Readers' Favorite

July 19, 2019

The Ultimate Pi Day Party by Jackie Lau ~ a Review

by MK French

Josh Yu's father is a retired math teacher, so what brings him to Toronto is a Pi Day party. Pi Day is March 14 (because pi is 3.14) and Josh hopes to make a good impression with the party, so that he could have his father finally learn about his new tech company and he can repair the damage in their relationship. This brings him to Sarah Winters, who owns the shop "Happy As Pie" and wants to get into catering. Josh has no intention of it becoming more than that, but feelings seem to be catching.

July 18, 2019

What is it about cozy mysteries?

by Donna Huber

I love cozy mysteries. I'm not sure what it is that draws me to them. Maybe it was all those years growing up that my family watched Masterpiece Mystery on PBS. Whereas in most genres (particularly in the romance drama), I grow bored when the plots become cookie cutter (in other words predictable). This doesn't happen with cozy mysteries. It is rare that I don't find something enjoyable about every cozy mystery I pick up. And pretty much if I see a cozy mystery, I pick it up.

July 17, 2019

The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins ~ a Review

by MK French

In the town of Dove Pond, good luck comes to the inhabitants if the Dove family has seven daughters. Sarah Dove is the youngest of the Dove sisters, and books have always spoken to her. She knows just which one to send to people to read, and she has always believed that she would help her town recover from the economic spiral it has fallen into. Grace Wheeler, a financial planner from Charlotte, has arrived in Dove Pond with her ailing foster mother and young niece. She isn't planning to stay in town for more than a year, but she's likely the one that can help the town recover.

July 16, 2019

The Phantom Forest by Liz Kerin ~ a Review

by MK French

Seycia had grown up with tales of the Forest of Laida as a child, but the old religion had been banned by the Coalition. General Simeon killed her parents and continues to sacrifice villagers to the demons like the old religion calls for, and he had marked Seycia for death as well. When she's sacrificed, however, she doesn't die. She now has to work with the demon Haben to journey to the Forest of Laida, the place where souls will regenerate. There are dangers above and below, and it won't be an easy task.

July 15, 2019

A Shattered Lens by Layton Green ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

A Shattered Lens is the second book in Layton Green's Detective Preach Everson series. It is a police procedural set in a small town in North Carolina. (You can read my review of book 1 - Written in Blood - here.)

July 14, 2019

Do You Suffer From Tsundoku?

by Susan Roberts

My problem is that I  want to read every book that sounds interesting to me.  I am in a dozen Facebook groups that talk about books and read many blogs a day about books.  So here I am sitting in front of my computer:

July 13, 2019

7 Books to Read This Summer

by Susan Roberts

Do you need a good book to throw into your beach bag when you go to relax at the pool or the lake?  I have reviews of seven new books today that are perfect to read while you enjoy the hot summer sun.  Do you have others to add to the list?

July 12, 2019

Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

I first discovered Debbie Macomber when I picked up one of her Christmas books and loved it. I haven't missed her Christmas book since. However, I haven't really tried her other books so I thought I would give her new stand-alone novel Window on the Bay a chance.

July 11, 2019

Thirteen Across by Dan Grant ~ a Review & Interview

by MK French

I stayed up far too late devouring it

A train is derailed as FBI Special Agent Kate Morgan is on her way to a congressional hearing regarding her involvement in a prior case. Waiting for her is a briefcase and clues to a macabre crossword that was tattooed onto human skin. She is sent from one place to another throughout Washington, DC, and the clues on the skins as well as the locations point to illegal human research, the development of the perfect soldier, and the fact that those at the highest levels of office had been the ones calling the shots. She has her own part in the history of this killer, and she will have to not only figure out the clues before the midnight deadline but to save as many lives as she can.

July 10, 2019

Doctor Sleep, aka I Miss the Overlook

by Alison DeLuca

The upcoming movie version of Doctor Sleep made me return to this novel. I bought it years ago, excited by a return to Danny Torrance and his Shining, now an adult. The cover was beautiful, the description compelling: Danny must save a 12-year-old girl from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

July 9, 2019

Summer by the Tides by @DeniseAHunter ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"Maddy Monroe was cowering behind a ficus tree near the hostess station when her cell phone rang. Her hands shook as she silences the phone before it drew the attention of the staff." (p. 1)

July 8, 2019

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim ~ a Review

by MK French

Maia Tamarin can sew better than any of her three elder brothers, but she lives in a world where the most she can hope for is to marry well. Though her family is currently in reduced circumstances, a royal courtier demands that her father present himself at court for a competition to be the next royal tailor. She was the one to keep the family shop afloat for years, so she cut her hair and dressed as her ailing brother. Her dreams are to become the Master Tailor for the court to elevate her family's honor and prove she has the skill it takes to do the job. This is only the beginning of a journey fraught with magic and court intrigue.

July 7, 2019

All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


"A bunch of girls left the fire, squealing and running to the makeshift dance floor in the sand to sing along, spelling out RESPECT at the top of their lungs. Jocelyn and I jumped up, dashing down the dock to join them. None of us could dance to save our lives. And most of us couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.  But it was summer and we were young and for just a minute or two we could forget about all the madness in the world." (p187)

July 6, 2019

Forever in a Moment by Charlotte O'Shay ~ a Review

by MK French

Samantha DeMartino fell into the life expected of her: she went to the best NYC schools, majored in economics, got a degree in law to work at her parents' firm, and became engaged to the accountant that was working in her mother's half of the family firm. It all fell apart when he called off the wedding two weeks before the date, so Sam went ahead to the Vermont ski trip on her own to figure out what she wanted in life. Jed Armstrong worked on the family farm and as a part-time ski instructor for Deerbourne Inn, and their attraction is instant. But with Sam returning to New York in a week, how can they make it work?

July 5, 2019

Random Acts of Kindness

by Susan Roberts

In 2014, Dete Meserve wrote a fiction novel called Good Sam about a good Samaritan secretly helping people in need.  Writing this book caused her to become more interested in the goodness in the world and the people who were doing good deeds for other people, often without recognition.  She and Rachel Greco worked together to publish Random Acts of Kindness which is full of stories about real people who help others.  At the same time, she started one of my favorite Facebook sites 'Random Acts of Kindness' where people post about the wonderful things that people do for others.  I must tell you that it's one of my favorite Facebook sites and even though it frequently brings tears to my eyes, it's wonderful to read good news instead of what we hear on the newscasts every day.  Here are my reviews of Good Sam and Random Acts of Kindness.

July 4, 2019

Celebrate Freedom with These Stories about WWII

by Susan Roberts

Image by Defence-Imagery from Pixabay

I read a lot of books about WWII and there are plenty of new books about this time period to choose from.  What I find so interesting is that very few of them are the same story - there are many people who played important roles in the war and their stories are finally being written about.  Many of these forgotten heroes were women who contributed much to the war effort.  Here are 8 new books set during the war.

July 3, 2019

Jackson by Emily March ~ a Review & Interview

by MK French

Caroline Carruthers married young to a much older man and didn't have much of an identity outside of the marriage. After her husband's death, she decides to relocate to the small town she had visited. Jackson McBride had returned home after his marriage ended in disaster and he felt at loose ends. They meet and become friends, but over time that deepens into something more.

July 2, 2019

We Went to the Woods by Caite Dolan-Leach ~ a Review

by MK French

I'm the wrong one to tell our story. I was the late arrival, the last on board, the self-effacing supplement to the lopsided structure of which Louisa and Beau were the main architects. If only it were Beau telling our tale, drawling his way through it, cigarillo dangling from his lips. Or Louisa, nattering on with her breakneck fluency. Best of all, maybe, Jack, with his sculpted insights, frank amazement, arms carving ut a circumference of joy. Chloe could convince anyone that we were beautiful and right and noble to do what we did. Instead, of the five of us, I am the only one left. I was the least important, the watchful cipher who served only as an audience and an extra body, an afterthought. Maybe Beau knew that he would need someone outside their tight quadrilateral, to record and capture them, to witness - an extra point to make a pentagon. After all, he was the only one who knew the ending of the story we all thought we were writing together. p. 3

July 1, 2019

Surfside Sisters by Nancy Thayer ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

I fell in love with Nancy Thayer's writing when I read The Guest Cottage (read my review), but I haven't had the chance to pick up any of her other books (I bought The Island House last summer in hopes of getting it read. Maybe this year). Because I so wanted to read another one of her wonderful Nantucket tales, I stalked NetGalley until I saw this summer's book, Surfside Sisters, listed.

June 30, 2019

Best Reads of June

Did you read any good books this month? Which book was your favorite? Donna and Susan their favorite reads of the month and encourage you to add these books to your reading list.

June 29, 2019

Wicked With The Scoundrel by Elizabeth Bright ~ a Review

by MK French

Lady Claire is a woman with average looks and an impeccable photographic memory. She's instantly fascinated by Colin Smith, the bastard son of a viscount that had returned to England to sell artifacts from Egypt. Her father hires Colin to help her track down a false treasure safely, putting them together despite their difference in class.

June 28, 2019

A Beach Wish by Shelley Noble ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

I love reading books about the beach during the summer. This was much more than a beach read - it was the story about family and love and a fun book to read. There were a lot of characters and I think some of them could have been left out with no problem but I was able to keep up with all of the main characters. My favorite had to be Zoe. She was on a quest to fulfill her mother's final wish and even though it made absolutely no sense to her why her mother wanted her ashes scattered on a beach that no one in the family had ever heard of, she was going to do it and then she was going to find out WHY Wind Chime Beach and WHAT her mother's connection was to the people who lived there.

June 27, 2019

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

I don't think I've read a biography since I was high school. I've read a few memoirs, but my nonfiction choices typically focus on a subject rather than an individual. Prairie Fires has been sitting on my review shelf for a year and a half. I was excited to read it, but it came right after the Christmas holidays and at 600+  pages it was difficult to find the time to read it.

June 26, 2019

Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau ~ a Review

by MK French

Leena Edenfrell was exiled from the land of Beast Charmers, and the only way to make a living afterward was to sell off beasts. This carried a punishment of its own, so her days were numbered, especially after a contract with the hired assassins of the Cruror was placed by an unknown charmer. These contracts are carried out or else the assassin's life is forfeit; the most Leena could do was barter for an extension on her life by trading four beasts to the team of Cruror assassins. This brought them on a journey throughout the lands, and the mystery of who placed the contract unfolds.

June 25, 2019

Clover Blue by Eldonna Edwards ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Sometimes when you read a book, you are aware that it's a story that you are watching from the outside. Very, very rarely is a book written that consumes you totally and makes you feel like you are part of the story. Clover Blue is one of those books.

June 24, 2019

June Reading - Books & Cats

by Donna Huber 

If you read my May wrap-up post, then you know the most popular Instagram post was the picture of my cat Beau (left) with a stack of books. Since then the other two have also taken to posing with the books. Oliver (middle) was the last to see what the fuss was about and probably only because Pete (right) did it and he wants to be just like Pete. It actually took Oliver 2 photo ops to get the best pose. With him, I have to snap the picture fast or else he will realize I'm looking at him and come towards me to be petted. Beau's picture still has the highest number of likes on Instagram of the three with Oliver's second picture (the one here) has just slightly more likes than Pete's. I'm not telling Pete though because he is already anxious about Oliver displacing his position in the family.

June 23, 2019

Rogue Most Wanted by Janna MacGregor ~ a Review

by MK French

Lady Theodora Worth had spent the last seven years caring for her ailing grandfather, even after he couldn't remember who she was anymore. With her grandfather's death, she inherited her home of Ladykyrk as well as the earldom that came with it, but another duke is challenging her claim to the title and lands. Her good neighbor's nephew, Lord William Cavensham, is willing to be her friend and help her through the legal process, including possibly marrying to cement her suitability for a title. The proximity only keeps reminding them how perfect they are for each other, even though neither wanted to marry.

June 22, 2019

The Emperor's War by RA Denny ~ a Review

by MK French

The Tzoladian army is fighting the Karsonian confederation. The three teens from various tribes that we had come to know in earlier novels are embroiled in this war now. Amanki is fighting when the Tzoladians would want him dead, Brina no longer has her seal and is surrounded by Sparaggi tribes, Tuka has to work as a spy. Metlan is now just as important as our three chosen ones, as he is king of the Samalitans and holds Brina's seal. Faith and trust will be tested over the course of the war.

June 21, 2019

Once Upon a Bad Boy by Melonie Johnson ~ a Review

by MK French

Sadie Gold landed the starring role in a superhero movie and is determined to prove she got it with talent and not connections. The rumors of being a spoiled rich girl have haunted her, but she is sure that all of her training will help her take her career to new heights. The stunt coordinator is none other than Bo Ibarra, her first boyfriend, who had abruptly broken things off on their prom night. Even though it's been eleven years, feelings are still there between them and have rekindled.

June 20, 2019

The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

On Block Island this summer you'll find
-Ocean water the color of the Caribbean
-365 ponds (one for each day of the year)
-Ice cream, sunscreen, bikes with wicker baskets

-One famous writer hiding from a big mistake
-One bakery owner with off-island competition
-One stay-at-home mom with a secret job

Now that summer is here I find myself enjoying light beach reads. If it's about the beach, I want to give it a try. The Islanders fit my summer reading requirements perfectly. There are three main interesting characters, some mystery, some romance and lots of sand and water! Perfect!

June 19, 2019

A Family of Strangers by @EmilieRichards ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Could a lifetime of memories…be a lifetime of lies?

I have read all of Emilie Richards books and even though this is a slight change from her normal genre, it's fantastic and my favorite of all of her books. Her past books have been women's fiction but her new book has a central mystery that keeps you guessing until the end.

June 18, 2019

Honeymoon with Death by Vivian Conroy ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

This past winter Vivian Conroy started a new cozy mystery series set in the 1920s. I really enjoyed the tribute to Agatha Christie. Now she has another book in the series - Honeymoon with Death. It kept me guessing to the very end.

June 17, 2019

Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank @DorotheaFrank ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

I have been a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank since I read her first book twenty years. When you start her books you know that you'll be back in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with a bunch of quirky characters and a great plot that will make you want to pack your bags and head to the beach.

June 16, 2019

Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith ~ a Review

by MK French

Chris and Maia literally are brought together in a car crash, and can't seem to escape each others' orbits over the course of a summer. Each have their problems to cope with, which doesn't make that easier. Chris is transgender and had survived an assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her sister. Though they weren't expecting it, they do find themselves falling in love in the midst of grief.

June 15, 2019

Keep Your Kids Reading During the Summer

by Donna Huber

Image by Виктория Бородинова from Pixabay
A local literacy organization that I support is committed to ending the "summer slide" by providing students in low-income areas with books that they take home at the end of the school year. Studies have shown that children can lose a grade-level or more in reading comprehension in what is known as "summer slide". However, reading every day can prevent this slide and can even improve a student's reading ability. (Learn more about Books for Keeps and how you can support them, too).

Good Buddy by Dori Ann Dupré ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Jonathan “Buddy” Cordova is a small-time criminal defense lawyer living paycheck to paycheck and practicing law out of his house in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He likes to think of himself as a modern-day Atticus Finch, the kind of attorney who represents the poor, the indigent, the “probably guilty,” the kinds of clients who usually end up in jail. Shy, painfully awkward around pretty women, and carrying his own dark secret, Buddy falls for the daily jogger - Julie Saint, a part-time Kindergarten teacher and Army widow with a little girl named Molly.

June 14, 2019

Dear Scarlet: The Story of my Post Partum Depression by Teresa Wong ~ a Review

by MK French

Dear Scarlet is a memoir in graphic form, starting out as a letter to her daughter Scarlet. Teresa Wong outlined her thoughts and emotions with both words and pictures in this graphic novel, and we see glimpses into the reactions that her husband, mother, and friends all had in response to the depression, and then to finally getting a formal diagnosis of postpartum depression.

June 13, 2019

One Minute Later by Susan Lewis ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts
You think your life is perfect.
You think your secrets are safe.
You think it’ll always be this way.
But your life can change in a heartbeat.

Susan Lewis takes her readers on a roller coaster ride of a story about how life can change in just one minute. She always writes wonderful stories about families but I thought that this was her best novel yet.

June 12, 2019

The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

My prediction is that this will be the book everyone is talking about this year. It's one of the best psychological thrillers that I've ever read. I didn't know who to believe until the shocking ending. It was absolutely fantastic.

Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones - a Review

by Alison DeLuca

Dreamland draws the reader in and won't let go until the last word. Sam Quinones has created a fascinating journey through time and the backroads of the Rust Belt in a thorough exploration of what happened when pain meds collided with black tar heroin. In the process, he's created a sad, frightening, and ultimately uplifting look at the crisis still going on in the United States.

June 11, 2019

The Hungry Ghost by Dalena Storm ~ a Review

by MK French

Sam was still being pulled into her alcoholic ex-husband's orbit even as Madeline is trying to forge a new relationship with her. A car accident leaves Sam in a coma, which leaves her body vulnerable to possession by a ghost that knows nothing but hunger, and her soul winds up being reborn as a cat. The ghost is willing to devour everything that Sam once loved in its quest to feel full again.

June 10, 2019

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all . . . ?

June 9, 2019

Caitlin's Song by John A. Heldt ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

You can always count on John A. Heldt for a sweet, light read full of heart. It was exactly the kind of book I needed for heading back to the stresses of the day job after my vacation. Caitlin's Song is the perfect story for sitting on the porch or swinging in the hammock on a beautiful summer evening.

June 8, 2019

The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry @pcalhenry ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

I love reading southern fiction and Patti Callahan is a fantastic writer in this genre. She has been a favorite author since I read her first book. With her new book, she has become one of my Top 10 of the few authors that I will pre-order their books without knowing anything about them.

June 7, 2019

The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"The storm originated as a tropical wave off the coast of Africa but during the next forty-eight hours, it grew highly organized.  As it veered west, it met with favorable, warm surface water-temperatures and low wind shear.  It rapidly intensified, developing a distinct eye feature.  When the sustained winds reached seventy-five miles per hour, the storm was given a name:  Hurricane Noelle.

The hurricane wobbled, shifting direction and sending the experts racing back to their computers to create updated tracking cones.  This, in turn, sent another group of residents into panic mode.  Everyone living in the Caribbean and along the southeastern coast of the United States was stocking up on supplies and preparing for evacuation."  (page1)

June 6, 2019

The Dreaming Vol. 1: Pathways and Emanations by Simon Spurrier ~ a Review

by MK French

Daniel, Lord of the Dreaming, has disappeared. Denizens are now subject to monstrous dreams, creatures beyond the borders of the realm, and madness is descending upon all of the senior storytellers of the Dreaming. Opportunists try to seize this as an opportunity, but it opens up a whole host of other problems.

June 5, 2019

Waisted by Randy Susan Meyers @randysusanmeyer ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Waisted is about what lengths women will go to lose weight, what happens when you’re pushed beyond humiliation, pain, and fear and then survive it and move towards a happier life.

June 4, 2019

Whiskers in the Dark by Rita Mae Brown ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Whiskers in the Dark is my first cozy mystery by Rita Mae Brown. I've seen her books mentioned on other blogs and thought they looked cute so when I saw on NetGalley that she had a new book coming out I had to try it. As it is book 28 in the Mrs. Murphy series, I hoped it would be more of a stand alone.

June 3, 2019

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson ~ a Review

by MK French

Fatima was born into the sultan of Grenada's harem, and the only thing she definitely could choose for herself was her friendship with Hassan, the cartographer. His special gift is the ability to draw uncannily accurate maps, even of places that he had never been to or had seen before. The newly formed Spain is spearheading the Inquisition, and their agents are sure that Hassan is a sorcerer and should be put to the rack. Fatima won't allow this to happen, and unknowingly has a friend in a jinn as well as the fierce loyalty to Hassan and the concept of freedom. They plan to escape the Inquisition with the help of Hassan's gift.

June 1, 2019

Meltdown by GP James ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Meltdown has been on my review shelf for a year. I was excited to read it when I received it but as it sometimes happens I just couldn't get to it and as life seems to be going by so fast in no time it was a year later. But I'm glad I finally got to read this. I was interested in it as a possible recommendation for my post-apocalyptic book club and I think I will suggest it during our July meeting when we set the upcoming year of reading.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

May 31, 2019

May's Best of the Bunch

Image by Terri Cnudde from Pixabay
We hope you enjoy our monthly staff picks of our favorite book. With all the reading we do, it can be difficult to name just one book read during the month that was our favorite. We hope by each of us name our Best of the Bunch it will help you narrow down your next best read. If you are heading to the beach be sure to pack these in your bag.

May 30, 2019

The Girl in the Mirror by Steven Ramirez ~ a Review

by MK French

While renovating a house with her ex-husband, Sarah Greene finds a mirror containing the spirit of a dead girl. It seems that the original owners had a son that worshipped the devil, and the girl hadn't died of natural causes. Sarah feels compelled to discover the truth about the girl, but that might lead to even more danger.

May 29, 2019

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini @jchiaverini ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"Students, SA, SS, Hitler Youth - toward the Opernplatz they marched, row after row of them, their faces sinister in the garish light.  In their arms were books seized from school libraries, from book shops, from shelves in homes were Mildred imagined bewildered parents lamenting the strange fanaticism that had transformed their beloved children into frightening strangers.  A thunderous roar of voices drew her attention back to the square, where torches were flung upon the pile of books, smoldering and smoking, rising into flame." (p 117)

May 28, 2019

Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor by Rebecca Rosenberg ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

I've never heard of Baby Doe Tabor and I don't usually read stories set in the 1800s, but I fell in love with Rebecca Rosenberg's writing when I listened to the audiobook The Secret Life of Mrs. London (read my review). So when I saw at NetGalley that she had a new book coming out I knew I had to give it a try. Once again Rosenberg proved she is a powerful storyteller and I fell in love with Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor.

May 27, 2019

May Reading Wrap Up

by Donna Huber

Here we are at the end of May. It has been an up and down kind of month. Work has been all kinds of crazy. We had our annual meeting on May 1 so I've been playing catch up on all the things that got pushed to the back burner in the lead up to the meeting. Then I came down with an awful upper respiratory infection and had a fever for 4 days. Then last week the wellness program at work hosted a 5K fun run/walk. It was super hot (90F+) and the course had killer hills. Going down was as hard as going up. I'm shocked I did it in 50 minutes while holding a conversation with a fellow walker most of the time.

May 26, 2019

Smitten by the Brit by Melonie Johnson ~ a Review

by MK French

Bonnie Blythe is an English professor enamored with literature and hoping for a set wedding date with her fiance when he finishes his dissertation. When it all falls apart once she catches him cheating, her entire staid world has to change. She accepts a new summer teaching position in England, a dream she wouldn't have otherwise gone through with, and decides to see where her prior infatuation with Theo Wharton will go.

May 24, 2019

The Hitwoman's Juggling Act by @JB_Lynn_Author ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

I don't know how JB Lynn keeps these stories feeling so fresh. Usually by book 20 in a series I've given up because they have become too predictable. This is not so with The Hitwoman's Juggling Act. You just never know what is going to happen.

May 23, 2019

How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee @JingWrites ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

I have read many books about the effects of WWII on the people of Europe but this is the first book that I've read about life in Singapore during the occupation by the Japanese. Parts of this book were difficult to read but the novel is beautifully written and a wonderful testament to the women who survived this time period. It is a book that I won't soon forget.

May 22, 2019

You, Me, and the Sea by Meg Donohue ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

This beautifully written descriptive novel sweeps you away to the northern California coast and Horseshoe Cliff right from the beginning. Then when we meet the main character in that setting, we find out that she is just as beautiful and mysterious as the location she lives in.

May 21, 2019

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

There are a lot of people you don't expect to run into in small town Pennsylvania.  And a few you do.  I run into my best friend, Lena, almost every day - she teaches in the same school that I do, so when we don't go out of our way to see each other, we're seeing each other anyway, in the halls, the teachers' lounge, the parking lot, scraping frost off our windshields as late as April.

Then there are the people you don't expect to see.  Jamie from Outlander. Despite looking, and hard, I see him exactly never.

Or my husband.  Except there he is.  My husband of eighteen years.  Last seen three years ago, when my daughter was 12 and my son eight and he packed up one roll-aboard carry-on-size suitcase with shirts I'd ironed and ties I'd picked out and a change of suits and some running clothes and his shaving kit and his six different kinds of anti-anxiety medication and went on a business trip to Hong Kong.  And never came back. (p4)

May 20, 2019

The Living God by Kaytalin Platt ~ a Review

by MK French

Saran is a mage in control of time, fighting a war her father the king insists on fighting. He wants death and destruction, and the rise of the Living God in accordance to old prophecies. Saran is conspiring against him with Keilar, a fire mage that has a demon known as an oruke inside of him. That causes fear as well as respect, as there are those who believe that Keilar will become the Living God of prophecy. Keilar just wants to be a fire mage, love Saran, and continue to fight against the king with the rest of the rebellion. When Saran's magic is locked away as punishment for defying her father, Keilar starts losing control over the demon. There is a lot on the line, and risk at every turn.

May 19, 2019

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Daisy Jones & the Six is the latest book club pick in the Reese Witherspoon book club.  It's getting a lot of fantastic reviews and positive comments on social media.  It's written in a different style and you feel throughout that you are reading a nonfiction book about the rise and fall of a band in the 70s instead of the fact that you are reading a fiction book.  There are interviews with all of the band members, some of the family and others who were part of the dramatic popularity of the band and with most memories, the memories of two people about the same situation are in totally opposite from each other.  This is definitely a book about Sex, Drugs and Rock&Roll.

May 18, 2019

When you're too sick to read

by Donna Huber

Image by FotoRieth from Pixabay
I came down with a horrible upper respiratory infection and spent the past week in varying degrees of sickness. I spiked a high fever on Thursday night which meant a day home from work on Friday. I was thinking, "yeah, a day of reading". But as the illness worsened the less focus I had for a book. So what do you when you are too sick to read? Watch bookish television and of course, audiobooks.

May 17, 2019

The Question Authority by Rachel Cline

The Question Authority is a timely and moving novel about what happens when childhood best friends face the damage done by the teacher who molested them both.

May 16, 2019

Captain Marvel: Liberation Run by Tess Sharpe

by MK French

Carol Danvers, as Captain Marvel, possesses great powers and uses them to help multiple planets across the galaxy. When she saves a ship from crashing, she discovers that the pilot Rhi is an Inhuman that had been enslaved so that her owner could gain prestige. Horrified, Carol gathers a few more superheroes to liberate Rhi's people.

May 15, 2019

The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Growing up, I didn't like surprises. Not surprise parties, not presents. Even losing a tooth was steeped in horror, as I couldn't stand the idea of some tiny Tinkerbell sneaking under my pillow unannounced. My grandmother, the one who lived her entire life in what was now my white clapboard house on the waterfront in Peachtree Bluff, Georgia's historic downtown, used to say 'Honey, you better get used to that, because life is nothing but one big surprise after another, you can plot and plan, but God will always have the last word."  (Chapter 1)

May 14, 2019

The Night Window by Dean Koontz ~ a Review

by MK French

In the fifth and final book of the Jane Hawk series, Jane continues to try to collect proof to bring down the Arcadians. In the meantime, Hollister tries to stalk a filmmaker on the "Hamlet list" for his own amusement, and nothing goes according to plan.

May 13, 2019

Lady Mechanika Vol. 5: La Belle Dame Sans Merci ~ a Review

 by MK French

Lady Mechanika still doesn't know her past, but she is putting that investigation on hold. Her friend Mr. Lewis seems to be falling for a young widow who seems to be connected to the deaths of several creative geniuses.

May 12, 2019

Ashes in a Coconut by Bo Kearns ~ a Review

by MK French

Laura Harrison accompanied her husband Jack to Indonesia when he is set to take over as president of a troubled bank. She's intending to save her marriage, even though she has the feeling that something terrible is about to happen. She finds meaning in helping to save endangered orangutans and their habitat, but her husband is caught up in a lot of shady dealings that start to force them apart.

May 11, 2019

All the Lovely Children by Andrew Nance ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"She tossed the ball up a couple of times and then heard a soft sound, followed by another, and then another. Sudden fear coursed through Savannah. She couldn't tell which direction the noise came from but she thought it sounded like three soft footsteps, like someone sneaking around, maybe even creeping up on her. She noted how loud her breathing was and how her heartbeat was way too fast.  The sound was never repeated, but she was still certain someone was close by. She could sense them."

May 10, 2019

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

 A gripping thriller about three young girlfriends, a dark obsession and a chilling crime that shakes up a quiet Iowa town.

May 9, 2019

Stoker's Wilde by Stephen Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi ~ a Review

by MK French

Long before they became literary legends, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde had to team up to fight the Black Bishop. He wields supernatural forces with the intention of taking over the British Empire, so the two have to work together and with experts in the supernatural to battle werewolves and vampires in Victorian England.

May 8, 2019

Hidden Treasures on the Internet

by Alison DeLuca

Image by 470906 from Pixabay

Over the past few weeks, I went looking for beautiful and positive places on social media. In the middle of endless bickering and infinite selfies I found some accounts that exist to make our lives  more wonderful.

May 7, 2019

Superbly Written ~ Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

by Donna Huber

I loved Lilac Girls so when I heard that Martha Hall Kelly had a new book coming out I was excited. Lost Roses is set during WWI, a period I don't read a lot, so this would be a test. Did I love Lilac Girls because it is in a favorite genre or because Kelly is a talented storyteller?


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