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)


ELUSIVE (BOOK ONE)

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
Goodreads:

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!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Reevaluation

Marie and I had great hopes when we established this book club. We could see wonderful reviews being posted frequently. We could see friends that we would make, people who read interesting books and are willing to share their find. 

However, this site has been struggling for a long time now. Those who signed up to do reviews often don't. (and I include myself). When a review is posted there seems to be only one or two comments. 

I think that we should give this site one month to gain some momentum... if it hasn't by January 1, 2017, it will be closed down. I am sorry as I can be. As I said in the beginning, we had such hopes.....


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Killer In The Band-Lauren Carr-Book Review

                                                           

Doing things a little backwards this time.   

Here's what I thought before 
I tell you about the book! I hope you don't mind!

I can't put into words how much I loved this book!  When I was given the opportunity to read I said 'Yes' as fast as I could to make the blog tour.  

And I wasn't disappointed.  Killer had me from page one and would not let me go! 

This story is the 3rd book in the Lovers In Crime Series.

 There are lots of characters and  multiple story lines in each of the books  I've read by La;uren at least that is what she did in the Mac Faraday series which BTW is great too.  

Killer was no different. There was Joshua and Cameron Thornton and all their children.  The story was mainly about the oldest son J.J. who had just returned home from college.  He had intended a leisurely summer studying for his Bar exam.  

The summer ended up being much more than everyone bargained for. 

J.J. happened (at least so it seemed) to run into Sue Ellen Russell a woman yes I said woman who had mentored him in high school. 
They fell in love back in the day but each went their separate ways.  

When J.J. returns their affair is rekindled.  J.J. ends up moving into the family horse and orchard farm that Sue Ellen has inherited from her parents.  Together they begin the daily operations of the horse farm. 

Trouble simmers in the background when (dad) Joshua . . . let's just say he isn't happy with the couple.  But Cameron (the step mom) convinces him to visit J.J. and Sue Ellen.  Taking along the younger children Izzy (an adopted child) and Donny (Joshua's 16 year old who can't stay out of the kitchen he eats everything in sight).
The friendly visit which includes pie puts everyone at ease while Izzy makes friends with dogs, cats and a rooster that no one likes. 

                           I was in love let me tell you! 

Sue Ellen drops a bomb on Cameron who is a Homicide Detective
and asks her to investigate the murder of an ex band member. 
Which everyone is surprised when Dylan Matthews is found some 30 years after being murdered. 

Back at the ranch Sue Ellen is overwhelmed with the daily operations and begins looking for someone to manage the horse operation.  In comes 'horse whisperer' Poppy Ashburn a mysterious woman who has every horse following her like a puppy dog within a few minutes.  
Izzy who is getting out of bed early and begging to go to the barn is following Poppy around and begging for a horse of her own.  
If your a regular reader of my blog you know why this story line got me.  I loved the ranch setting. 

As usual Lauren does have multiple story lines going on.  There 
are a few dead bodies included in the mix.  

It's a fantastic read.  

I do have one caution I have to add for my readers that might think about allowing a younger adult or teen read this book.  
There is a part in the middle of the story. A witness involved in the cold crime has an alternative lifestyle that possibly might offend some people.  I only include this as a caution.  I would read the book and discuss this before allowing a teen to read.  

Killer In The Band is probably my favorite of all the books I've read by Lauren Carr.  I look forward to reading more!  

This book deserves my 5 star rating!
This review will be posted at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Good Reads.
This review will appear on My Journey Back and will be linked at my favorite blog parties.

Here's what the book is about (provided by IRead Book Tours)
Book Details:

Book TitleKiller in the Band by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult fiction,  430 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  Oct 3, 2016
Available for review in:  Print and ebook: mobi (for Kindle), ePub, PDF 
Will send books:  USA & Canada
Tour dates:  Oct 10 to 28 and Oct 31 to Dec 2, 2016
Content Rating:  PG (Lauren Carr's books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!

Book Description:

Summer of Love & Murder

Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.

The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross hairs of a murderer.


Praise for Lauren Carr’s Mysteries:

“Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!”
​- Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R

“As always, Lauren Carr brings an action-packed story that is almost impossible to put down. Her mystery plots have so many twists and turns that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. And the action just didn’t stop from the very beginning till the very end.” - Melina Mason, Melina’s Book Reviews


Buy the Book: Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble 


I had the privilege of interviewing the author!  Click here 
to see the interview. 

Check out this fabulous Giveaway.... Click here to enter.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Long Time Coming

'Long Time Coming' is the name of a book by Edie Claire. But, it can also be what you will remark when you see a book review from me. Sorry it's been so long but I am not finding really good reads much anymore.




I thoroughly enjoyed this 'ghostly romantic fiction'. I had never heard that term before so I didn't know what to expect when I ordered the book from Amazon.com. I hope I can find some more in that genre.
                                                 

Joy and Jenny are best friend while they are growing up.  When Jenny dies in a terrible car accident, Joy is devastated. Jeff, Jenny's boyfriend, was at the wheel and Joy hated him immediately and never let up. She even moved to get away from him and her grief. 

Years pass. Joy is a veterinarian and has moved back home to help take care of her ailing father. Even though Joy has no idea why she did it, she rented the house that her best friend, Jenny, had lived in and where those two girls had spent many happy hours. Joy is still bitter but she's determined to make her stay in her hometown enjoyable and profitable. So, she starts a 'house-call' animal practice. And, then runs over a dog one night. The dog belongs to Jeff.

Well, there's a lot of friction between the two. And, there are things going on in Jenny's old house that makes Joy think she's rented a house that's haunted. Joy has a lot of things to figure out, and she ends up surprised at the answers. That helps her know what she has to do now. And, it involves Jeff. Was he the cause of her friends death? Or was it a horrible accident? Will she forgive him? Or not and live with her hatred. 

                                                                            

 That's all I am going to tell you. You'll have to read it for yourself.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Me, Before You by JoJo Moyes

Well, when your Mom recommends a book she read that was recommended to her by your sister...and then your good friend in Colorado also recommends it, you listen!   Here is what I said on Goodreads....


This is a remarkable book that went "where no book has gone before" in developing a relationship between a quadriplegic and his caregiver. Beyond that it gives voice to what makes life meaningful and valuable. A modern tale, a young woman with little going for her accepts a six month position caring for a thirty-five year old man who was disabled in an accident after "living large." The accident has left him despondent and his mother hopes this cheerful quirky young woman can give him a sense of happiness and hope about life again. He has already tried to commit suicide, and Louisa discovers this and begins to feel like she's been asked to be on "suicide watch" and resents it. He has a medical assistant who cannot be there all the time, and Lou isn't asked at first to assist with things she is uncomfortable with, but she struggles with her purpose there...and later with her rising feelings for the man in her care. It is delightful at times, even funny, as the two of them banter and become comfortable with one another. But it is also sad. More than that, it embraces what it means to have choices about one's life, and to live that life to its most full. Two people recommended this book to me, and I was very happy they had! An awesome read!

Friday, October 14, 2016

LaRose



"Our son will be your son now." 

The diminutive sentence above is the heart and soul of the haunting book LaRose by Louise Erdrich. It is an affecting story of loss, love and the lore of a whole culture of people in North Dakota.

I learned about Native American life in the book. The good and the bad. The old and the new. There were so many well drawn characters. Like the wise beyond his years LaRose. The 5 year old boy at the center of the story. But there are many namesake LaRose's hanging from the family tree like beautiful wind songs. We meet all of them in the book. The mystical backstory of the first LaRose, was my favorite part. 

The conflict occurs when Landreaux, LaRose's father, accidentally kills his neighbor's child while deer hunting. The lives of all of the central characters are subsequently torn apart.  Landreaux resorts to the old ways for guidance. He visits a sweat lodge and is compelled to give away his son, to make amends for the one he killed. 

I wish I would have purchased this book at our local Minneapolis book store, Birchbark Books, owned by the author. Because then I could have acquired a signed copy. It was so good.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner

There's a song of course...and the inference of moonshine running in the backwoods.  I thought perhaps this would be an account of such things in the Appalachians.  But, instead Stegner stayed with the west.  The first book I had read by him was Angle of Repose.  See that review HERE.  I was disappointed in the way that one had ended, but had otherwise loved the book.  I was ready for more, and was NOT disappointed.  Wallace Stegner is a master!  This time, instead of mainly California for a setting, the family he is writing about move from Minnesota into Canada and then to Utah, Nevada, and back to Utah.  The book chronicled the life of a single family and covers a lot of years, mainly over the Depression era.  It is a beautifully crafted book.  Below is my Goodreads review....


Wallace Stegner is an award-winning writer, and there is in his writing that special quality of knowing human beings, of telling their stories and digging deep into their inner beings in the process. He also has an amazing gift for detail and a wonderful way with words. This was a long book, but I have to say, I enjoyed every minute of The Big Rock Candy Mountain because each character became someone I knew intimately, and often grew to love deeply. The book is an American tragedy....but more than that, it is the tragedy of family relationships. No one can tell such a story better than Stegner. As Elsa and Bo fall in love and set their paths together despite problems that are evident from the beginning, their road in quest of that big rock candy mountain of song is filled with struggle and disappointment. Elsa asks for little, and Bo desires much...trying to fill a hole left in his heart from his childhood. And no one understands him better or loves him more than Elsa, even while their lives are all being torn apart, and filled with pain. What a meaningful tribute to human frailty! Great book!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

"Life Goes On"


I am from the South!! From Alabama, North Alabama to be exact. So, when I saw this book advertised and that was written by a gentleman from North Alabama, I had to read it.

Come to find out, Rick Watson (the author) is from the county I was born in and lived many, many years in. His articles appear presently in "The Daily Mountain Eagle", our local newspaper when we lived there.

The book is tales of the journey of the folks I am familiar with, the places I went to, the experiences I have had. It was like 'going back home' again.

Rick's newspaper articles are in several southern newspapers and now he has books. If you like just good ole life at it's best, then you'll thoroughly enjoy Rick's writing. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Two More For Fledgling America

During my recent early American history jag, I read two wonderful books that were both very interesting.  The first is about the spy ring set up by George Washington during the war:  George Washington's Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade.  It is an easy read, well-researched and fascinating!  There are so many interesting facts that lay unknown in our American history for many, many years.  Because the secret was so well kept, even the "players" in this fascinating drama were not even known until recent years (and the one female participant is still not definitive).  But without this brave group of people who believed in our Cause, the war for our independence would likely not have been won!


The second book is a wonderful biography our first First Lady!  Because Martha Washington destroyed all the correspondence between she and George when he died, there was little known about her for many years.  Yet, in Martha Washington: An American Life, by Patricia Brady, much that was buried in correspondence with other friends and family, and in other documents not well known, has emerged to tell the story of this remarkable woman.  Loved her!  Excellent book!


If you aren't used to reading history, give these a try...neither are very long, and both are awesome!

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Dead Lands


The Dead Lands is first and foremost, a re-imagining of the journey West by explorers Lewis and Clark. This time, in a post apocalyptic future, the expedition is led by Mina Clark and Lewis Meriwether. These characters didn't earn my love or reading devotion throughout the book. They seemed one dimensional, leaning on the harsh side. But since they were on a journey of survival, they were written in a singular way. The characters had little time for anything but staying alive. My favorite character was the psychopath Slade. He collected odds and ends from unlucky victims and adhered them to his mannequin collection. Delightfully wacky.

But it was an enjoyable and expansive story. Inventive, interesting and wildly creative. The book begins in the dusty, captive world of the Sanctuary.  Formally known as St. Louis. As the journey West unfolds, the reader flips back and forth between the struggle West and the trials of life in the militant Sanctuary.  If you think Trump would be a bad president, the character Thomas, Mayor of the Sanctuary, would be ten times worse! 

As an aspiring writer, I'll never forget the author's line, "...her teeth chattered a skeleton's song." That isn't an exact quote, since I couldn't find the passage. But the character was cold. And the sentence described it beautifully. 

This book isn't for everyone. I read it because I don't have a particular or preferred genre. I love them all. And Benjamin Percy is a Minnesota author endorsed by Stephen King. You can't beat that.




Saturday, September 10, 2016

Honey in the Horn by H.L. Davis

Reminiscent of Mark Twain at times, and of Mari Sandoz...if you like that older style of writing, you will enjoy this delightful novel of a young man in early twentieth century Oregon.  It won the Harper Prize in 1935, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1936.  Read my Goodreads review below:


Honey in the Horn by H.L. Davis was a delightful journey through an era and a geographical place that I will not easily forget. This classic has been reprinted at various times throughout the years and I happened to catch one of the new re-printings which acquainted me with a truly unique tale. Davis's prose reminds me of Mari Sandoz but maybe more so of Mark Twain. The book is filled with colorful characters and some chuckle-inspiring moments. You have the sense of sitting around a campfire one autumn night during your trek out west and hearing about all that happened to young Clay Calvert. It covers a complex string of events, and follows Clay across miles and miles of Oregon back country from the high desert plains to the ocean, as he finds work in at least a half dozen different occupations from the early 20th century, and meets probably one hundred interesting characters in the process. He is running from something, but also eventually finds he is running toward something even more. The book is rich with detail and leaves the reader with a sense of what life was like "way back then." Loved it!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Without Reservations and Packing Light

I seem to be in a 'traveling' mood with my reading lately. Perhaps I long for the days when traveling was easy and exciting for me and so I am living vicariously through the pages these authors put down of their own experiences. Whatever reason, I have two books to share with you today.

I read first 'Packing Light' but I want to start with the book that grabbed my heart. That was


 'Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman'. 


I love Europe and would love to go back and just wander to my heart's content and this book sated those yearnings I've had for so long and will never do in person. 


It's a true story, written by Alice Steinbach, a former newpaper reporter for the Baltimore Sun. When the book begins, Alice is a single mom, an empty nester, alone, stuck in a job where she realizes that to satisfy the demands of her career she has become the person everyone else expects her to be. That good mom, that reporter who meets deadlines regardless, the clock-puncher, the schedule-keeper. She doesn't like that person. It isn't her..


And, so she takes a years leave, packs her bags and flies to Paris. I loved her tales of wandering through the streets of Paris, soaking up the very existence and essence of the life there. I so wanted to be her! 


She travels to other counties, England, Italy... places where she has no agenda, just joy. The places she describes, the feeling she pens down, the friendships she made. It all sounds so wonderful. You just get caught up in every moment. I loved every single word. 


And, then there was the book I read before 'Without Reservations'.  It was:

                         
     'Packing Light: Thoughts on Living Life With Less Baggage'


It, too, is a true story. What's with me and true stories lately? I do love the real thing. Anyway, Allison Fallon is a school teacher, in her twenties. She's always had these dreams of the life she would have, a wonderful husband, kids, that perfect house, that perfect life. But, none of this is happening. It seems to me she is a bit impatient but who knows, she evidently didn't think so. 


When an acquaintance invites her to go on a trip to all fifty states she accepts. She quits her job, gets rid of a lot of her belongings, stores the rest, packs some bags and the two of them start on this journey. She is trying hard to 'find herself' but it isn't as easy as one might think. There are trials and tribulations along the way. She loses the guy she's left behind, the car breaks down, they run out of money. And, they are constantly trying to downsize what they have packed in the car. 


It teaches us that we have way 'too much baggage' in our life, real and imagined. And, it teaches us that we are stronger than we think we are. 


I had trouble with the book in places, just couldn't connect my thought process to what was happening but when I finished that last page, the one word that came out of my mouth was "WOW". 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Two Irish Tales

How awesome we are having more participation right now!  I wanted to jump in here with two reviews of books written by Irish authors, one set entirely in Ireland, and the other partly in Ireland, and partly in America.

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan is contemporary fiction set during the financial stresses of 2008.  The language is rough at times and also it took me a while to get a firm handle on the time frame it was set in.  But what was really fascinating about the book is that each chapter was written in the first person of one of the characters.  I have never seen a book take that voice, if you will.  It was interesting because you learned more about previous characters that had already spoken, by hearing what someone else was saying later, and the story came together in that way.  The spinning heart is small iron bauble on Bobby's father's rusted iron gate.  Bobby and his Dad were never close...in fact from Bobby's perspective, his Dad was a loser and doesn't deserve his respect.  He goes to see his Dad every day however, somehow hoping to find that the old man has finally passed on.  Things get complicated when Bobby's Dad is found murdered by someone who is sure he saw Bobby leaving his Dad's place right before.  It was interesting to see how each character's life entwined with other's lives and to observe the way the financial difficulties affected each one.  I would certainly recommend this book.  It was different and kept the reader's interest.


The second book, however, is now one of my all-time favorites!  If you are looking for happy endings, On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry won't be for you.  But, it was such a beautiful, sad tale of one woman's life.  It begins in Ireland where Lilly's Dad is a high ranking police official in Dublin (a Royal position) and she becomes engaged to a member of the Black and Tans (a Irish Independence group).  Because of something that occurs the young man and she are forced to leave Ireland, and receive help from her father in doing so.  In the course of Lilly's long life, she can never quite escape what happened back in Ireland.  Lilly begins by losing her home, but has many losses in the years that follow.  The book is a series of "memoirs" she is writing down that tells about everything that she went through.  It is beautifully written, and Lilly becomes a friend as you read it, someone you care about and wish better things had happened to.  It's like finding old letters about someone that breaks your heart as you read them.  Or as I said in my Goodreads review, it's like unravelling a finely woven Irish shawl, and as each strand comes apart, more is revealed until all comes into full view.  I loved it! 


Friday, August 12, 2016

The More of Less

Do you want more money, more time, and less clutter and stress?  Blogger Joshua Becker's The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own, published this year, may be the book for you.
Winning The More of Less in a giveaway at Cheryl's blog, Homespun Devotions, came as a big surprise.  I had commented on her giveaway post about minimalism without giving it much thought, so when Cheryl wrote to say I had won, I did a double-take! "Wait...I entered a giveaway?!  Oh, come to think of it, I guess I did."  A few days later, I received it in the mail.  I was a skeptic, but decided to read it through. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Tale For The Time Being

“A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.”
Ruth Ozeki



I know I'll never forget this book. It inspired and enchanted with equal measure. I kept using its more humorous quotes, over and over on my creative writing blog. It spurred so much creativity. It just kept giving. 

There's something in it for everyone. Your time will be well spent.  First we meet the distinctive voice of Nao, a Tokyo teen struggling with serious issues. She was forced to leave her life in America behind and return home. But, it's not really home anymore. Her peers tell her she stinks of hamburgers and bully her relentlessly. At her ramshackle new apartment, her world is crumbling like a sandcastle at high tide. Her dad has lost his way. And so has Nao. Until a summer with her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun, makes her time on earth a little more beautiful. This was my favorite part of the book.

We also meet Ruth. A writer struggling with life on an isolated island.  Ruth finds a Hello Kitty lunch box washed ashore after a storm. The plastic wrapped contents become the central mystery of the story. 

It's an inventive read.




Friday, July 29, 2016

Burying The Honeysuckle Girls


I was looking for something with a tad of mystery to it and boy, did I find it in 'Burying The Honeysuckle Girls' by Emily Carpenter.

Althea is fresh out of rehab and heads for Mobile to reconnect with her family (a father near death and a politically ambitious brother). Once there, Althea is not received well, much as she suspected she would be. Then the hint of a deep, grim secret leaks out. Althea remembers that the last day she saw her mother alive, her mother told her to wait for the honeysuckle girl. And, if she didn't come, for Althea to find her. It involves Althea's mother, grandmother and great grandmother, and what happens to the women in that family on their 30th birthday.

Determined to find out the whole truth behind the instruction her mom gave her, Althea sets out to unravel the mystery. It revolves around the mental hospital in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the mountain region in North Alabama and Mobile.

I had a bit of a problem keeping all the characters straight but not enough so that it kept me from thoroughly enjoying every page.... and it was a page turner. Surprises were at every turn. It's not a long book so would be nice for some late summer evening reading or on vacation. I'd say that you all would probably enjoy this book...

Back to the Beginning!

I have recently been on a Revolutionary War kick...well, actually more like an American Freedoms kick because of everything that has been going on in the news.  I go through periods where my interest goes from one subject to another, and I am a HUGE history buff.  We also watch everything dealing with history on TV that we can, and a show we enjoy is TURN: Washington's Spies, so the most recent season of that show (which ended a few weeks back) got my gears turning in this direction again.  I started a book I had had in my "to read" stack for a couple of months, called Original Intent, by David Barton and found it absolutely wonderful!  Our modern world, and the liberal press especially, would have us believe that our Country was not founded on Christian principles and that the Founding Fathers were not solid in their Faith, but that is just not true.  They want you to believe that "separation of Church and State" is in the Constitution, but that is also a lie.  The Founders believed strongly that our Law should be based on Christianity, but they safeguarded against there being a State religion, like in England, where everyone was expected to be Church of England, or much earlier, Catholic.  They believed in freedom of religion, but felt that all the Christian faiths were what this country should use a guide.  Original Intent proves this marvelously, because it is almost entirely the words of the Founders themselves, and also the original court cases that were presented soon after we became a nation.  When you read these original statements and letters, and speeches and court decisions, you realize how far flung our country has become!  It was such an important book, that I have to thank David Barton for his wonderful research and for bringing this all to light at a time when  it is desperately needed!  This book should be read by everyone who loves this Nation.  I highly recommend it!


But, back to Washington's Spies....TURN the show is not entirely factual, though it is based on the Culper Spy Ring that Washington started during the Revolution.  I of course wanted to learn the real skinny, but before I decided to read about the Culper Spy Ring, I decided I wanted to learn more about Nathan Hale, Washington's first spy who was hanged and is so well known for the wonderful dying quote: "I regret I have but one life to give for my Country."  The book I chose about Nathan Hale (called Nathan Hale, The Life and Death of America's First Spy) by M. William Phelps, was excellent.  I learned about a wonderfully patriotic young man, strong in his Christian Faith, and very well educated whose death was so tragic.  I enjoyed reading about him so much, and though I learned that his final quote is not exactly what I stated above, but was probably this similar statement: " If I had ten thousand lives I would lay them all down, if called to do it, in defense of my injured bleeding country,"  I was so enraptured by his willingness to face death.  It doesn't have the punch of the misquote, but says the same thing.  What we should remember is the sacrifice he made, and all who made similar sacrifices during that critical time!


And, on a side note...just a reminder that when a book review has been up at least five or six days that should give everyone enough time to read it, and hopefully comment, who are going to.  That's the point when, if you have a great book to share, you should consider writing a new review.  Since Mom's most recent review was posted on the 18th of this month, I started looking for a new review from someone a couple of days ago.  Since no one jumped on the train, I decided to go ahead with mine.  Let's all share...there's more variety that way!  Have a great week!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Not Without My Father

I just love reading entertaining books...

That's just me but that's what I like and the book I just finished was most entertaining!!

                                 It was "Not Without My Father" by Andra Watkins.


A true story.

Andra is at a crossroads in her life. Her business is a bust. She has an argumentative relationship with her mother and she has never gotten along with her father. 

What to do? Why not set out on a 444 mile walk of the Natchez Trace alone? Hey, wait one minute. She needs a 'wingman' some one who will drive a car with supplies, that will drop her off at a milepost in the morning, pick her up in the evening and take her for a nights rest in a nearby establishment.

Everyone works, can't leave their children, isn't interested. There is no one but good ole Dad. 
But, how will this work out. He is 80 years old and remember, they don't understand each other and aren't on really friendly terms. 

The book is filled with delightful adventure, great discovery about relationships, some funny but ridiculous mishaps and throw in her interest in Merriwether Lewis. 

I loved this book. I think you will, too. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

End of the Spear

I knew about this occurrence from news reports and possibly seeing things on TV...don't remember.  But I have been aware of the killing of the missionaries in Ecuador most of my adult life, and knew there was a movie called Through Gates of Splendor and End of the Spear, but had never seen them.  I also had never read the book, but when I finally did over a month ago I was totally enraptured by the story!  I became totally engrossed in the lives of not only the missionaries but also the people they were trying to reach.  This is a beautiful story!  At times very sad; at others totally uplifting and joyful.... I highly recommend it to everyone!  Check out my Goodreads review below:


This was an incredible book! If I could give it ten stars I would! Such an inspirational, uplifting, heart-rending true story. I have never seen the movies (Through the Gates of Splendor and End of the Spear) and I am glad I read the book first. NOW I'm anxious to see both movies! What a beautiful testament to faith and trust in our Creator. I was so enraptured by the lives of Steve Saint and his family (both his blood family and his adopted Waodani family) that I talked about it constantly as I read each chapter, and feel like I have found a connection to the story that will never fade. Everyone should read this amazing book!

And from You Tube--

Saturday, July 2, 2016

And, Then There Were None

I have never been a big mystery fan but have read a few 'who done it' books. Some I enjoyed, some I did not. But, I had never read Agatha Christie (the master mystery story teller) until recently.  She has changed my mind about what a really good mystery is about.

And Then There Were None was so well written, precise, to the point, keeping you guessing from page one. I loved it. 



There is a mansion on an isolated island. The owner has invited ten people to be his guests. But, the host is nowhere to be found. They settle in, each person carrying their own issues of life, their own secrets, fears. And, then, one of them is murdered. Then there were nine. Later on another body is found and then there were eight. You can figure out where this is going (thence the title of the book). 

Each person is suspicious of the other. Each person has a reason to kill. And, as the number narrows down to one, you think you have it all figured out. But, don't be so quick. There's a surprise ending!! 

This book is the world's best selling mystery with over 100 million copies sold. And, I wasn't one of the 100 million.... until I stuck my nose into it's pages and couldn't put it down. I highly recommend it.