Saturday, March 25, 2017

We must say a sad adieu to this book club blog. Marie and I gave it every chance but it just did not survive the pull from other interests by those who signed up to be a part of it. I am so sorry. I had hoped for more. 

Within a short period of time (after those who wish to visit has seen this notice) we will be closing the doors for good. In the meantime... no more reviews. Sorry.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book Review-How To Find Your Dream Dog

How to Find Your Dream Dog by Dixie Tenny

About the book (provided by I Read Book Tours
Bringing a new dog into the household should be one of life’s happiest events. The process always starts with excitement and high expectations. Too often, though, it ends in disappointment. The new puppy wakes everyone three times a night, gnaws on furniture, piddles everywhere, knocks the children down. The new adolescent dog is too wild. The new adult dog growls at your neighbors. And where did all this dog hair come from?

Most people spend hours researching a new mattress, days researching a new car, and weeks researching a new home or job. Yet for a new dog, a companion for the next 10-15 years, the most they do is visit the nearest shelter or pet shop and buy whatever looks cute and appealing. It’s no wonder they end up disappointed.

Whether you are looking for a purebred puppy or a charming mixed-breed, the type of dog you bring into your home matters. A quiet owner will struggle to keep up with a high-energy labrador mix, for instance, while an active outdoor family will be impatient with a snoozy bulldog. And finding the right kind of dog means becoming the right kind of owner—a task that takes some forethought and planning.

How To Find Your Dream Dog is here to fix the disconnect of dog ownership. It walks you step-by-step through the process of choosing the right type of dog for you—not only exploring the canine qualities that can determine your perfect puppy, adolescent, or adult dog, but also assessing your lifestyle to make sure you’re a good match for the dog, too. The book also looks at good (and bad) sources for finding healthy and sound pet dogs, gives guidelines for evaluating individual puppies, and warns of some red flags to watch out for during your dog search. With this guidebook in hand, you can be confident that the next puppy or dog you bring home will be the right companion and friend for you for the rest of its days.

And I thought...
Lots and lots of good great information here.  I will begin my search for my 'Dream Dog' new best friend soon.  Dixie provides 
knowledge and resources that I didn't realize I needed.  
The information Dixie provides is this book is relevant for anyone considering adding a new dog to the family.  
Whether a seasoned dog owner like myself or a 'newbie' (a first timer) anyone can find useful information.  
For the seasoned owner things/practices have changed over the years.  People are much more knowledgeable and professionals like Dixie are able to offer knowledge from years of practice.  
Back in the day you just went and looked for a puppy fell in love and took it home.  And hoped for the best.  I remember when we bought a puppy that was still very young and missed his mother and litter mates.  We were up all  night.  It was like having a new born again. 
It's different now.  There are many resources.  And Dixie spells it out and guides the reader through the process. 
I recommend this book for anyone considering adding a new member to the family.  

This review will appear on all retail sites where the book is available.
This review will appear on Good Reads and My Reading Journeys. 

I received a complimentary copy from Read Book Tours.

An interview with the author . . . 
Hello Dixie.  Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me and talk about your new book  How To Find Your Dream Dog.

Can you tell us a little bit of ‘your story’.  Did you have dogs growing up?  Did you have cats?
Hi Sherry! When I was about five, my family got the most wonderful puppy. “Lulu” was a medium-sized white dog with black and brown splotches; a real mixed-breed. She was a fantastic dog. When I was 17 I got an Airedale puppy; I wanted a dog I could do competition obedience with, and in those days mixed breeds weren’t allowed (thankfully that has changed). I also had a lovely gray-and-white longhair cat named Tammy. She and Lulu were the best of friends.

 Do you have favorite breed of dog?  
For myself? The two breeds I have now appear to be very different but they actually have a lot in common, and they both suit me wonderfully well. I have a 10-pound, 15-year-old Papillon and a 90-pound, 6-year-old Beauceron. These are the dogs pictured with me on the cover of my book. Guess which is the boss? I have four cats, too, by the way, and they boss both dogs equally.

Can you tell us briefly about your professional  background?
I have been working with people and their pet dogs since 1983. I founded two rescue organizations, one of which (Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue, Inc.) will have its 30th anniversary this year. I moved from obedience training my own dogs to assistant-teaching classes aimed at pet owners, eventually becoming the Director of Training for Greater St. Louis Training Club, Inc., for five years. A friend and I formed our own business, Dogs Unleashed LLC. We went to people’s houses to work with training and behavior problems for five years. Meanwhile I was getting trainer certifications from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (the only independent organization that certifies dog trainers) and the challenging Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior. Finally, I decided to try to reach a wider audience through writing a book - eventually more than one, I hope!

Give us the short version (if there is one) why you chose to write the book at this point in your career?   Have you been thinking or planning about it for awhile?
Oh yes. How to Find Your Dream Dog grew out of one of the most frustrating and frequent experiences during my 30+ years in the pet dog training world: trying to help hopelessly mismatched dogs and owners. Sadly, most dogs are picked up on impulse, and most of those dog/owner combinations are not successful - which is why our shelters are now flooded with out-of-control young dogs; former puppies who turned into dogs their owners didn’t expect and didn’t want. My dearest wish is that my book helps people stop, think, and plan for success before they get their dogs.

Did you write the book for a target audience or age group?
I think, and hope, that anyone from older childhood on through adulthood can read and learn from this book. I have gotten great feedback from several people who have read the book aloud with their families.

I think we all want to find our ‘dream dog’ how important is it to consider breed?  Do you cover this topic in your book?
I do cover this important topic in my book. It is very important to consider type. If you discover through research that a Labrador Retriever is your dream type, then any dog who looks and acts like a Labrador is very likely to be a success for you, regardless of whether it is a purebred or not. Dogs of different types have different genetic backgrounds, different needs, and different behaviors. One of the best paths to successful matchmaking between owners and dogs is for owners to decide which doggy behaviors and needs they can live with - ideally would enjoy living with - and find a dog in which those occur naturally. 

Is it better to get a purebred dog or a ‘mixed’ breed, something to consider if a family has children?  
Again, it’s type that is important, not pedigree. Some dogs have behaviors that are not compatible with living with small children. Unfortunately this is true because few, if any, dogs are purpose-bred for gentleness, tolerance, easy-going nature, and hardiness, all qualities that are really important when living with children. My book helps owners choose not only the type of dog that would work before for them, but the individual dog or puppy that meets their needs. Teaser: the ideal dog for a household with children is a “career-change dog”. What is that? Read the book and find out…

That sounds like such good information.  Let me ask you one more question before we go. I know anytime I’ve considered adding a new pet to my family I’ve always been anxious and wanting to hurry up and bring one home.  

Can you tell us how important it might be to consider taking time when making a decision.  Is there a magic number of days or weeks or months?  
Everyone feels that way. Even I do! I want my perfect dog, or puppy, right now! But we need to ask ourselves, do we want every day with this dog to feel easy and natural? Do we want this dog to fit into our lifestyle? Consider this: every single adolescent dog in a shelter is there because it was someone’s wrong choice. The only way to ensure that you end up with not just any dog but your dream dog, the dog you want to keep and love forever, is to do your research. That actually doesn’t take very long, and my book streamlines that process.

I definitely feel better qualified to bring a new addition to the family. Your book indeed shares some valuable information.  Thank you so much for sharing with me today.  
Thank you for featuring my book! Good luck to you and all your readers as they look for and find their Dream Dogs!

Connect with Dixie . . . 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison

The Elusive Miss Ellison

About the book (provided by Litfuse)
Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.
That’s the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister’s daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won’t take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia’s pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother–who stole the most important person in Livvie’s world.
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he’s just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there’s already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn’t the only heart that needs to change.
These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love.
And I thought...
Is is appropriate I wonder to describe a maiden from Regency 
England as sassy? Undoubtedly ok. according to the author 
..."I love reading about feisty heroines as much as the next redhead :) but sometimes too much 'feist' can come across as just rude. Miss Ellison has some sass, but a warm heart, and when she meets her match in Lord Hawkesbury, she begins to learn a few home truths."  from the  author provided by Amazon.
Yes she is 'sassy' and Elusive as the title describes at least where the Earl is concerned. 
Sassy is just the beginning.  Lavinia Ellison is independent and 
impudent and rather cheeky toward the Earl.  Which does nothing but cause him to be more interested.  She is also hardworking and charitable.  

And then what can be said of Nickolas the Earl of Hawkesbury who falls asleep during the first church service he attends? 
The Earl returns rather reluctantly to the small village when he becomes Earl.  He had left years earlier after an accident involving his brother and Lavinia's mother who was killed.  After years in the military Nickolas has develop a hardened heart.  

It doesn't take long for his heart to be softened.  Upon meeting Lavinia she immediately gets under his skin.  In the beginning she is unwilling to forgive him for the death of her mother.  Even though he had no role in the accident.  She gets herself all caught up in the plight of the tenant farmers and ridicules Nickolas' 
'better late than never' role in taking over his responsibilities.

Nickolas' heart begins to soften as he sees the plight of the village and begins to understand Livinia's caring heart.  

For me the best part of the book was seeing a respected nobleman humble himself and begin asking her questions about the Bible. 
I enjoyed seeing his character change through the book.

After some conflicts and differing of opinions.  And some hard sole searching on Livinia's part the two become friends and ultimately a couple.   

There are some twists and turns and problems that keep that 
causes the romance to drag on a bit (not in a bad way) but the story is good and the attention to detail the author bestows
into the story makes it an exceptional read.  

I enjoyed The Elusive Miss Ellison and look forward to book 2 in the series. 

I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse. 
This review will appear on retail sites where the book is available.
This review will appear on Good Reads,  My Journey Back,  and My Reading Journeys.  


Amazon, B&N, CBC  visit the authors site here for more retail sources. 

About the author  Carolyn Miller
Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

Enter the giveaway 
Enter Here

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Breakfast at Sally's

I've been absent for awhile. I hope you have read a lot of good books in that time. I know I did. One in particular was Breakfast at Sally's by Richard LeMieux. I really liked this book. It gave me a better understanding of those who are less fortunate than I.

Richard had life easy. He has his own business where his children were also employed. He had a big house, several cars, 3 boats, a loving wife. And, he had Willow, his beloved dog.

Then the bottom fell out - the business collapsed - he lost everything, even his wife and children. They didn't understand the deep depression that Richard had sunk into.

Richard writes about his years as a homeless man in Bremerton, Washington, about he and his little dog living in his van, about finding food and friends at Sally's (the local Salvation Army).

Some of the characters Richard meets along the way are people you wouldn't think about a second time, but Richard sees the deep, underlying good in each one, from the preacher who gave him a warm place to stay, a guy called C who was a marijuana-smoker, drug dealer and who became Richard's good friend. The guy who waited so long for help and just as he received it, he passed away. The woman who gathered clothes and distributed them to the homeless and many, many more. Regardless of who they were, you will love them in the end.

The story is one of despair, perseverance, finding a new path in life when things are hopeless. And, it's about the wonderful people (most of them homeless themselves) who helped him along the way.

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Fine Year For Murder-Lauren Carr-Review

About the book (provided by I Read Book Tours)
After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~ Add on Goodreads ~ Barnes & Noble

And I thought...
Get ready for forget the laundry and cooking super!  Once you pick up this second book in
the Thorny Rose Series you won't be able to put it down!  

I met the characters Jessica and her husband Murphy in the Mac Faraday series.  I was super excited 
that they are the main characters in A Fine Year For Murder.  

I've found in reading the books by Lauren Carr that I really like all the characters in each story.   

I was super excited that the characters from the Mac Faraday series and the Lovers In Crime series books were coming together but I was disappointed that there was only a small snippet of Mac and Archie and David from the Mac Faraday series.  Murphy's family from the Lovers in Crime series were only briefly mentioned.  I was kind of expecting the 'whole' gang to jump in and solve the crime. 

A Fine Year For Murder was a super fast paced keep you on the edge of your seat mystery.
Jessica and Murphy are caught up in several different events while investigating the cold case murder. 

This was another great one filled with and twists and turns and some great characters!

I received a complimentary copy.  

Coffee With A Character sometimes characters just jump of the page.  And when they do I just want to have a chat and learn more about them.  Usually I choose a character other than the 
main characters.  But I just can't help but want to chat with Jessica over coffee or maybe a glass of wine. 
When I met Jessica and Murphy in a one of the Mac Faraday books I couldn't help but like Love them.  And the virtual butler Nigel and Tristan Jessica's brother.  But Jessica kind of took my breath away.  Her past and her present became more clear in A Fine Year For Murder.  
Her character is strong yet vulnerable.  Super sweet and super intoxicating according to Murphy.  
And a girl that knows how to dress, shop and choose a car.  And a dog!
I look forward to more Thorny Rose Mystery's and sharing a glass or maybe do a little shopping with Jessica. 

To read more reviews visit the book tour at I Read Book Tours.  Click here.

I received a complimentary copy from I Read Book Tours and Lauren Carr. 
This review is posted on retail sites where the book is available. 
This review is posted on My Journey Back and My Reading Journeys

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Elusive-Sara Rosett-A Cozy Myster

This is an unsolicited review.  I enjoyed this book so much I wanted to share it.  I read the book on my phone using the KOBO App.  

I am now a new fan of Sara Rosett.  After visiting her website for more information for this post . . . I realized I've been under a rock somewhere!  

The website describes the genre Cozy Crime and Heist Mysteries. 
I am looking forward to reading many more.  Especially book two in the On The Run series!  

Here's what the book is about. (from the authors website)


With its fun mix of mystery, international travel, and light romance, Elusive will appeal to fans of Elizabeth Peter’s Vicky Bliss series or Romancing the Stone.
Zoe Hunter loves living on the edge. Free-spirited and spontaneous, she’s built a life stringing together various freelance gigs that keep her bank account barely in the black. But when her ex, Jack, goes missing along with several million dollars from his business and the FBI zeros in on her as a person of interest, Zoe’s life goes from delightfully unpredictable to downright frightening.
Plunged into a world of fake identities, deception, and murder, she’s afraid to trust anyone. Zoe impulsively skips town in a search for answers that takes her from Las Vegas to Italy, but instead of tracking down answers, she only uncovers more questions.
Who was Jack? Is he dead or did he fake his disappearance? And, what was he mixed up in—art theft, the mafia, espionage, or all three?
And I thought...
Elusive is a fairly fast paced story.  Zoe's ex-husband who she happens to share their house with disappears during a storm. 
The story takes place in Dallas, Texas so I was immediately interested. When she finds his business partner murdered only a few hours later and then is questioned by police and the FBI  Zoe begins a search of her own to discover Jack's secrets and hopefully find him.  
The story moves at a good steady pace.  It is filled with twists and turns and kept me on the edge of my seat.  
The reader is taken on a fast paced journey from Texas to Las Vegas and then a fun visit to Italy.

This was a book that if I had read the print copy I would have finished in a day.  One of those books you let everything go and just relax and read!

The main reason that I wanted to share this review on this blog was because it is a good clean book.  No language.  No bedroom scenes.  

The crime scenes are not graphic.  There is a bit of humor in the story.  And a teeny tiny bit of romance.  I won't spill the beans for you. 

The only negative I have to say about the book is I felt like there was a little of a secondary plot about some of the sub characters that wasn't finished.  

I was glad to find this is book 1 and hope that the questions I have are revealed in upcoming books.   

I didn't do a lot of searching to see where the book is available but you can find it at  Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  

Also I found it is available free on the authors website.  
Click Here.  If your looking for a good clean read visit Sara's site. 

I read Elusive on my phone with the KOBO app. I was not asked by anyone to write this receive.   

This review will appear at My Reading Journey, My Journey BackAmazon, 
Barnes and Noble, Good Reads.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Red Acres by Ethel Miller Gorman

Coming from a town very close to Birmingham, I was very intrigued by this book!  It is a novel and most of the characters are not actual people, but Arlington Plantation is real, as are the events that shaped the growth of the area of Birmingham based on iron smelting.   Here is my Goodreads review:

photo from the internet

The first chapter of this novel made me suspicious that I was going to be reading something heavily influenced by Gone With the Wind....but, in spite of some minor influences, this book stood on its own as a testament to the strength and innovative faith of the people of North Alabama during "Reconstruction."  It is about the founding of Birmingham, which became Alabama's "Magic City, " and gave my state (for I am from Jasper, 45 miles away...the Jasper Road is often mentioned in the book) new life based on more than agriculture, but the explosion of growth and prosperity based on some of the richest iron ore in the country!  I grew up knowing about Irondale, Bessemer, coal mining, Sloss Furnace.  I saw the famous Vulcan statue high on the side of Red Mountain as I drove back from other states and knew I was almost home.  I attended a family wedding at Arlington Plantation, the real Red Acres.  This novel has much to offer:  a star-crossed story of two people hopelessly in love, intrigue and back-room deals, loss of family members and homes, despair at ever achieving "Home Rule" again after ten years of painful reconstruction....but it also offers the story of the birth pangs of an industry that grew strong and bright and gave Alabama hope.  It isn't a gem of literary mastery, but a really good book.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!