Friday, September 30, 2016

After Paris by Renny deGroot - #review #giveaway


Liesbeth Zwart forges her identity with courage and aptitude while nursing in France during WW1. As Liesbeth Bos, she feels that identity melting away; the skills she needed as a nurse in Paris are of little use to her as a wife and mother in post-war Netherlands.

As she grapples to adjust to her new reality, she is confronted with a shocking discovery that sends her fleeing with her young daughter to start a new life in Canada. The New World forces Liesbeth to reassess her own life and beliefs, but will it be enough to save her fractured family?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Honor Bound by B. J. Daniels - #review


Protecting her life will mean betraying her trust 

Ainsley Hamilton has always been the responsible one of the family. As the oldest daughter of presidential candidate Buckmaster Hamilton, she’s also a potential target. For months she’s sensed someone following her. When an expedition to scout locations for a commercial takes a terrifying turn, she’s rescued by a natural-born cowboy who tempts the good girl to finally let loose.
,br/> Sawyer Nash knows just how reckless it is to fall for someone he’s gone undercover to protect. Yet masquerading as an extra on set, he starts to see beneath Ainsley’s controlled facade. And with the election—and a killer—drawing closer, Sawyer stands to lose not just his job and his life but the woman for whom he’d gladly risk both.

Marrow by Elizabeth Lesser - #review


The author of the New York Times bestseller Broken Open returns with a visceral and profound memoir of two sisters who, in the face of a bone marrow transplant—one the donor and one the recipient—begin a quest for acceptance, authenticity, and most of all, love.

A mesmerizing and courageous memoir: the story of two sisters uncovering the depth of their love through the life-and-death experience of a bone marrow transplant. Throughout her life, Elizabeth Lesser has sought understanding about what it means to be true to oneself and, at the same time, truly connected to the ones we love. But when her sister Maggie needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life, and Lesser learns that she is the perfect match, she faces a far more immediate and complex question about what it really means to love—honestly, generously, and authentically.

Hoping to give Maggie the best chance possible for a successful transplant, the sisters dig deep into the marrow of their relationship to clear a path to unconditional acceptance. They leave the bone marrow transplant up to the doctors, but take on what Lesser calls a “soul marrow transplant,” examining their family history, having difficult conversations, examining old assumptions, and offering forgiveness until all that is left is love for each other’s true selves. Their process—before, during, and after the transplant—encourages them to take risks of authenticity in other aspects their lives.

But life does not follow the storylines we plan for it. Maggie’s body is ultimately too weak to fight the relentless illness. As she and Lesser prepare for the inevitable, they grow ever closer as their shared blood cells become a symbol of the enduring bond they share. Told with suspense and humor, Marrow is joyous and heartbreaking, incandescent and profound. The story reveals how even our most difficult experiences can offer unexpected spiritual growth. Reflecting on the multifaceted nature of love—love of other, love of self, love of the world—Marrow is an unflinching and beautiful memoir about getting to the very center of ourselves.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Bookish Mondays - 26 September 2016

     


   

Thanks to Stephanie of Tynga's Reviews, Kathryn at Book Date, Ramona at Create With Joy and Janice at Mostly Blogging for hosting these respective link-ups!  (Click on the buttons to go to the respective blogs.)

STACKING THE SHELVES

These books came in the mail or UPS in the past week.  Covers link to GoodReads.


Nano-synopsis:   The joys and heartaches of adoption.


Micro-synopsis:  Girl loses father.  Girl meets wealthy extended family.  Girl meets suave continental type - does he love her or her money more?

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IT'S MONDAY.  WHAT ARE YOU READING?

I've just finished or will finish these today.  They'll be reviewed this week here on the blog.  Covers linked to GoodReads.


Micro Review: First Daughter meets Montana cowboy.  Sparks ensue.


Micro Review:  Sometimes life forces you to choose what is important.

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THE INSPIRATION TWINS!


Have a super week, y'all!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Life After Coffee by Virginia Franken - #review


When globe-trotting coffee buyer, Amy O’Hara, assures her husband—who stays at home to watch the kids—that it is He Who Has it Harder… she doesn’t really believe it. That is, until the day she gets laid off, her husband decides to devote all his waking hours to writing a screenplay, and she discovers she’s actually the world’s most incompetent mother.

Amy’s only possible salvation is to find another high-flying job as quickly as possible, but with the coffee industry imploding around her—and the competing buyers in her field being much hipper prospects—things look pretty dire. Even if Amy does manage to find full-time employment ever again, as her life slowly becomes more and more entwined with her children’s, how will she be able to bear leaving them to travel for weeks on end?

When salvation appears in the form of a movie-mogul ex-boyfriend who wants to employ her husband and rekindle their relationship, Amy starts to find she’s sorely tempted…

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson - #review


Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff-style Ponzi scheme, she’s flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time in decades, and to ensure the timely delivery of her manuscript, her New York publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. The prickly Mimi reluctantly complies—with a few stipulations: No Ivy-Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane.

When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she’s put to work right away—as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric nine-year-old, a boy with the wit of Noel Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth-graders.

As she slowly gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who Frank’s father is, how his gorgeous “piano teacher and itinerant male role model” Xander fits into the Banning family equation—and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.

Full of heart and countless “only-in-Hollywood” moments, Be Frank with Me is a captivating and unconventional story of an unusual mother and son, and the intrepid young woman who finds herself irresistibly pulled into their unforgettable world.

Friday, September 16, 2016

In Search of the One: How to Attract the Relationship You've Longed For by Randy Siegel



In Search of The One: How to Attract the Relationship You've Longed For
By Randy Siegel
Genre: Self Help – Relationship, Family, Parenting


Are you longing for your soul mate…the perfect life partner…“The One”—but aren’t sure how to attract the right romantic relationship into your life?  Or perhaps you’re already in a relationship—even a long-term one—but you secretly wonder if there might be someone out there with whom you’d be better suited? Cinderella, don’t give up on the prince!
Drawing from personal experience as well as insight from a wide array of experts, In Search of The One: How to Attract the Relationship You’ve Longed explores how to:


  • Debunk the myths around “The One” and stop savior seeking.
  • Examine the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual components of longing for a romantic relationship.
  • Convert longing into loving so that you can become your best self and live your best life.
  • Attract or rebuild a relationship so great that you could only imagine it until now.


In In The Search for The One, Randy Siegel explains that the true source of all longing is to be seen, heard, understood, and loved for all we are. By redirecting our focus on three psycho-spiritual paths—the evolution of the unconscious to the conscious self, the defended to the authentic self, and the higher to the divine self—we can find peace and grow personally while attracting a special kind of romantic relationship—a spiritual partnership—into our life.
The distance between longing and love is not as great as you might think.


About the Author



Randy Siegel believes that love and work give us the greatest potential for growth because that’s where our inner challenges are most visible. Since 1998, Siegel has inspired thousands of professionals worldwide to “stand in their power by becoming the full expression of all they are” for such organization as the Recording Academy (The Grammy Awards), State Farm Insurance, and the American Alliance of Museums.
Siegel has written five books including Break Up, Wake Up, Move On: From Broken Heart to Open Heart: Prepare for the Partner You’ve Always Longed For. He’s written articles for Balance Magazine, the Washington Post, and other publications and is frequently quoted by
the media. Siegel, his partner, Don, and their dog, Loodle the Poodle, divide their time between Asheville, North Carolina and Saint Simons Island, Georgia.

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SPECIAL OFFER: For a limited time—September 16 through 20—readers can download a complimentary copy of In Search of The One: How to Attract the Relationship You’ve Longed For, by visiting Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I6XFW8W

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Finding Libbie by Deanna Lynn Sletten - #review


Poring over a dusty hatbox of photographs in her grandmother’s closet, Emily Prentice is shocked to discover her father was married to his high school sweetheart before meeting her mother.

In the summer of 1968, Jack and Libbie fall in love under the spell of their small town, untouched by the chaos of the late sixties. Though Libbie’s well-to-do parents disapprove of Jack’s humble family and his aspiration to become a mechanic, she marries Jack a year after they graduate high school. But soon their happiness crumbles as Libbie’s mental state unravels and she is drawn to alcohol and drugs. Despite his efforts to help her, Jack loses the woman he loves and is forced to move on with his life.

Now that Emily’s mother has passed away, Jack is alone again, and Emily grows obsessed with the beautiful woman who had given her father such joy. Determined to find Libbie, Emily pieces together the couple’s fragmented past. But is it too late for happy endings?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly - #review


The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Murder at Rough Point by Alyssa Maxwell - #review


In glittering Newport, Rhode Island, status is everything. But despite being a poorer relation to the venerable Vanderbilts, Emma Cross has shaped her own identity—as a reporter and a sleuth.

As the nineteenth century draws to a close, Fancies and Fashion reporter Emma Cross is sent by the Newport Observer to cover an elite house party at Rough Point, a “cottage” owned by her distant cousin Frederick Vanderbilt that has been rented as an artist retreat. To her surprise, the illustrious guests include her estranged Bohemian parents—recently returned from Europe—as well as a variety of notable artists, including author Edith Wharton.

But when one of the artists is discovered dead at the bottom of a cliff, Rough Point becomes anything but a house of mirth. After a second murder, no one is above suspicion—including Emma’s parents. As Newport police detective Jesse Whyte searches for a killer, Emma tries to draw her own conclusions—with the help of Mrs. Wharton. But with so many sketchy suspects, she’ll need to canvas the crime scenes carefully, before the cunning culprit takes her out of the picture next . . .

Monday, September 12, 2016

Monsterland by Michael Phillip Cash - #review


Welcome to Monsterland – the scariest place on Earth. All guests can interact with real vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by an actual werewolf on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville. Wyatt Baldwin, a high school student and life-long movie buff is staring bleakly at a future of flipping burgers. Due to a fortuitous circumstance, Wyatt and his friends are invited to the star-studded opening of Monsterland. In a theme park full of real vampires, werewolves and zombies, what could possibly go wrong?

Monday Bookish Post - September 12, 2016

     


   

Thanks to Tynga of Tynga's Reviews, Kathryn at Book Date, Ramona at Create With Joy and Janice at Mostly Blogging for hosting these respective link-ups!  (Click on the buttons to go to the respective blogs.)

STACKING THE SHELVES

Last Monday (September 5th), I reviewed Heather Haven's new Alvarez Family Mystery, The CEO Came DOA.  Later that day, I was doing the reader's happy dance as I was able to obtain the first four books in the series:

  

  

This last one came through the OnlineBookClub.Org.  I have to admit that it gets extra points with me just for being set in my home state of Kentucky:


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IT'S MONDAY; WHAT ARE YOU READING?


(I'll be posting a review for this book tomorrow, Tuesday 13 September, 2016, here on the blog.)  My first experience with Alyssa Maxwell's work was with Murder Most Malicious, the first book in the "A Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery" series.  I'm enjoying this new book every bit as much and have put the entire "A Gilded Newport Mystery" series on my TBR.

~~~oOo~~~

And for my friends at the "Inspire Me Mondays" link-ups, I hope this brings a little smile to your face:


Have a great week, y'all!



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Carry On by Lisa Fenn - #review


In the spirit of The Blind Side comes a deeply moving memoir about the unexpected bonds that would transform three lives.

Lisa Fenn produced human-interest features for ESPN for over a decade, but one particular story came into her life and never left. After seeing a newspaper image of two young wrestlers from one of Cleveland’s tougher public high schools, Lisa followed a hunch and flew back to her hometown to meet the boys that very day. What she found caused her spirit both to sink and to soar.

Leroy Sutton, who lost his legs in a childhood train accident, could often be found riding on the back of Dartanyon Crockett, who was legally blind and had no permanent place to call home. Initially drawn together by their handicaps, the boys soon developed a brother-like bond. When one wrestled, the other sat on the edge of the mat, and their cheerful friendship was a source of inspiration throughout the halls of their high school.

As Lisa filmed her feature about this remarkable friendship for ESPN, she grew to understand the suffering Leroy and Dartanyon had endured, and she fought for their trust and their confidence. The three formed a surprising and meaningful connection—and once the television story ended, Lisa realized she couldn’t just walk away.

Though Leroy’s and Dartanyon’s futures were limited by abject poverty, Lisa resolved to give them the chance she knew they deserved. She worked tirelessly to see them through school and athletic pursuits, broken hearts, phantom limbs, and the bewildering obstacles that, at every turn, tested their individual strengths even while strengthening the bonds between them.

More than a story of two underdogs overcoming innumerable hardships, Carry On is a touching tale of an unlikely family forged through barriers of race, class, and disability. It is a powerful memoir about grit, love, hope, and faith—and the courage to carry on, even in the most extraordinary circumstances.

Beyond Dead by Jordaina Sydney Robinson - #review


Dead less than twenty-four hours, with a job that doesn’t pay, a fashion disaster for a uniform and more afterlife rules than she can shake a stick at, Bridget Sway thinks it’s as bad as it can get. And then she finds a dead ghost stuffed in her locker.

Since the police are desperate to arrest her for murder, Bridget’s new best friend convinces her the only way to save herself from an eternity in prison is to solve the murder themselves.

With a handsome parole officer watching her every move, an outlaw ghost befriending her and two persistent mediums demanding her attention, solving the murder is not quite as easy as it sounds. And when “murder” turns into “murders” Bridget needs to solve the case … before she becomes the next dead body stuffed in her locker.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The CEO Came DOA by Heather Haven - #review #giveaway


Lee Alvarez takes a job ferreting out the saboteur of a start-up company’s Initial Public Offering in the heart of Silicon Valley. Little does she know early one morning she will find the CEO hanging by the neck in the boardroom wearing nothing but his baby blue boxers. Was it suicide? Or was it one of the many people who loathed the man on sight, including his famous rock singer ex? Enter the world’s scariest drug, Devil’s Breath, and the bodies start piling up all the while she’s planning her very own Christmas wedding. Ho, ho, ho.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Nine LiFelines by Joyce Ann Brown - #review #giveaway


The elevator won’t go to the tenth floor, someone is breaking into condos, and the well-heeled Ukrainian renter isn’t paying the rent. Beth and Arnie have retired to the building where Beth’s last rental unit is located, and Beth, the klutzy landlady, has declared herself through solving mysteries. Then, her renter is arrested for the murder of the neighbor who fell (was pushed?) from the tenth-story balcony and the dead neighbor’s grandchildren are left with only their wheelchair-ridden grandmother to care for them. Beth feels compelled to help out.

Are Sylvester’s psycho-cat behaviors providing clues? Is the renter actually the killer? Do the break-ins and elevator problem have anything to do with the murder? Even Arnie, who has always told Beth to keep her nose out of police business, gets involved—for the sake of the children.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Readers Imbibing Peril XI - reading challenge


Carl Anderson, of the blog Stainless Steel Droppings, is hosting his "Readers Imbibing Peril" Reading Challenge (now in its 11th year) from now until the end of October.  Abigail Larson designed the graphic.

There are a couple of levels:

Peril the First - four books in one or more of the following genres:  Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic, Horror, or Dark Fantasy

Peril the Second - two books as above

Peril the Third - 1 book as above

as well as

Peril of the Short Story - one or more short stories

Peril on the Screen - adaptations for the small or large screens

Peril in Play - for the gamers amongst us.

As I've got a lot of tours booked for the coming months, I'm starting at the very lowest level and committing to reading one book in a dark genre.  If these are amongst your favorite genres, why not join and commit to perils one or two?

Click on the graphic at the top to go to the sign-up page!


Book List:

1.  

The Boy Who Wanted Wings by James Conroyd Martin - #releaseday

02_The Boy Who Wanted Wings

The Boy Who Wanted Wings 

by James Conroyd Martin

Publication Date: September 1, 2016
Hardcover ISBN: 97809978994516
Paperback ISBN: 9780997894509
358 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

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 Aleksy, a dark-complexioned Tatar raised by a Polish peasant family, holds in his heart the wish is to become a Polish hussar, a lancer who carries into battle a device attached to his back that holds dozens of eagle feathers. As a Tatar and as a peasant, this is an unlikely quest. When he meets Krystyna, the daughter of the noble who owns the land that his parents work, he falls hopelessly in love. But even though she returns his love, race and class differences make this quest as impossible as that of becoming a hussar. Under the most harrowing and unlikely circumstances, one day Aleksy must choose between his dreams.

On the eve of September 11, 1683, a massive Muslim Ottoman horde was besieging the gates of the imperial city of Vienna and had been doing so since the previous July. Now, however, they were just hours from capturing this capital of the Holy Roman Empire. The Turks’ intent was to bring Islam to all of Europe, and this city was seen by East and West alike as the gateway. With the window of time closing for Vienna, the walls were about to be breached on September 12 when the vastly outnumbered Christian coalition, led by Polish King Jan III Sobieski and his famous winged hussars, descended Kahlenberg Mountain to engage the Turks in an attempt to lift the siege. As crucial and consequential as the 1066 Battle of Hastings, the ensuing battle changed the course of European history.

(Was it the first 9/11? Some people believe that the date for the September 11th attack in 2001 was chosen to symbolically resume the effort that began in 1683.)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Praise

“A poor archer in medieval Poland takes aim at the love of his life in this epic novel from Martin. The anxious Aleksy Gazdecki, a young farmhand, embodies the ethnic and political tensions of Europe during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. The believability of this novel, which is sprinkled with period-specific details, is never in question. Martin sets the stage so tidily that the plight of Aleksy and Krystyna, who desire to move beyond the social classes that keep them apart, transcends the historical moment. Sprawling but never slow, the plot moves naturally from battle to intimacy and back again. A gripping, transporting story of self-determination set against fate.” ~Kirkus Reviews

"Amidst class and religious warfare, this alternately romantic and brutal love story is also a reminder that the struggle between Christianity and Islam is a great deal older than 2001. Culminating in the re-creation of the Siege of Vienna in 1683, where monstrous killing was perpetrated in the name of God and power, this is a meticulously researched and convincingly written tale of love’s triumph that will surprise historical fiction readers with its little known historical backdrop. In an ethnically diverse Poland that is now long gone, the main characters struggle with loyalties to family, race, and country as they come to understand that no fear or evil is unchangeable." ~Leonard Kniffel, Past Editor in Chief of American Libraries Director, Polish American Librarians Association

About The Poland Trilogy


04_The Poland Trilogy

Based on the diary of a Polish countess who lived through the rise and fall of the Third of May Constitution years, 1791-94, Push Not the River paints a vivid picture of a tumultuous and unforgettable metamorphosis of a nation—and of Anna, a proud and resilient woman. Against a Crimson Sky continues Anna’s saga as NapolĂ©on comes calling, implying independence would follow if only Polish lancers would accompany him on his fateful 1812 march into Russia. Anna’s family fights valiantly to hold onto a tenuous happiness, their country, and their very lives. Set against the November Rising (1830-31), The Warsaw Conspiracy depicts partitioned Poland’s daring challenge to the Russian Empire. Brilliantly illustrating the psyche of a people determined to reclaim independence in the face of monumental odds, the story features Anna’s sons and their fates in love and war.

About the Author


03_James Conroyd Martin


James Conroyd Martin is the award-winning author of The Poland Trilogy (Push Not the River, Against a Crimson Sky, & The Warsaw Conspiracy), a saga inspired by the diary of a countess in 1790s Poland. Hologram: A Haunting was inspired by a house he lived in in Hammond, Indiana. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon.

For more information please visit James Conroyd Martin's website. You can also connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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