Saturday, September 3, 2016

Book Review:Red Blood, Yellow Skin by Linda L.T. Baer


Here is how Amazon.com describes the book:

Red Blood, Yellow Skin is the story of a young girl's survival in war-torn Vietnam during the First Indochina War between France and Vietnam, the civil war between North and South Vietnam, and the later American involvement in the Vietnam War. Linda Baer was born Nguyen Thi Loan, in the village of Tao Xa, Thai Binh Province, in North Vietnam in 1947. When she was four years old, the Viet Minh attacked her village and killed her father, leaving Loan and her mother to fend for themselves. Seeking escape from impoverishment, her mother married a rich and dominating widower who was cruel to his free-spirited and mischievous stepdaughter. Loan found solace in the company of animals and insects and escaped into the branches of trees.


In 1954, her family chose to relocate to South Vietnam, rather than live under the yoke of communist North Vietnam. When Loan was thirteen, she ran away to Saigon to flee the cruelty of her stepfather and worked at menial jobs to help her family. At seventeen, she was introduced to bars, nightclubs, and Saigon Tea. At eighteen, she dated and lived with a young American airman.Two months after their baby was born, the airman returned to America, and Loan never heard from him again. She raised their son by herself. However, time healed her heart, and she eventually found true love in a young air force officer, whom she married and accompanied to America in 1971.

Red Blood, Yellow Skin is a story of romance, culture, traditions, and family. It describes the pain, struggle, despair, and violence as Loan lived it. The story is hers, but it is also an account of Vietnam of those who were uprooted, displaced, brutalized, and left homeless. It is about this struggle to survive and her extraordinary triumph over adversity that Baer writes.

Linda Baer was born Nguyen Thi Loan, in a small village in North Vietnam. Her family relocated to South Vietnam in 1954. She spent most of her youth in Saigon, where she met her husband. She followed him to America in 1971 and became an American citizen in 1973. She currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina, where she is a successful businesswoman.

My review: 
 Sometimes you read a book  and just know it is going to be a Bestseller,  that is what I felt for this book.  I LOVED this book!!  I grew up in the sixties and heard about what was going on in Vietnam through the news and in school, but nothing prepared me for Linda L.T Baer firsthand account of how difficult life was at that time.  As you read the book you are amazed that the author was able to live and survive and ultimately prosper after all that she had gone through.

Thank you to Netgalley and the Author for the privilege of reading this book for my honest review. Five stars!!
N.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Book Review: The Lives Between Us by Theresa Rizzo


This is how Amazon.com describes the book:

The Lives Between Us is about family and love. It's about desperate people doing what they need to, to save the ones they love. This book, Jodi Picoult style, is part love story and part social commentary. In the vein of JoJo Moyes, Me Before You.

How far would you go to save the one you love?

Grief-stricken reporter, Skylar Kendall, plots revenge on Michigan Sen. Hastings who opposed life-saving stem cell research and therapy. She gains access to Hastings, learning secrets that would launch her career and satisfy her need for retribution... 

Only, she hadn't counted on falling in love.

Winner of the 2016 National Indie Excellence Award for Women's Fiction, and finalist for the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Chick Lit and the 2015 USA Best Book Awards for Chick Lit/ Women's Fiction.


My review:
This would make a great Book Club book it is loaded with a controversial  subject that will have everyone adding to the conversation. The author Theresa Rizzo sheds light on the need for stem cell research and therapy but also shows the other side of  the debate.  It will opens your eyes to a subject that is not put in the news enough.

Thank you to Netgalley and Theresa Rizzo for the opportunity to read and review this book.  Definitely a 5 out of 5 stars!!!


Friday, May 27, 2016

Book review: Bloodlines by Lynn Lipinski


Here is how Amazon.com describs the book

.Fired from his job at the Tulsa Zoo, 26-year-old Zane Clearwater wakes from an alcohol-and cough syrup-induced blackout to learn his mother was killed the night before in a fire in their trailer-park home. Zane has no memory of that night-could he have set the blaze? The police have a lot of questions, but so do Zane and his 14-year-old sister Lettie. When he gets a mysterious text that indicates everything his mother told him about her past was a lie, Zane embarks on a journey of discovery that results in meeting his supposedly long-dead father. Jeremiah Doom has a dangerous streak as long as the Arkansas River and a shady, secretive life. Zane may share his father's Cherokee blood, but can he battle against the anger and violence that also lurks beneath the surface of his own skin? Is Zane destined to repeat the sins of his father?

My review:

This is a very good story of a young man that has his life turned upside down when his mother dies.  I did not want to put this book down.  A very good read. I would give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book for my honest review.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Book Review: Golden Earrings by Belinda Alexandra


Here is the description from Amazon.com:

For fans of Colleen McCullough, Kate Morton, and Lucinda Riley, a powerful saga of family, love, honor, and betrayal set in historical Barcelona and romantic Paris, from the author of Tuscan Rose.

“You who judge me: come! Let me tell you a story…” Paloma Batton is the granddaughter of Spanish refugees who fled Barcelona after the Civil War. A disciplined student attending the school of the Paris Opera Ballet, Paloma lets little get in the way of her career until she receives a mysterious pair of golden earrings. She begins exploring her Spanish heritage and becomes fascinated by la Rusa, a woman who rose from poverty to become one of the great flamenco dancers of modern times before committing suicide. As Paloma begins to unravel the secrets of the past, she discovers more than one person who had good reason for wanting la Rusa dead—including Paloma’s own grandmother.

Written with the same depth and emotion as Belinda Alexandra’s “rich, unforgettable saga” (Kimberly Freeman, author of Wildflower HillTuscan RoseGolden Earrings moves between two of the great cities of Europe: Barcelona in the lead-up to the Civil War and Paris in the 1970s. It is the story of two women and the extremes to which they are willing to go for love. And above all, it is a story of great passions—and great betrayals—where nothing is quite as it seems.

My review:
I really enjoyed reading this book.  Historical fiction is my favorite genre, although this is the first time I have read historical fiction about Spain during the Civil War and the lives of Gypsies, the writer brought the period to life.  The beginning of the book starting off with a supernatural twist had me hooked.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing this book for my honest review.


Book review: Arrowood by Laura McHugh


Here is the description from Amazon.com:

“This robust, old-fashioned gothic mystery has everything you’re looking for: a creepy old house, a tenant with a secret history, and even a few ghosts. Laura McHugh’s novel sits at the intersection of memory and history, astutely asking whether we carry the past, or whether it carries us.”—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of The Storyteller and Leaving Time

A haunting novel from the author of The Weight of Blood about a young woman’s return to her childhood home—and her encounter with the memories and secrets it holds

 
Arrowood is the most ornate and grand of the historical houses that line the Mississippi River in southern Iowa. But the house has a mystery it has never revealed: It’s where Arden Arrowood’s younger twin sisters vanished on her watch twenty years ago—never to be seen again. After the twins’ disappearance, Arden’s parents divorced and the Arrowoods left the big house that had been in their family for generations. And Arden’s own life fell apart: She can’t finish her master’s thesis; a misguided love affair has ended badly. She has held on to the hope that her sisters are still alive, and it seems she can’t move forward until she finds them. When her father dies and she inherits Arrowood, Arden returns to her childhood home determined to discover what really happened to her sisters that traumatic summer.
 
Arden’s return to the town of Keokuk—and the now infamous house that bears her name—is greeted with curiosity. But she is welcomed back by her old neighbor and first love, Ben Ferris, whose family, she slowly learns, knows more about the Arrowoods’ secrets and their small, closed community than she ever realized. With the help of a young amateur investigator whose website, Midwest Mysteries, is devoted to solving local cold cases, Arden tracks down the man who was the prime suspect in the kidnapping, though he was never convicted of the crime. But the house and the surrounding town hold their secrets close—and the truth, when Arden finds it, is more devastating than she ever could have imagined.
 
Arrowood is a powerful and resonant novel that examines the ways in which our lives are shaped by memory. As with her award-winning debut novel, The Weight of Blood, Laura McHugh has written a thrilling novel in which nothing is as it seems, and in which our longing for the past can take hold of the present in insidious and haunting ways.
 
My review:  I loved this book!!  I love good mystery where I can not figure out the ending.  This book kept me enticed as to whether she would ever find her sisters and also if she would ever be able to get on with her life.  I will definitely read more of Laura McHugh's books and highly recommend this book to others.

Thank you to Netgalley and the author of this book for an advanced copy for my honest review.  5 out of 5 stars for this one!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Book Review: Prevail by Cindy Trimm


Here is how Amazon.com describes Prevail.

Your problems don’t define you; they refine you.

Sometimes life feels like a roller coaster ride filled with ups, downs, twists, turns, and unexpected sudden drops. Instead of moving forward with peace and purpose, our lives spin out of control. When chaos and uncertainty threaten to make you feel helpless . . . what do you do?

Don’t let life’s detours take you for a ride. Get back in the driver’s seat!

In Prevail, life strategist, Dr. Cindy Trimm, reveals how you can turn problems into opportunities so no pitfall will throw you off course. Discover how you can:
  • See your current challenges as doorways to new levels of success
  • Break through barriers that keep you from enjoying life and loving the real you
  • Develop a winning perspective that positions you to prosper
  • Wake up every morning with a sense of meaning, purpose, dignity, and hope
Your success, fulfillment, satisfaction, and destiny await you on the other side of your struggles, fears, setbacks, and disappointments. In the same way that a diamond is brought to beauty through immense stress, your true strength of character, worth, and value are found by embracing the prospering power inherent in your problems.

You are tougher than your tough times.

Here is my review:

This was a very inspiring book.  I loved all of the quotes and inspiring advice.  This is a book to read over and over, and to pull out when you need a little encouragement .

Thank you to the publisher, the Author and Blogging for Books for my free copy of this book for my honest review.



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book Review: Driven to be loved by Pat Simmons


Here is how Amazon has the book described--

On the surface, Brecee Carmen has nothing in common with Adrian Cole. She is a pediatrician certified in trauma care; he is a transportation problem-solver for a luxury car dealership (a.k.a., a car salesman). Despite their slow but steady attraction to each other, neither one of them is sure that they're compatible. To complicate matters, Brecee is the sole unattached Carmen daughter when it seems as though everyone else around her, family and friends, is finding love. Through a series of discoveries, Adrian and Brecee learn that things don't always happen by coincidence. Generational forces are at work, keeping promises, protecting family members, and perhaps even drawing Adrian back to the church he had strayed from. Is it possible that God has been playing matchmaker all along?

My review:

I am a new fan of Pat Simmons. This is the first book I have read of her trilogy about the Carmen sisters but I will definitely  read the rest of the series.  I rate this book 5 stars.  I really enjoyed following along as Brecee Carmen and Adrian Cole meet and overcome obstacles for a true romance.

Thank you to the publisher and The Book Club Network for a copy of the book for my honest review.







Monday, March 21, 2016

Book Review: Kick-Start the New You by Ingrid Macher






Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book.  I really enjoyed reading the book. I enjoyed reading how the author lost 50 pounds and kept it off.  The recipes in back are an added bonus.  Lots of good weight loss tips that I didn't know. 



Here is how Amazon.com describes the book:
.By picking up this book, you have just taken the first and most important step to losing weight and staying healthy. Certified personal trainer and holistic health coach Ingrid Macher has spent years figuring out what works and what doesn't when it comes to weight loss. For the first time in English, she shares her secrets on how she lost over 50 pounds in 90 days—and kept it off! Don't think of this as a diet. Instead, use it as a manual to help you kick–start your new lifestyle, with Ingrid's simple, step–by–step tips. You will never look—or feel—the same again!

I received this book from Bookfun for my honest review.











Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Book Review: Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer


I really enjoyed this book.  I liked Dinah's story from the very beginning and her struggle to make a new life and overcome her past.  I liked the character Amos and was cheering for Amos and Dinah. Overall this book was very good read.  I would definitely recommend this book to my friends.

Here is Amazon's summary of the book"
A past filled with shame can be washed away with a love that conquers all 
Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amidst the secrets held in every dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn’t old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.
 
The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past. When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her.  Despite his self-consciousness about his handicapped leg and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ’s love. But can she ever accept a gift she so desperately needs?

My review:  I would rate this book a 5.  I received this book from Blogging for books for my honest review. 
       

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Book Review: The Silver Suitcase by Terrie Todd


The Silver Suitcase written by Terrie Todd is a unique story that was a pleasure to read.

Here is how Amazon describes the book:

It’s 1939, and Canada is on the cusp of entering World War II. Seventeen-year-old farm girl Cornelia has been heartbroken since the day her mother died five years ago. As a new tragedy provides Cornelia still more reason to reject her parent’s faith, a mysterious visitor appears in her hour of desperation. Alone and carrying a heavy secret, she makes a desperate choice that will haunt her for years to come. Never telling a soul, Cornelia pours out the painful events of the war in her diary.
Many decades later, Cornelia’s granddaughter, Benita, is in the midst of her own crisis, experiencing several losses in the same week, including the grandmother she adored. The resulting emotional and financial stress takes its toll on her and her husband, Ken, who is unemployed. On the brink of divorce, she discovers Cornelia’s diary. Now the secrets of her grandmother’s past will lead Benita on an unexpected journey of healing, reunion, and faith.

My review:  This is Terrie Todd's first novel and I hope it will not be the last.  Just her Epilogue in this story would make a great novel in my humble opinion.  I really liked learning about Cornelia through the diary.  I loved the ending of this book.  Overall I would rate this book 5 stars.

I received this book through Netgalley for my honest opinion.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Book Review: To Catch a Lady by Pamela Labud




If you want to read a book that is a light read and has characters that you will enjoy getting to know , then "To Catch a Lady" is for you.  I really enjoyed this book.  I wanted to read a book that was lighthearted, not too serious and just an enjoyable read for a few hours.  I found that in this book.  Ashton Blakely and Caroline Hawkins are their own worst enemies at times almost keeping themselves from being able to let themselves be loved.  I had to laugh at some of the plans or schemes that they planned and played on each other.  I did not want to put the book down because I wanted to see if they ever did get over themselves and just enjoy being married.

Here is how Amazon describes the book:
If you love Mary Balogh and Eloisa James, don’t miss Pamela Labud’s sensuous Hunt Club series! To Catch a Lady introduces four lordly, rakish sportsmen whose bachelor paradise is threatened by a matchmaking aunt—and by the sting of unexpected love.
 
Ashton Blakely, the Duke of Summerton, cannot stop his aunt from meddling in his affairs. So rather than let her select a most disagreeable mate, Ashton decides to fire the first volley by holding a ball as a scheme to bag the ideal wife: a deferential girl eager to produce and raise an heir, leaving Ashton to his beloved hunting lodge and titled friends. But when Ashton falls for the one woman who isn’t willing to play his game, all his plans scatter like buckshot. Suddenly, the chase is on!
 
Caroline Hawkins has no interest in marriage. In fact, she has devoted her life to defending women from the indignities visited upon them by their husbands. She only chaperones her beautiful younger sister to Summerton’s ball in the hopes of saving her family from bankruptcy. She certainly doesn’t expect to catch the Duke’s eye . . . nor is she prepared for the heat that rises every time she thinks of his powerful build or his dark, tantalizing gaze. Caroline can run, but she cannot hide—for Ashton has already captured her heart.


Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book for my honest review.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Book Review: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi


Here is a beautiful memoir written by Paul Kalanithi, a 35 year old Neurosurgeon, that was written while he battled and lost the war with Cancer.

Here is how Amazon.com describes the book:

For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a na├»ve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.

My thoughts:
This is an unforgettable book that was beautifully written by Paul Kalanithi and his wife Lucy.  Lucy Kalanithi writes where Paul had finished.  This is a book that should be read by Doctors and anyone else that loves an inspirational book.

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book for my honest review.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Book Review: The Family Caregiver's Guide by Harriet Hodgson




Here is the description from Amazon.com
Caring for a loved one at home. What s really involved? And what does it mean for your family and future? Tens of millions of Americans have had these questions and more as they prepare for this unsettling yet necessary task. The Family Caregiver s Guide fills in the gaps, connecting the dots between research and real life. Drawing on the author s extensive caregiving experience, this book provides strategies to care for your loved one,
inside and out, as well as for yourself including how to use your natural skills in your new role, and which skills you may need to add. You ll discover how to set up your home for caregiving, including a safety checklist, equipment suggestions, and words you should know. And for those days that are more than a handful, you ll find positive affirmations, a section on facing and accepting illness, and smart steps at the end of each chapter, in case you need guidance in a hurry. Caregiving has both rewards and challenges. But through it all, you ll discover what s most important that caregiving is love in action.

Here is my review-
This book is a very thorough guide for any Caregiver that is dealing with a family member that has Alzheimers.  It not only helps you to take care of someone else but also encourages you to take care of yourself in the process.  I highly recommend this book for not only caregivers but medical personnel as well.

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book and to give my honest review.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Book Review: A Girl's Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber


I was recently given the opportunity to read and review the newest novel by Debbie Macomber, talk about a dream come true!!!!  I have read almost all of her books and seen her movies and they never disappoint! Well Debbie Macomber's latest book "A Girls Guide to Moving On" does not disappoint either.

Here is Amazon.com's description of the book--

In this powerful and uplifting novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber, a mother and her daughter-in-law bravely leave their troubled marriages and face the challenge of starting over. Leaning on each other, Nichole and Leanne discover that their inner strength and capacity for love are greater than they ever imagined.
 
When Nichole discovers that her husband, Jake, has been unfaithful, the illusion of her perfect life is indelibly shattered. While juggling her young son, a new job, and volunteer work, Nichole meets Rocco, who is the opposite of Jake in nearly every way. Though blunt-spoken and rough around the edges, Rocco proves to be a dedicated father and thoughtful friend. But just as their relationship begins to blossom, Jake wagers everything on winning Nichole back—including their son Owen’s happiness. Somehow, Nichole must find the courage to defy her fears and follow her heart, with far-reaching consequences for them all.
 
Leanne has quietly ignored her husband’s cheating for decades, but is jolted into action by the echo of Nichole’s all-too-familiar crisis. While volunteering as a teacher of English as a second language, Leanne meets Nikolai, a charming, talented baker from Ukraine. Resolved to avoid the heartache and complications of romantic entanglements, Leanne nonetheless finds it difficult to resist Nikolai’s effusive overtures—until an unexpected tragedy tests the very fabric of her commitments.
 
An inspiring novel of friendship, reinvention, and hope, A Girl’s Guide to Moving On affirms the ability of every woman to forge a new path, believe in love, and fearlessly find happiness.

Here is my review of the book--

This is a book that you will want to read and pass on/recommend to your friends!  This is a good story with romance, friendship with a few unexpected twists thrown in.   Hopefully this will be made into a movie.

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this for my honest review.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Book Review: Death by the Book by Julianna Deering

Book Review: Death by the Book by Julianna Deering


I wanted to share with you a very clever book I just finished reading.  It is called "Death by the Book" and was written by Julianna Deering.  I love a good mystery novel and this one was no exception.  The story was very well written.  I was kept guessing who committed the murder until the very end, which I really appreciated.  Usually I just tend to stop reading if the mystery is solved before the end (sad, but true).  The author really made the characters likeable and I laughed a little at the interactions between the characters.  The conversations of the characters themselves really made it feel like I was there with them inside the story.

I don't like to spoil a good story, so if you would like to read a book that is a quick, enjoyable read, while still being a book that you don't want to put down (because you just have to know who the killer is), this book is for you. 

I want to thank Bethany House for a copy of this book to review with my honest opinion.
Enjoy!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Book Review: A Match Made in Texas by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Carol Cox

 
I just finished reading "A Match Made in Texas".   This book is a Novella Collection containing four stories written by four different authors.  In each of the stories a secret matchmaker is at work trying to help an unsuspecting female find her match.

     What a pleasure it was to read this book!  I really enjoyed every one of the stories.  The stories flowed so well into the next one it seemed like they were all written by the same author.  


   I did not want to put this book down.  The stories were funny, they had adventure, love and a setting that helped you escape.


  I want to say thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for an honest review.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Book Review: The Silent Children by Anna K. Boheim



I just finished reading a really good book that I HIGHLY recommend!!  

Here is the information about the book that Amazon.com shared.

Vienna, 1938: Something's amiss at the home of young Annabel Albrecht. First, her favourite maid Eva disappears, then her friend Oskar. Worse is to come – her brother is murdered and her mother is taken away, leaving Annabel to fend for herself. 

Almost 70 years later, Annabel's son Max uncovers his mother's long-buried past, and unlocks the secrets preserved by Annabel's missing friends. But as Max is to discover, some children can never be completely silenced. Is he haunted by ghosts or by guilt, and will he ever escape?The Silent Children is a gripping tale of tragedy and revenge, a modern-day ghost story that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

Here is my review:

This book will captivate you from the very first line.  If you like to read a book that you do not want to put down and that you can not predict how it will end, this one is for you.

Thank you to Netgalley for letting me review this book for my honest review.  I look forward to reading MORE book written by Anna L. Boheim.


Friday, January 1, 2016

Book Review: An Unlikely Suiter by Nancy Moser

An Unlikely Suitor

I just finished reading "An Unlikely Suitor" by Nancy Moser.  I really enjoyed this book.  I have even recommended it to my neighbor to take on her beach trip as a summer read.  When I started reading the book I did not want to put it down.  When I had to put the book down, it was very easy to pick up where I left off.  The book takes place in 1895 it has adventure, romance and a few great friendships.  
Thanks to Bethany House for my free copy in exchange for an honest review.