was doing. The recipes though that came from his restaurant that appeared in this book sounded yummy.

In Tel Aviv, the people were really friendly and the restaurant that Lauren worked at had a more laid back approach. Paris, those people say it like it is and as Lauren learned sometimes you just have to take it like a man. Of course, I would imagine the chefs have to be serious as the food that they produce is great.

For anyone who is a foodie or just loves to cook and try new things, than you should check this book out. It will give you a nice brief look into the culinary world and as an added bonus you can try out some of the yummy recipes from each location that Lauren visited that are included in this book.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Eat Vegan on $4 a Day

I am a little familiar with the Vegan lifestyle but not enough to call myself an expert. So when I heard about Eat Vegan on $4 a Day, I thought this was a book worth checking out. I knew that Vegan’s did not eat any animal based foods but didn’t really understand why. I do now. Mrs. Jones explains that animal based foods have been linked to cancer. This is because of the hormones, pesticides and other toxic chemicals that are injected into the animal’s food. Than there is the shellfish. Of course another reason to incorporate a plant or organic based diet into your life is that we are all striving to be healthy and why not consider this as an alterative option?

I must admit that some of the advice that Mrs. Jones shared was not new information to me and this was a disappointment. I was hoping to learn some good tips. Like for example, I already knew that beans are high in protein and good for you and to shop around the outer perimeter of the grocery store, don’t shop with your stomach, and purchase store brands. These are just some of the top ten tips that Mrs. Jones shares but again the rest of the tips will be familiar to readers. It is just remembering to enforce the rules that will help you to save and eat healthier.

This book is short at about 140 pages. The first 28 of them are about why you should eat vegan and the types of foods that you should avoid or have more of. The rest of the book than is filled with lots of different recipes from breakfast, lunch, dinner and soups. I have not tried out any of the recipes yet but I think the first one I will try is the Sweet Potato Muffins and the Chocolate-Cherries Jubilee Smoothie to go with the Muffins.

Another Bad Dog book

Another Bad Dog book is one of the funniest books I have read. I kept laughing and enjoying myself that several times I had to remind myself that this was a memoir, non-fiction book. Not that this is a bad thing but usually I am very selective on these types of books that I read. Usually, for some reason I find reading about other people’s lives to be boring or really it is just the way it is presented in the book. It reads more like a text book. I found this was not the case with Another Bad Dog book.

Joni tackles everything from sharing about her amazing superhero powers of saving E-Pie Pie from the evil clutches of the dog pound and how she hide the dog in the hall closet in the middle of the night, only to have her husband some down the stairs and look at Joni like she was an escaped mental patient.

Or another good story was when Joni went to visit her father in the rest home and she asked the respiratory therapist if she could have the breathing treatment too. It just involves breathing oxygen through a mask. I liked reading this one, because I got to know a little more about Joni and her father.

Of course there are many more great stories in this book but I don’t want to share them all. The stories are short. Don’t let the title of this book fool you as this book is not bad. If this is what Joni calls bad than give this dog another treat.

The best choice I made was Following Atticus!

Tom Ryan is owner, writer, and editor of his own newspaper. Mr. Ryan’s paper is called “Undertoad”. Mr. Ryan was not really in the mark for a dog when he became the new owner of a dog. A member of the city’s zoning board had sent a mass email reaching out to everyone to see who could take a dog. Tom was going to just write back to he would be happy to advertise in his newspaper about the dog but the next thing Tom knows, he is responding that he will take the dog. Tom did not have Maxwell for very long before he passed away from seizures. It was at this time that Tom realized that he liked having a dog and the company that a dog brought. This is where Atticus Maxwell Finch enters Tom’s life. You would not know it at first glance that such a small dog like Atticus would have such a big heart and determination but he does.

Tom and Atticus quickly formed a bond. Tom invited his brothers out to visit him. They had been estranged. That changed and the brothers were visiting each other. One of Tom’s brother’s David invited them to join him to hike all of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. There are forty eight of the mountains and they are over four thousand feet high. If you can accomplish such a great feat than you will be eligible to become a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Four Thousand Footer Club. Where you will receive a patch and a scroll. Tom and Atticus took on this task and soon they were hiking every mountain. It was during these times that Tom and Atticus really grew close and became good companions.

Reading this book reminded me of another great book about a man and the bond he shared with his dog, whom was a standard size black poodle named Charley. Yep, you guessed it. The book I am talking about is John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley. Only in this book, Charley is a mini schnauzer named Atticus Maxwell Finch. Atticus is the star of this book. He won me over when he and Tom were testing each other with the great cage and bath room incident. I knew than that Atticus was smart. To be honest at first I would not picture author, Tom Ryan with such a small dog but as I got to know both Tom and Attics better, I realized that they were meant to be together and made a perfect fit. The best choice I made was Following Atticus!

Author Bio

Tom Ryan is the founder of the Newburyport, Massachusetts, newspaper the Undertoad and served as its publisher and editor for more than a decade. In 2007 he moved to the White Mountains of New Hampshire with miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch. Over the last five years, Tom and Atticus have climbed more than 450 four-thousand-foot peaks. After raising thousands of dollars for Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, the pair was inducted into the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Hall of Fame. Tom currently writes the popular The Adventures of Tom & Atticus column in the Northcountry News and Mountainside Guide, and the blog The Adventures of Tom & Atticus. Tom and Atticus live in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fans of Blue will enjoy this short story.

If you have read Blue by author Lou Aronica and loved the magical world of Tamarisk and missed Chris, Becky and Princess Miea than you are in for a treat. Mr. Aronica has written a prequel to Blue titled Until Again. This short book takes readers back to where it all began.

In this book, Chris and his wife are getting a divorce. Becky and her father, Chris only have one night a week with each other. Though, that is not much time, Chris cherishes every moment he has with Becky and this includes their story time. Chris has been telling Becky about the land of Tamarisk and the Princess Miea.

I grew close to Chris and Becky in Blue, so it was nice to revisit with them again, even if it was for a brief bit. To be honest, I never really gave much thought to going back in time and wondering what started Blue off. Mr. Aronica was that good of an author that I didn’t have questions. Though after reading Until Again, I am glad, Mr. Aronica wrote this book. I could get a much broader overall picture of Tamarisk and the characters. Until Again is a nice prequel. Fans of Blue will enjoy this short story.

Check out my review of Blue here.

My Soul to Take does have some bite to it.

Carlos Harris has just traveled to Puerto Rico after hearing the news that his mother is dead. When Carlos arrives, he learns that his mother did not just death of nature cause but of something much worse. Bad enough that the government is trying to keep it under wraps. The only thing Carlos knows is that the virus is air borne in nature.

Phoenix Harris is a famous singer and wife to Carlos. Phoenix is approached by a man named John Wright. John’s employer wants Phoenix join them on stopping the spread of infection. Currently, all John’s employer wants Phoenix to do is agree to a benefit concert. Phoenix is reluctant at first but than Phoenix agrees to the concert. After Carlos and Phoenix meet Fana, they know there is no turning back. Fana is to be engaged to Michel. Michel is ruthless and is the polar opposite of Fana. Instead of wanting to cure people, he would rather kill them. Is Fana and her band of Life Brothers strong enough to defeat Michel?

My Soul to Take is book four in the African Immortal series. While, I have not read any of the prior books one through three in this series, I had no problem getting into the story and quickly catching up to speed to what was happening in the series. My down fall to not having read any of the prior novels and of course this could just be me but I felt like if I had started at the beginning, maybe I would have been more connected to the characters. Aside from this fact, I did like the story. The beginning started out at a good pace, than it got slow at times and towards the end it picked up again. I liked the idea that Fana recruited Phoenix to help heal people through the power of Phoenix’s music. As they say, words can be very powerful. I will check out more of Mrs. Due’s in the future. My Soul to Take does have some bite to it.

Author Bio

Tananarive Due is an American Book Award-winning, Essence best-selling author of Blood Colony, The Living Blood, The Good House, and Joplin's Ghost, and co-author of the NAACP Image Award-winning Tennyson Hardwick mystery series. She lives in the Atlanta area with her husband and co-author Steven Barnes. Visit her blog

Children of Paranoia is one of the best books of 2011!

Joseph fights for the other side. There is a war going on and you are either on one side or the other. Neither side is really the good guys as they all kill. It is kill or be killed. There are some rules that both sides do have to obey. Yes, even wars have rules. If there were no rules there would be chaos and no one would win. There are three important rules:

Rule 1 – No killing innocent bystanders. If you do, the punishment is death.

Rule 2 – No killing anyone under the age of eighteen. This is because you are an adult at eighteen. In the meantime that does not mean you can not train to fight the other side.

Rule 3- You can’t have kids until you turn eighteen. This rule is important because if you do have a child when you are not eighteen than you will have to forfeit your child to the other side. You may someday be fighting against your own child.

Joseph is one of the best. That is why when his boss has a very important mission, he asks Joseph to go. There is just one glitch that even Joseph did not see coming. Her name is Maria. Soon Joseph and Maria are a couple. As we all know there is no happy ending. Joseph and Maria find themselves on the run.

Children of Paranoia is one of the best books of 2011! I was so enthralled by this book that you would have literally had to pry it from my hands to get my attention. This book would make a great movie. I could picture it now on the big screen.

I became emotionally invested in Joseph and Maria. They were just wanting a normal life and to be happy in a chaotic world. I was walking around my house reading this book. The ending did not let me down. In fact it promises another book. The next book can not come fast enough. Even though Joseph was a hard nosed killer, I liked him. He felt more and more human as the story line moved along. Maria was so innocent. I could see why Joseph felt the need to protect her. She was like a delicate flower. By the end of the book, it looks like Maria will become a rose with thorns in the next book. Again, another reason why I can not wait for book two to come out.

The Diviners

Review by Nancy

“Mistress Sandra Spicer You will be assayed. By order of: the Diviners' Guild.”
Several people get this note on the same day. Sandra is one of them, Mick, Felix, Karen round out the list. Exactly who/what the Diviner’s Guild is remains to be seen. Whoever they are, those people either are escapees from “Hellraiser” or on some serious medications!

This has to be the oddest book I have ever read and that’s saying something, trust me! We have people floating in pools missing more body parts by the minute. We have Mick, nice enough guy, bathing in the blood of his downstairs neighbor (who, of course, he just killed). I’m not even going to try to explain what happens with Karen – you’ll just have to read it. Sandra is really the heart of most of the issues – the book begins in her childhood which was a paradise compared to what happens in their small town of Sanding. Her patient, Howard, seems to be obsessed with her, even after death. Unless he really isn’t….dead I mean.

As I wrote, if you are faint of heart, afraid of small noises in the dark or a child best pass this one up. If you loved “Hellraiser”, “Ju-on” or “The Ring” this is your new fav read!

A Lancaster County Christmas

Jaime Fitzpatrick needs her prescription refilled. Mattie Riehl, her husband, Sol and their son, Danny are on their way to visit with the doctor. It is in the waiting room that Jamie meets the Riehl family.

Mattie and her husband Sol are hoping that the news the doctor tells them will be good as Mattie could really use some. Unfortunately the news is not good. It has been four weeks since Mattie lost their second child. The doctor tells Mattie that she and Sol can hope for a miracle.

As Jamie is leaving the doctor’s office, he asks Jamie to return a toy that Danny left. Jamie and her husband, C.J. are heading out of town to Jamie’s father’s house for Christmas. On the way out of town, Jamie makes a stop at the Riehl’s home to return Danny’s toy. Jamie and C.J.’s plans quickly change when Jamie forgets to put the car into park and it goes into revenge into a pong. Now Jamie and C.J. are forced to stay with the Riehl’s until they get their transportation issues fixed.

A Lancaster County Christmas is the perfect holiday gift! I thought that this was a light, heart-warming book. Danny was my favorite. He is an inquisitive, energetic young boy. He was so bubbly and friendly. Though, he may have got in the way or said things maybe at not the right time, he helped. I was undecided about whether to like Jamie or not. In the beginning, she seemed bitter and was a mystery but as the story progressed, I warmed up to her and C.J. Sol us a great husband to Mattie. This book is not just a holiday story but the characters do have to deal with some difficult issues along the way.

“Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Who knows The Postmortal just may live on your bookshelf forever!

The year is 2090.

A worker for the Department of Containment was conducting a routine sweep of an abandoned collectivist compound, when the worker came upon a WEPS.8 device. These devices were thought to have all been destroyed in 2079. The device contains journal entries by a John Farrell. John worked for the government.

Flash back to 2019.

John has just seen a doctor about “the cure”. The cure though may cure you but you can still die from a car accident, a knife stabbing, or any other way. If you are careful, than you can live forever. This makes some people disturbed. Thus the political war between those who want to be cured and those who believe this is wrong.

This book may be fiction but it does ask the question…”What If?” This is what kept this book interesting is the “What If” factor. This book is broken out into four different sections that expands date spans from 2019 to 2079.

As I must admit that the characters did not do it for me. Even the narrator John Farrell. Mr. Magary was smart to write this book from John’s journal entries. There was some humor injected in this book. What I found funny was when John, who worked at a law firm was asked by one of his superior’s to learn everything he could about divorce law. Now that people are getting the cure, it seems they want a divorce or if you are rich you want an annulment. It does not matter that you made a vow of until death do us part. When you made this vow you never expected that you and your spouse would live for another 100 + years. You are going to live virtually forever, so why be with the same person for the next 100+ years. This book is worth checking out. Who knows The Postmortal just may live on your bookshelf forever!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Queen's Gamble

In this book, Elizabeth is now Queen after her half sister, Mary’s fall from reign. Elizabeth has a lot of prove. Most of the people are just waiting for Elizabeth’s fall as well. This is probably why France has decided now is the best time for the country to make a move and try to over take England.

Isabel, her husband Carlos and their son, Nicholas have arrived from Peru to England. Things have changed quickly as Isabel soon discovers after coming back home. Isabel was sheltered from the dealings of an upcoming war living in Peru. Since arriving in England, Isabel becomes friends with Queen Elizabeth. In addition to getting close with Queen Elizabeth, Isabel shares her view on the war and that France must be stopped. This causes a huge rift between Isabel and her husband, Carlos when he is dispatched to help the French.

The Queen’s Gamble is the fourth book in the Thornleigh series. This series feature round the Tudor era. This book can be read as a stand alone novel. While, I have read many favorable reviews about this book, I can not fully jump on the band wagon as everyone else. On one hand I rally wanted to like this book more than I did ad I enjoy reading this era and can not wait to get my hands on a book that focus on this time period bit for some reason I could not fully embrace this book. It took me a little while to really get into the story. Not for a lack of the story line or the characters as I did like Isabel and Carlos. They made a good couple and I liked Isabel’s fierceness. It seemed that the author stuck close to historical facts with this book. I did appreciate this. Fans of the Tudor era should check this book and series out as it is worth your time.

Purchase the book here

Echoes of Savanna

Review by Nancy

Graduated high school at age 12, medical school at 19 and no one believed that Savanna Taylor was a doctor. Sometimes, she was a bit taken back herself, but with a very high IQ, she was used to it. She wasn’t used to the smallpox pandemic she encountered in Arizona and still held herself in stride and did all she could.

She impressed the Chief of the Navajo clan there, Chief Etu and he came to think of her as a daughter. His own children and grandchildren had problems of their own and Savanna was a gem compared to some of them - especially Kia the problem child of them all. Kia had been raped and now was pregnant.

In the 2030s, Savanna and her father were somewhat celebrities in the gene transplanting field. Kia wants her embryo harvested but will only allow it to be transplanted into one person – Savanna. After careful thought, Savanna agrees and becomes the mother of a beautiful child she names Bly but who is known as Raven for her black shock of hair. Raven is wonderful, generically perfect (thanks to Mom’s experiments) but profoundly deaf. Supported by a group of friends, Savanna travels north to Idaho to help her father at the home for women he created called Haven. When she arrives, he has been murdered.

Echoes of Savanna was an interesting tale to read. Some of it was a bit jagged and didn’t seem to flow well but most was great! It was a testament to what happens when you make “babies to order” and how technology came not only help us but hinder. Not one of my favorites of 2011 but you may truly enjoy it.

About the Author: Lucinda Moebius grew up in the mountains of Idaho and Eastern Oregon. Her mother taught her to read when she was four years old and since that time books have been her constant companions. She has a Bachelors Degree in English Teaching, a Masters in Educational Leadership, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education. Lucinda supports her writing habit by teaching High School and College. She currently lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband and their dog and cat. Lucinda is the author of Echoes of Savanna, a Haven Novel, part of the Parent Generation.

Author's website

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cruising Toward Love

Review by Nancy (Is this cover hot or what!)

In Cruising Toward Love, Christi Barth has brought together four people who are destined for trouble. Trouble of various kinds, in fact! Zoe Balis was stood up at her Senior Prom ten years ago by the only man she’d ever loved. Nate Hyatt was that man. Never planning on seeing Zoe again – ever. When Zoe’s sister plans a wedding, nothing will do but that Nate is Alex’ best man and, of course; sister Zoe will be Maid of Honor. Ah…..if that were all they had to do. Somehow Alex changes his mind, runs off and sends Nate to tell Stella the psycho bride the wedding is off on the morning of the event.

Stella handles things fairly well and decides that, since Zoe has done all she’s done for the wedding that she should take Stella’s cruise ticket and a vacation to the Carribean. Guess who Alex gave his ticket to? Yep, ya got it in one.
The first person Zoe meets is Callie Caldwell, VERY rich woman and computer geek on her first vacation in awhile. Callie takes over Zoe’s life and keeps her busy keeping up until Zoe meets her cabin mate. Then sparks of many kinds begin to fly.

Callie, girl wizard, is really lonely and looking for something. When she meets the ship’s photographer she sees something behind his glasses that pulls her. Until he tosses her on the floor one night when he hears a bang. PSTD is Reed’s companion and he needs a way out of it. Can Callie provide it or will he break her wrist like he did his last girlfriend’s?

Add in the fact that someone really, really wants Zoe’s Grandma Eleni’s necklace and you have a funny, sexy mystery comedy all rolled into one. This book was great!

Check out the author's website or blog

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nocturne is a book that you will want to read curled up in a blanket sitting by the fire.

Nicole Whitcomb was attending a ski themed wedding up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She decided to stay one extra day to hit the slopes, one last time. The radio reports that there is a huge storm approaching but Nicole should be at the airport before it is near her. Nicole is driving, when she hears a loud crack like the earth splitting and than a bunch of snow comes tumbling down the hill at Nicole. She runs off the road.

Michael Tyler is a hermit He was outside when he heard a car and than the avalanche. Michael lives out in the middle of no where, so unless he rescues whoever would be crazy enough to be out in this weather than it will be a long time before help arrives. Michael takes Nicole back to his cabin.

Nicole awakens to find herself stuck with a mysterious stranger. The roads are closed for several days. That would not be so bad if Michael did not have a secret that could kill her.

To be honest I had no idea that this book was a vampire novel. Not that I am complaining as I still would have read this one but I was expecting it to be more of a mystery type story. I enjoyed this book. Nicole and Michael were good together. For a story that takes about forbidden love, the romance was mild. Though, as I was reading this book, I could not keep from comparing Nicole and Michael to Belle and Beast from Beauty and the Beast. This is the type of love and relationship that best describes what Nicole and Michael shared. At times the story seemed to move in slow motion and I wanted it to speed up. I mean, there is only so much you can do and talk about when there are just two people in a cabin in the middle of nowhere and the one person keeps avoiding the other person. The ending was the best. I like that it was not the typical ending that you would come to expect from a vampire story. Nocturne is a book that you will want to read curled up in a blanket sitting by the fire.


Review by Nancy

Kate was, at best, skeptical. At least she was willing to go to Scotland to scatter her mother’s ashes. She’s been having dreams her entire life, but lately they’d stepped up a bit. A gorgeous man, a medieval court, words of love and lust, and Kate was in them as well. Stupefying.

Scotland is beautiful and terrifying. Her mother is still remembered in the village and, her mother still lives in the village (you’ll see!). Kate meets a very nice man name Niall McCormack who tightens all her muscles and seems willing to do more, but Kate has always been “guy-shy” and won’t change willingly. Niall is a scholar of history and takes Kate to The MacKendrick’s home to view his ancestral documents and pictures. A great opportunity for Kate until she finds herself in a huge portrait hanging in his hall!

Catriona – the MacKendrick’s wife. Kate? It seems a possibility that all of Kate’s dreams will culminate in Scotland on the Shetland Islands. Right where Catriona’s did. Catriona’s main mission was to save her younger brother, not fall in love with Patrick MacKendrick. Did she? Either of those??

In a skillfully written historical jaunt we are flipped back and forth between Catriona’s history and Kate’s modern day puzzles without a hitch. The pipes play in the background as clothes all hither and thither and we learn much about Scotland’s history as well as that of the ladies. Well done!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Alexander Drake’s Extraordinary Pursuit

Review by Nancy

Alexander was a young boy about 10 who longed for nothing more than to see and talk with his mother. Dad was stand-offish, probably still hurting himself but really didn’t pay much attention to Alex. Alex was a klutz, knobby-kneed English school-boy who was alone a lot.

Going to stay with his grandmother while Dad went off on another archeological expedition was a highlight! Until Alexander realizes that he is off on another sort of adventure. That of finding himself. He finds that his father was a daydreamer once, even drew kiddish maps of places to explore. After serious consideration, Alexander leaves grandmother a note and goes off on his own. But not for long.

In a true expedition fashion, one needs more than oneself to get along. Alexander meets many creatures on his journey, some good, some not. They assist or hinder as the case may be but Alexander pushes on no matter the issue to be faced. Yes, he is afraid and yes, he is hungry but he has a goal in sight and will not deviate from it.

A great story for camping! A great read-to-the youngun’s story! To be honest, I’m not sure this comes under the YA heading as I feel it might be too easy for that age group but every child needs to learn to get along and Alexander does so in wonderful fashion!

Purchase a copy here

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Susan Lucci move over as Lucky Santangelo is here and she is bringing the heat in Goddess of Vengeance!

Prince Armand Mohamed Jordan is the ninth son to King Emir Amin Mohamed Jordan of Akramshar. So Armand is used to getting his way and what he wants. What Armand currently wants is The Keys in Las Vegas. There is just one problem…Lucky Santangelo.

Lucky is heading to Sin City to celebrate her daughter’s eighteenth birthday. It promises to be a very entertaining time.

Goddess of Vengeance is book eight in Jackie Collins’s series that features Lucky Santangelo and her family and friends. If you have not read any of these books than you may want to start at the beginning. While, you could read this book and figure out who is who and the story lines as they are simple, there is just many different story lines that starting at the beginning would make things simpler. While, this is a big book at 515 pages long, it is a quick read. The chapters are short.

Reading this book was like watching a rock and roll soap opera. There was a lot of sex, drugs and mild violence. I like Lucky. She has lots of spunk and is not afraid to stand up to anyone…even a prince. I did find that the younger characters were not as interesting to me. Their problems of who is dating whom, should they keep the baby, and even dealing with the Russian Mafia did not interest me. The issues they were having came off as juvenile in the book and turned me off. Susan Lucci move over as Lucky Santangelo is here and she is bringing the heat in Goddess of Vengeance!

The Queen is a royal delight!

FBI Special Agent Patrick Bower receives a phone call to investigate a murder. A woman and her four year old daughter were found shot and killed in the home. The husband, Donnie Pickron has gone missing. You might wonder why the FBI would be called to investigate a murder. Murders happen all the time. What makes this one interesting is that the husband is ex-military…Navy.

Pat is joined by Jake, a profiler. As Pat and Jake investigate, they uncover information about weaponry dating back to the Cold War. So what is the connection between a murder in the present day and weapons from the Cold War?

The Queen is book five of the Patrick Bower novels. It is the second book I have read. It can be read as a stand alone novel, though there are some references to relationships and events from the past. Not reading the books in chronological order will not take away from your experience and enjoyment in reading this book. This book starts out with a bang and keeps a steady pace the whole way through until the last page.

Patrick is a great character. He is intelligent and has issues. I know this may seem weird to say that I like that a character has issues but this made Pat a more personable character that I could get behind and not just a hard nosed stuck up prick of a character. The ending is a good lead into the next book. The Queen is a royal delight!

“Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, September 10, 2011

You have to check out Where Demons Fear to Tread.

Julian Ascher was making the rounds in his nightclub, Devil’s Paradise, when he spotted her. She is an angel…literally!

Serena St. Clair is on a mission to protect her assignee, Nick Ramirez. Serena is Nick’s guardian but to Nick, Serena is just a human. He does not know she is an angel.

Julian won’t let Serena just walk out of his club with Nick. She stepped into his territory now. Julian steals a kiss from Serena. Serena does not want to admit it but the kiss with Julian has affected her more than she thought it would. Serena will have to watch herself as it is not right for an angel to fall for a demon. Though when Serena’s brother is a pawn in Julian’s game, Serena has no choice but to agree to spend a week with Julian.

Now that the last Twilight movie has been filmed, it is time to get back to the oldest and ultimate battle between enemies…Angels and Demons. You have to check out Where Demons Fear to Tread. I will let you know a secret, I know where demons do fear to tread and it is…Oh you actually thought, I would tell you the answer. No, if you want to know the answer, you are going to have to pick up a copy of this book for yourself. I found that I could not tear myself away from this book until I had finished it. This was a problem as I had started it during my lunch hour. As soon as I finished work, I rushed back to the book. I wanted to trade places with Serena in a heart beat. Julian was H-O-T. The ending leads up to the fact that there will be a book two. I can not wait. Stephanie Chong is now one of my new, favorite authors.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Commune of Women

Erika is in a hurry. She is on her way to catch an airplane to Berlin. At first glance, you would never expect that Betty, a housewife is having a mental breakdown. That is why she is receiving professional help from a Jungian analyst named Heiddi. Pearl runs a cart. Recently, Pearl has lost her prime location spot and is looking for a new area. A friend tells Pearl that she should set up her cart at the LAX airport. Ondine’s plane makes a stop at the LAX airport. Sophia’s bus to Pasadena does not leave for about an hour, so Sophia decides to kill some time in the LAX airport.

All six of these women are about to find themselves in a dangerous situation that will test their strength, wits, faith and form a strong bond between friends. A group of terrorists take over the LAX airport. Erika and Heiddi are among the wounded. Can these ladies hold out longer than the terrorists?

I found Sophia to be a great leader. She stepped up to the task and kept the situation and ladies under control. She is the type of person you would want to have around in this situation if you found yourself in one but hopefully never. Some of the other women were a little harder for me to like right away. Like Erika. I know she was hurt but she just lay around and complained in the beginning. Another person that was a bit whiny a first was Betty. She just gave up and let everyone else handle the situation. Luckily, this book moved at a nice, steady pace. I also liked the fact that the parts were separated by the names of each character in the beginning, so I was able to follow along easier. Overall, I did think this was a good book.

Megan's Secrets...I read this in one sitting amid tears, laughter and pain.

Review by Nancy

Mike Cope’s daughter, Megan lived to the age of 10. She was mentally disabled but taught all who met her many lessons of faith. Mike and his family loved her dearly and were devastated when she passed. But her passing only confirmed their faith in each other and in God.

Megan’s Secrets is a testimony to that faith and who Megan effected those around her. Family friends, doctors, caregivers and more all learned from her things such as patience, forgiving, friendship and a deep abiding faith that whatever God had in mind for Megan and themselves it would work out as planned.

I read this in one sitting amid tears, laughter and pain. Megan was one of the people many would have ignored, walked away from and never learned what joy was inside. Their loss. Obviously Mike Cope has spent many years pondering Megan’s gifts to others and has given us a great gift in this book. When I was a little girl in Sunday School, my favorite song was “I’m in the Lord’s Army”. It was Megan’s as well and I will never think of that song again the same way. Thanks, Mike.

About the Author: Mike Cope is an author, blogger, professor, minister and magazine editor. He has written four books, including What Would Jesus Do Today? and One Holy Hunger. He was a minister for many years at the Highland Church in Abilene and now works with Heartbeat Ministries. He and his wife, Diane, live in Abilene, Texas, and have two surviving children: Matt, a resident in internal medicine at Duke University, and Chris, a junior in high school.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Amanda Lee stitches up a fun, quick, enjoyable read with Thread Reckoning!

Marcy Singer is the owner of the Seven Year Stitch, an embroidery shop. Marcy’s newest client is Cassandra Wainwright. One of the worst bridezilla’s that Marcy has ever met. Marcy is making a wedding dress for Cassandra. Cassandra’s soon to be mother-in-law has donated some jewels to be added to the dress. Things turn sour when Cassandra’s mother-in-law is found dead in front of the shop. As if the situation could get any worse, Marcy’s ex, David arrives in town and wants Marcy back.

Calling all cozy mystery fans. If you have not read the Embroidery Mystery series yet, than you are missing out. If you have read this series, than you will like Thread Reckoning, the latest book in the series. Marcy is a delight. She reminded me a little bit like Nancy Drew. She could not stay out of trying to solve the murder and she can not help but haul all of her friends into her investigation.

There is not a lot of stitching going on but it is kind of hard to get any done with a dead body on your front step and you named as a person of interest. The reason that I mention there not being a lot of stitch work is because that is one thing that I would have liked to see in a book that makes reference to embroidery work. There was one point in the book that I did smile about. It was when one of the ladies that Marcy teaches, made a mistake in her embroidery project and wanted Marcy to fix it for her. Marcy brought the woman over to look at one of Marcy’s pieces and asked the woman to pick out Marcy’s mistake and the woman could not. Marcy said there is a mistake but that only Marcy and the woman would ever know about it. Anyone who has done embroidery work has learned to accept mistakes as giving their piece uniqueness. I know I sure have learned this lesson or I would never do cross stitch/embroidery work again, if I didn’t learn to deal with my mistakes. Overall, I did enjoy this book. Amanda Lee stitches up a fun, quick, enjoyable read with Thread Reckoning!

I was swept away by Cross Currents!

Lek lives on the island of Ko Phi Phi with his wife, Sarai, his children Suchin, Niran, Achara, and Sarai’s mother. Lek and Sarai owned and operated Rainbow Resort. There are not any tourists staying at the resort currently other than Patch. Though, Patch does not really count. Patch has been staying with Lek and his family for over five months now.

Patch is running from the law. He hurt a police officer and is trying to figure out what his next move will be. In the meantime, he is helping Lek with repairs and teaching his children English. Patch’s brother, Ryan and his girlfriend, Brook are coming to visit Patch. Trouble is about to brew. Patch and Brooke have feelings for each other and second, the earthquake of 2004 hits the island.

I loved the setting of this story. I have never heard of the island of Ko Phi Phi or am familiar to the tragic events that took place there in 2004, when one of the largest earthquakes hit Indonesia and the island of Ko Phi Phi. I could tell that Mr. Shors was passionate about this story and the location. The characters felt more real. It was like I was there on the island and could feel the sand between my toes and the mystic, blue waters of Ko Phi Phi. Though, as much as I did like this book, I must admit that it took me a little while to become really interested in the story and the characters. I was swept away by Cross Currents!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bones Beneath Our Feet

Review by Nancy

In a moving story of the unnecessary war between the Nisqually Indians led by their chief, Leschi; and the whites led by governor Isaac Stevens. When Stevens was but a soldier he was unable to meet his own demands of himself and, after gaining the governorship he only had the opportunity to miss larger goals. He did this well.

Leschi, on the other hand, was a leader of his people, helping out where he could but Stevens kept pushing and, well…..there you have it. Leschi took change better than most Indian Chiefs but it took him in the end.

If you live in the Puget Sound area this is a must read. You need to know your history because, as they way: “If you don’t learn your past you will repeat it.” I don’t mean there would be an uprising at all – just the opposite. But before you take off traveling your land, you need to be aware of what happened there and that IT WAS OUR FAULT.

The characters and scenery are so well written that I just wanted to go back to the forests, the rivers and see the hills as they were then and as Schein wrote them. Real people make up this story and we can easily relate to them. Which of them you relate to is up to you.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Dr. Luke Findley works at St. Andrew Hospital in Maine. Dr, Findley’s night is about to get a whole lot more interesting. The authorities are bringing in murder suspect. It is a woman. When the woman arrives, she does not look like a murderer but you can never be too sure. The woman identifies herself as Lanore “Lanny” McIIvrae. Lanny asks Dr. Findley to let her go. She did not kill anyone or at least no one that didn’t want to die.

Lanny proceeds to tell Dr. Findley a story. One that is of love, obsession and sorrow. Dr. Findley becomes fascinated by Lanny’s story and knows that if he wants to her how it all ends than he will have to escape the hospital with Lanny. Thus the story begins.

If you are expecting a lot of paranormal elements that most vampire novels have than you will be disappointed. This story is told in a simplistic, old fashion tale way. There was not a lot of romance. If any, the romance was a bit one sided, I thought. Lanny’s lover may have said he loved her but he seemed like he would string her along. While, I did enjoy this book as it was refreshing from the same old, girl falls for vampire love story, it does move a little slow at times. The story mainly stays in the past and progresses to the present, which was the interesting part of the book as the times that involved Dr. Findley and Lanny were not that intriguing. Overall, I liked this book and thought author, Alma Katsu did a good job.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Deadly Straits. Go get this one, right now!

Review by Nancy

In a book that takes no prisoners, RE McDermott tells a tale of high seas terrorism and tells it well. Thomas Dugan and his friend Alex Kairouz are partners and friends. Alex takes care of the details on paper and Tom takes care of ship inspection and assorted other things – like espionage. When Alex seems distracted, Tom knows something’s up but not what. He has no idea that Alex’ daughter is being threatened by the firm’s “new hire” if things don’t go the right away.

Meanwhile, terrorists have taken over several ships with plans to blow them up where it will make the most impact. These guys are scary and so methodical I would be proud of their coordination if I could be. It reads all too close to home and current history to be comfortable but it reads all too well to be put down.

At times, it is a bit confusing to tell which crew and which ship is in the action, but other than that this is definitely an up-all-nighter. Mr. McDermott knows ships and he knows people and definitely has a grand idea of terrorism. I was riveted and could not put this down. Waiting to see if Alex’ daughter survives, if the ships crews do and if Dugan lives to save the day. Go get this one, right now!

The Egyptian

Review by Nancy

Who wouldn’t like to stop aging; even possibly regress a bit? Of course you would! And so would the men in Layton’s Green’s newest novel The Egyptian. It’s the lengths these men are willing to go to that separates you from them.

Dominic Grey is working for a man named Viktor who is in charge of religious phenomenology and is getting a crash course in all this “odd.” Odd being a silver tube which was stolen from its maker and given into the hands of someone who shouldn’t have it – ever.

Dominic has more than silver tubes on his plate. He has Veronica who is interested in everything. Who does he work for? What is he investigating? Why isn’t he flirting back? And the questions continue.

This is not a humorous story. I doubt anyone in even cracks a smile. The characters are well thought out and the places Dom visits are well described. Apparently it is the second phase of Dominic Grey stories and I will go back and read The Summoner to see where I missed certain issues. I didn’t know this was a sequel and you certainly don’t have to read the other first. Not exactly my cup of tea but I’m sure it will be yours!

Purchase a copy here