Readers' Favorite

December 4, 2020

Black Futures edited by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham ~ a Review

by MK French

Black Futures is a collection of artwork, transcripts of conversations, or essays written by Black artists and authors. They contemplate the nature of being Black and creative. The editors realize that the Black experience is varied and impossible to pin down with a single collection and see this volume as a jumping-off point in the conversation as a whole.

December 3, 2020

Entertaining New Cozy Mystery from Katie Gayle

by Donna Huber

The Kensington Kidnap the first book in a new cozy mystery series from the writing team known as Katie Gayle. It features Epiphany "Pip" Bloom, a twenty-something trying to find her niche in life. It looks like she might have found it when she accidentally impersonates a private investigator.

December 2, 2020

A Warm Heart in Winter by J. R. Ward ~ a Review

by MK French

Blay and Qhuinn look forward to their official mating ceremony, but tragedy strikes. The Black Dagger Brotherhood rallies around them, and hopefully, they can weather the storm.

December 1, 2020

The Guild Core 1: Dragon Bourne by T.J. Reynolds ~ an Audiobook Review

by MK French

Mindonne was like any other town in Brintosh, filled with quaint and modest people as loyal as they were ignorant of the world around them. Were it not for its proximity to the border of Hintar, an old and bitter rival, it may have remained so. (p. 13)

November 30, 2020

Great New Trilogy by Ashley Farley

by Susan Roberts

Ashley Farley is an excellent author in the women's fiction genre and has brought her readers a fantastic new series about three women who take a chance on life, discover the careers that they worked for plus find the man of their dreams. Let's take a trip to Inn at Hope Springs Farms.

Best Reads of November 2020

Can you believe there is only one month of 2020 left? I know many of us are ready to say goodbye to the year. Unfortunately, I think the start of 2021 will look much the same. Thankfully, there have been some really great books this year to keep us entertained (and we are already getting peeks at 2021 new releases and there are definitely some blockbusters on the way). If you are needing some help picking out your next read, here are our favorites of the past month.

November 29, 2020

Thankful for Books

by Donna Huber

Can you believe there is only a month left of 2020? Though in many ways this has felt like a very long year the last few months have flown by. I don't think this will be a year that we forget any time soon.

November 28, 2020

2 Books About Books

by Susan Roberts

It's always fun to read books about books and today I have a review of an old book (though a new edition was recently released) about a book club and a newer book about a book shop.

November 27, 2020

17 Books to Give This Year

by Donna Huber

The holidays are looking a bit different this year and you may be looking for gifts that are easier to ship to your loved ones. Books are great gifts to give. They provide hours of entertainment and can transport the reader to a different world. This year, more so than ever, people are looking for even brief moments to escape the constant news of disease, death, and divisiveness. If you are looking for recommendations for what books to give this year, then you are in the right place. Today, I have my list of top books that I've read this year that I think others would enjoy too.

November 26, 2020

4 More World War II Stories

by Susan Roberts

Like a lot of people, I've had extra time to read during the pandemic.  Even though the stay-at-home orders have loosened some, I still stay in as much as possible due to my age and underlying health issues.  I've always viewed World War II as a time that all Americans worked together for the common good of America, unlike the current crisis where it appears that America is more divided than ever. With that comparison in mind, I pulled several World War II books off my shelves and here are my reviews.

November 25, 2020

4 Books for Fans of Historical Fiction

by MK French

A reader can explore so many time periods with historical fiction. And the genre has a multitude of subgenres that pretty much whatever your favorite genre is who can find elements of it in historical fiction.

November 24, 2020

The Book of CarolSue by Lynne Hugo ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Charlie was already dead when I finally hung up with my sister and came in from the porch. The twilight had settled around me like a sticky damp quilt, but the sky had held the glowing embers of the day and was lovely, so I'd stayed out. "Charlie, honey," I said as I glanced at him, irritated as any wife would be, "you've dropped a hunk of pie into your lap. I can't get blueberry out of khaki. Don't touch it while I go get napkins." (p. 1)

November 23, 2020

Murder in the Snow by Verity Bright ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Lady Eleanor and her butler Clifford is back with another mystery to solve. Murder in the Snow is the fourth book in Verity Bright's Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series. As I've only read book 3 in the series, you can enjoy this Christmas story without having read the previous books.

A Frenzy of Sparks by Kristin Fields ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

A poignant story of innocence lost and what it means to grow up too fast.

November 22, 2020

The Burning Son by TH Leatherman ~ an Audiobook Review

by Donna Huber

The Burning Son is a well-written story and a well-performed audiobook. Science fiction fans who love action-packed, technology-filled space drama don't want to miss this book.

November 21, 2020

Church of the Assassin by Ross Harrison ~ a Review

by MK French

Alexiares is an assassin that survived a deadly purge of her sect. She somehow inherits a baby girl, and is on the run with the child. All she'd ever known before was how to kill and how to repair cars, so she isn't sure how she could care for a baby. Alexiares is sure that she can only give Baby a life of pain and suffering, but Baby is now her reason to keep going despite the hunters willing to tear apart the galaxy to find them both.

November 19, 2020

Clifton Chase Adventure Series by Jaimie M. Engle ~ a Review

by MK French

This year has been tough, particularly for children and their families. Many of our normal activities have been canceled or severely curtailed. With so many schools doing virtual learning, our kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens. Holidays are coming up but they might be looking different this year. Whether you are needing a way to entertain your kids that don't involve screens and gives you some much needed "me time" or wanting to do a family read together over the holidays, you will want to pick up this middle school adventure series from Jaimie M. Engle.

November 18, 2020

2 Books about Women's Fight to Vote

by Susan Roberts

On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified to give women the right to vote.  I have reviews of two recent books about the women's suffrage movement that helped get this amendment passed.

November 17, 2020

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

'Oh gosh, is that the time? Sorry, I have to go,' the man mumbled evasively, as he stood up and reached for his bag.
'Eh?' the woman said.
She glared with uncertainty. She hadn't heard him say it was over. But he had called her - his girlfriend of three years - to come out for a serious conversation...and now he had suddenly announced he was going to work in America. He was to leave immediately - in a few hours. Even without hearing those words, she knew now that the serious conversation was about breaking up. She knew now it was a mistake to have thought - to have hoped - that the serious conversation might have included 'Will you marry me?' for example. (p. 1)

November 16, 2020

4 Diverse Romance Novels

by MK French

There has been a big push in the publishing industry for more diversity in books. Today, I have four romances that feature diverse characters. The first is about Asian-Americans and the second features an Indian-American protagonist. The third book I review is a romantic fantasy set in 1920s Shanghai. The fourth book is a historical romance set in the Roman Empire in 115 CE.

November 15, 2020

Nothing Good Happens After Midnight ~ an Anthology Review

by Donna Huber

I'm not a huge fan of short fiction, but after I read (and loved) a collection of domestic thriller short stories I decided it was just the genres that I had read previously. So this anthology had two things that attracted me: 1. the short stories are in the suspense genre and 2. Rhys Bowen contributed a story. 

November 14, 2020

3 Stories of World War II

by Susan Roberts

I've read a lot of WWII books recently in my extra spare time.  The following three books all have strong female characters who made a difference.

November 13, 2020

7 Mysteries Your Inner Detective Will Love

by MK French

Mysteries come in all shapes and sizes. A good who dun it can keep you glued to the pages, trying to solve the mystery right along with the characters. Some mysteries have a few good laughs or a dash of romance alongside the suspense. Whatever you are looking for you can find it in a mystery and today I have quite a variety for you.

November 12, 2020

7 Novels with Older Female Protagonists

by Susan Roberts

The publishing industry seems to be very uncomfortable with aging women.  If there is an older woman in a novel, she is a secondary character, not the leading character.  Older women are often dismissed.  As a woman who is well over 50, I find it discouraging not to be able to find more books that represent my age group.  We still have problems in our lives -- instead of problems with husbands and parents, we have problems with husbands and children/grandchildren.  We get divorced....remarried no matter what the age.  We have careers and exciting lives. And even though we may have more wisdom than the younger characters, we still don't have all the answers!

Here are a few suggested books with a strong female protagonist. Can you suggest others to add to my list?

November 11, 2020

The Queen's Gambit - a Netflix miniseries review

by Alison DeLuca

Publicity poster for The Queen's Gambit

I'm still on the eternal quest last week for entertainment that doesn't involve travel or crowds. Flicking through the new arrivals on Netflix, I noticed The Queen's Gambit but didn't pay much attention.

November 10, 2020

Lies Like Poison by Chelsea Pitcher ~ a Review

by MK French

Belladonna Drake was entangled in her true love's arms when a knock came at the door. Slowly, quietly, she inched out of bed. "Don't say anything," she whispered, creeping toward the window. (p. 5)

November 9, 2020

Autumn Skies by Denise Hunter ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"They'd gotten the place up and running after their parents passed away unexpectedly four years ago.  It had been their retirement dream to turn their historic home back into an inn, and the siblings came together to fulfill their dream.  At the time Grace was heading into her junior year in high school, Molly was almost finished with her hospitality degree and Levi was putting his degree to work in Denver with a commercial construction company.  Their parents' death had changed everything." (p 7)

November 8, 2020

3 Books for Fans of Police Procedurals

by MK French

Police procedurals are a subgenre of the detective genre. Instead of having a private investigator or an amateur sleuth, the main character is part of the police force and the story focuses on the procedure of a police investigation. Today I review three books in this subgenre.

November 7, 2020

1 Flew Over the Raven's Nest by JB Lynn ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

During the pandemic, JB Lynn published a chapter a day as she wrote a new book in a brand new series. Then when she finished, it was edited and turned into an ebook. Since I've loved everything I've read by Lynn (I read all her books except for 3 or 4), I wanted to follow along online, but I was swamped at work and behind in my ARCs. So I read it the finished product instead.

November 6, 2020

No Place to Hide by Opa Hysea Wise ~ a Review

by MK French

Smythe Windwalker Daniels has been compromised, and there are credible threats to her life. She accepts the FBI’s protection, hoping to testify and bring justice, as well as meaning to her life on the run.

November 5, 2020

3 Books for Fans of Romance Novels

by Susan Roberts

I don't usually read a lot of books in the romance genre but things have been so stressful lately that I decided it was time to read some light fluffy books with happily ever after endings.  Here are the three that I enjoyed the most all written by Michelle Major.

November 4, 2020

Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story by Lauren Myracle, illustrated by Isaac Goodhart ~ a Review

by MK French

Victor Fries feels responsible for the house fire that killed his brother. His parents are emotionally distant, so Victor devotes his life to science. Nora Kumar is his opposite. She's full of life and social, knowing that she has an incurable disease. She plans to kill herself on her birthday but then meets Victor. The two recognize the emptiness and loneliness in the other, and a romance blooms between them. Victor is now driven to save Nora, no matter the cost.

November 3, 2020

A Christmas Resolution by Anne Perry ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Celia approached the vicar, who stood alone for a few moments in the shadow of the rounded arch above the doorway, sheltered from the rising wind. She wanted to say something about the excellence of his sermon beyond the usual “well done,” which covered anything and nothing. (p. 1)

November 2, 2020

3 New & Notable YA Fantasy Novels

by MK French

I'm back with another list of not to be missed fantasy novels. This time I'm focusing on 3 young adult fantasy novels that have recently published or coming out later this month.

November 1, 2020

2 Novels for Fans of Historical Fiction

by Susan Roberts

I enjoy reading historical fiction.  A lot of history was ignored in the classrooms of the 60s and I must admit, I've probably forgotten a lot that was taught.  Today I have two books of historical fiction that are about two very different wars - the Civil War and WWII.

October 31, 2020

Frighteningly Good Reads

Happy Halloween! Are you looking to treat yourself to a good book today? Need a recommendation? Here are our picks of our best reads of October.

October 30, 2020

Seven of Infinities by Aliette de Bodard ~ a Review

by MK French

Vân is a poor scholar, eking out a living as a personal tutor rather than trying to advance into the ruling class. This is largely due to the illegal memory implant she had created, so staying off the radar is paramount. Sunless Woods is a mindship in retirement from being a thief and master of disguise. She's drawn to Vân's integrity, and the two are bound together further when the stranger visiting Vân's student dies. Trying to discover what happened will expose all the secrets they tried to hide.

October 29, 2020

Hell and High Water by Keenan Powell ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"A killer whale breached.  A full, flying through the air breach.  Black bullet body, white spots and a black dorsal fin erupted.  Sparking droplets geysered from the roiling gash it had torn in the steel-gray surface.  The monster hung in the air like a ballerina, and then rolled to one side, flopped and sank out of sight."  (p1)

October 28, 2020

Murder on the Dance Floor by Helena Dixon ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Murder on the Dance Floor is my first book by Helena Dixon. However, it is the 4th book in the Miss Underhay Mystery series. It had everything I love about cozy mysteries.

October 27, 2020

The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Sometimes when I close my eyes, there is a rifle in my hands. My hands are small; my fingers are pudgy. I'm eleven years old. There's nothing special about this particular rifle, nothing to distinguish it from any other Remington, except that this is the rifle that killed my mother. (p. 1)

October 26, 2020

Book vs TV Series: A Discovery of Witches

by Donna Huber

A Discovery of WItches tv show

There are few books that I have been so excited about being turned into a television series. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is one such series. I was finally able to view it.

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Steena Holmes ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

“I found her.” One phone call and three whispered words is all it takes for Paige Fischer to risk everything - including her own life. (p 3)

October 25, 2020

The Mirror Man by Jane Gilmartin ~ a Review

by MK French

ViMed Pharmaceutical asks Jeremiah to be part of an illegal cloning experiment, which seems to be the perfect escape from his life. His mind is copied to the clone, and he's able to vicariously experience everything the clone does while he's living in luxury. But as he watches, his prior life spirals out of control and ViMed won't end the trial. They're willing to do anything to preserve their experiment, so Jeremiah has to save his family and confront himself.

October Wrap Up: A Month of Reading Treats

by Donna Huber

It's the last Sunday of the month which means I give a little update on life, the blog, and reading. Life feels like it has fallen into a nice routine. While I'm not doing things I did before the pandemic - no shopping (besides grocery runs) and no eating out (not even takeout) - I find that I no longer miss those things. I was able to read/listen to a lot of books this month.

October 24, 2020

Prospects of a Woman by Wendy Voorsanger ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"In early America, a woman was legally dependent on her father, then on her husband.  Upon marriage, a woman lost any right to control property that was hers prior and she had no rights to acquire any property during marriage.  She could not make contracts, keep or control her own wages or rents, transfer property, sell property or bring any lawsuit.  She had   little right to divorce and had no rights to her children if she left her husband."  (p1)

October 23, 2020

You're Pulling My Leg! by Allen Wolf ~ a Review & Interview

by MK French

You're Pulling My Leg! and its junior version involves bluffing your way through stories, and other plays have to vote if the story is true or not. Stories that have to be told are prompted by cards within each book. Guess correctly and earn a point, but make a mistake about whether the story is true or not and you lose a point. The first to twenty-one points wins. These are family games that you can play with extended family members over the holidays. In the times of COVID-19, it can easily be translated to virtual get togethers, too.

October 22, 2020

October 21, 2020

Swimmers and Abuse: A Cold and Quiet Place #NewFiction #YAFiction

by Alison DeLuca

Sometimes the deepest scars can be invisible.

I did a lot of research about competitive swimming and emotional abuse as I wrote A Cold and Quiet Place. This Young Adult novel is about a young swimmer who suffers horrible emotional abuse from her boyfriend, who is also a swimmer. 

October 20, 2020

The Paris Secret by Natasha Lester ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Cornwall, August 1928
"I can see your underwear."
Skye Penrose knew that the ordinary response of a ten-year-old girl to such a statement would be to stop cartwheeling along Porthleven pier like a gamboling star and restore her skirt to its proper position. Instead she paused to change direction, then turned two perfect cartwheels toward the boy who'd spoken. In the rush of her upward trajectory, she lunged at him and gave his trousers a swift tug, dislodging them from his waist and popping at least one button in the process. (p. 7)


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