Friday, January 8, 2016


WHISPERS in the READING ROOM by SHELLEY GRAY

Lydia Bancroft loves her work at the library. She is surrounded by masterfully written books that are just waiting to be read. Her job is to work in the Reading Room where she helps patrons select books , issues library cards and sneaks in a bit of reading whenever possible  She is also trying to care for a very demanding mother while trying to pay bills after the death of her father. She definitely has  her hands full. Maybe she needs a little adventure in her life. A patron comes  in one day to the library whose name is  Sebastian Marks. Lydia notices him right away. What has caught her eye,  I wonder? Is it his dashing good looks,  his impeccable attire or maybe what books he has selected to read? Sebastian  is not the typical upstanding gentleman Lydia thinks he is. He runs a place where drinking and gambling take place, much like would be called a saloon . He is quite wealthy and is determined to make his life better then when he was growing up.his past is not pretty and he wants to erase it and move forward.  They say opposites attract and we are about to see what happens when these two people get together.

When Lydia finds out about Sebastian's gambling club , she ignores the seeming overprotective friends and stubbornly chooses to be with him. He is mysterious and that intrigues her. She wants excitement in her life and she gets that and more.  What happens one evening at the club will change Lydia forever. What did she witness? Is she responsible for  a crime?  The book is cleverly written with intrigue and a mystery that is sure to keep you glued to the pages. We get a glimpse of the seedy side of Chicago and it's dark and unsavory characters. The author  describes this time period with superb accuracy and makes the city come to life.


I loved the fact that Lydia was a librarian and I  felt connected to her right away as I worked at a library for fifteen years. You meet all types of people that are intriguing and friendly. Lydia is written with a fierce strength and willingness to support her mom . She does have an issue with trusting people and Sebastian will have her questioning if she can trust him or not. Don't miss this engaging story set in Chicago right after the World's Fair during the late 1890s. The story is fascinating with characters that must rely on faith , friendship and prayer to overcome obstacles. At the end  of the book, is several discussion questions that could be used in a book club or for personal use. They are thought provoking and helps you take a deeper look at the book and it's wonderful message of hope, love, faith and prayer.

I received a  copy of this book from The Fiction Guild for an honest review.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


ANNA 'S HEALING by VANNETTA CHAPMAN

Anna is the main character in this inspiring story about miracles. She has decided to leave her home in Indiana. She travels to Cody's Creek to stay with her aunt, uncle and grandmother. Anna begins to feel like this is where she is suppose to be and starts helping with the garden and selling at the produce stand.

Jacob is a troubled young man. He can't seem to stay in one place for long. He is a hard worker and finds himself in Cody's Creek . He soon finds work on Anna's uncles' farm. The two become friends and perhaps there is a spark of interest between the two.  On one particular day while they are working outside a tornado touches down on the  farm. Much of their  crop is destroyed and Anna has been critically injured.

When Anna's receives news that she has been paralyzed from the waist down , her heart sinks. She is use to helping out on the farm.The doctors have told her that she will never walk again.  Will her aunt and uncle find her a burden now that she is confined to a wheelchair? Can she find the strength to be happy again?


I won't spoil what the miracle is but I will say that it will have an impact on everyone in the community and sweeps across the country at rapid speed. Have you ever witnessed a miracle? Do you believe in miracles? The story has captured the Amish in beautiful detail. The author is well versed in the Amish and her descriptions are so precise that you can visualize  the community and the people as though you are there. I loved the way the author uses the Amish dialect and has helped me to learn a few words. The characters are warm and caring. They have a strong faith which will be tested later in the book. I was surprised that Amish use tractors now for transportation, but with the authors In-depth knowledge of them, I always learn something new while reading her books. I found the book to be very emotional and so well written that I finished it in a few hours. There are a few surprises in the book, which I wasn't expecting. Thank you for a book that captures the lives of the Amish with a warmth and loving attention to detail. As you read the book, don't overlook the mention of an organization that helps children called , The Linus Project.
Overall the book is captivating, emotional , hopeful and above all filled with love and faith.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


EVERGREEN by SUSAN MAY WARREN

This book is very well written as it deals with the empty nest syndrome. Ingrid and John are facing a Christmas alone, since their children can't make it home to spend the holidays with them. It is especially hard on Ingrid as  she feels the emptiness of the house closing in on her. There also seems to be a bit of a misstep in their marriage. Perhaps it is the past that is coming between them. Can they work through their pain and find happiness again?

I loved the story as it showed the struggles an older couple may encounter in their marriage. Can they trust God to help them? When an unexpected guest arrives during the holidays, what impact will it have on the couple? Can John help his wife smile again and embrace the holiday? The characters are well written with a depth of strength and hope. I love  the author's books because they always have a way of bringing you into the story with a calmness and gracefulness. This is one author you don't want to miss reading. She brings a story to life and keeps you mesmerized till the end.

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.

SASSY PANTS LEARNS ABOUT STRANGE CREATURES by CAROl A. BROWN

This is a great story about a curious little pig named SassyPants. She lives on a farm and begins to wonder what job she doesto be able to stay there. SassyPants encounters many stranger creatures that teach her valuable lessons. The animals on the farm all are friendly and willing to talk to SassyPants.  She visits each new animal and learns valuable things that will help her to be more confident and care about others.

I loved the animals and their unique charm and humor. The book is a great tool for young children to learn about good qualities to have and how to be a faithful friend. The illustrations were beautiful and fit perfectly with the story. You can't help but love SassyPants and her great adventures on the farm.

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016



Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours
presents

RACING FORWARD
by
Mica Mosbacher



Mica Mosbacher was barely hanging on. A single mother of a son, she worked in retail while she established a career as an award-winning writer. Feeling unlucky in romance after two failed marriages, she gave up on her dreams. In her early 40s, she met the love of her life, oilman mogul and 28th US Secretary of Commerce, Robert Mosbacher Sr. A modern day commoner who went on to meet and entertain heads of states and Royals, Mica turned out to be a kind of Houston Cinderella.Mica married her prince and soul mate only to lose him to pancreatic cancer leaving her heart broken. But instead of wallowing in pain, she decided to grieve forward. Her brother, a racecar driver, inspired her to learn to race a Ferrari. Testing her personal limits on the racetrack, she discovered her inner strength to move forward.Life brings losses on a regular basis. Whether it’s a garden variety loss or a life changing one―debilitating illness, divorce, death―it requires a resiliency, optimism and faith.

BUY LINKS



Excerpts from Chapter 8: Racing Ahead

We were intent on making a difference. My daughter-in-law often says that I like to make waves. So does Ellen [Cohen]! Together we united to create a tsunami. A vocal defender of sexual assault victims… (pg. 95)

It was a splendid ceremony, one that marked a middle-class “commoner” proving she was worthy of a prince. Letizia Ortiz represented the future of Spain in a progressive world. (pg.96)

I suppose that’s what reality is: a dream-like experience shattered with the clanging of an emergency. No wonder we lose ourselves in fairy tales. (pg. 97)

I recall being dropped off within walking distance amid a sea of protestors. I admit I was nervous—the protestors seemed very hostile—but I was also upset. While they may not have agreed with Reagan’s policies and actions as President, making a scene at his funeral was, more than anything, disrespectful. (pg. 97)

We [also] saluted our country, which we both held most dear. It was hard not to be affected, after having so recently said good-bye to an American President beloved by many. I remain impressed with Ronal Reagan to this day. He was able to connect with people and bridge differences. In this era of partisan bickering, our country could use someone like him. (pg. 99)





Michele (Mica) Mosbacher, widow of the 28th U.S. Secretary of Commerce and oilman Robert Mosbacher, Sr., was commissioned as an Honorary Consul of Iceland, Houston and Central Texas, in 2010 by the Foreign Ministry of Iceland. She is an author, motivational speaker and proud sponsor of Godstone Ranch Motorsports, a family professional motorsports team that races for charitable causes.

She currently serves on the boards of the Houston Ballet, University of

Houston; and was appointed by Governor Perry to the steering committee of the Aga Khan Foundation. Mica previously served as a director of the American Hospital Foundation, receiving the board’s highest honor presented by Ambassador Howard Leach at the United States Embassy in Paris.

Focused on education, Mica previously served as on the University of Houston’s Board of Regents and the board of Strake Jesuit Prepartory School. Mica implemented Best Friends, a character education program and the Raol Wallenberg Heroes program in the Houston Independent School District in the late 90s.

Mica has chaired numerous charitable fundraisers including Houston Ballet

Ball, Woodrow Wilson Gala, Museum of Fine Arts Costume Institute and American Hospital of Paris Foundation. With her husband Bob, she co-chaired the M.D. Anderson Milestones and Miracles celebration, honoring President George H.W. Bush, that raised more than $10 million (a record at the time). M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s pastoral outreach group honored Mica, and she was named Pacesetter of the Year by the Cancer Assistance League.

In April of 2011, Houston Mayor Anise Parker honored her with “Mica Mosbacher Day” for her initiation of the prominent public art installation, “On Tolerance,” featuring sculptures by world-class sculptor, Jaume Plensa.



In 2013, Mica was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen to the Order of St. John; in 2012 she was awarded the Silver Good Citizenship Medal, the highest honor from the Texas Society, Sons of the American Revolution. She was named Philanthropist of the Year in 2007 by TAASA (Texas Association Against Sexual Assault). Mica was named Knight Commander of the Order of King Francis I.

In 2008, Mica was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame along with Barbara Bush and other prominent Houstonians. A journalist, she has received prestigious writing awards for feature articles. Her career began in 1972, when as an intern at KPRC-TV/NBC in Houston, she was among the first female reporters on camera and radio and while an intern, Mica acquired an exclusive interview during a famous murder trial. She later pursued a career in print journalism and freelance writing.

A longtime horse lover, Mica is a former champion in the American Saddleseat Amateur Walk-Trot Division. She won her first horse show at the Dallas State Fair riding J Miller and was trained by Charles Smith at Tri-Oaks Stables in Houston.

Active in political fundraising, Mica has served as a co-chair on many statewide and national campaigns.

Born in Gainesville, Florida, Mica resides in Houston and Austin.














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Monday, January 4, 2016


WHERE TREASURE HIDES by JOHNNIE ALEXANDER

I really enjoy reading historical fiction and finding out intriguing  facts about the time period. This book is set during World War II and the details are so vivid I felt like I was there in the midst the struggles that people were enduring. Alison is a brilliant artist and has a job in her family's art gallery in Amsterdam. She is alone in the world except for her grandfather. When her mother died, the grieve was to much for her father and he left Alison to continue her life with her grandfather. Does she have problems with feeling abandoned by those she loves?

Ian is a British Army Captain who comes to the aid of a young child. The child is playing violin in the Waterloo Station and Ian is seen by Alison helping the child out. She finds the encounter fascinating and begins to do a sketch of the two. Will Ian see her and find her intriguing? Will there be sparks between these two people ?

As Hitler begins his trek for power, the author does an incredible job of writing  about what People were going through to survive. . It was a time of despair and chaos. No one seemed to be safe and Alison risks her own safety to work with the Dutch Underground to find safe places for Jewish children. Ian is in combat and sees the horrors of war. . The story is intriguing, powerful and filled with history that is overwhelming to read at times. The writer has captured a story of survival and love and made a rich captivating book that  is hard to put down.

I received a copy if this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.

THE LADYBUG BUDDIES GREAT SKYDIVING ADVENTURE by JASON GRAHAM

What a cute story for kids to read. I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this amazing book. It made me smile and chuckle as I took an adventure with two ladybugs. The writing is great and easy for young children to understand. The main theme is about being a buddy. We all want friends and in this story it illustrates the importance of being a buddy and sticking by them. The best thing a buddy can do is encourage and stand with their buddy in good times and bad times. What an adventure they went on as they overcame fear and took that leap of faith as they experienced skydiving. The illustrations are very cute and appealing . I loved the message in the story which is to stick by your buddy and know that God has your back. I can't wait to read the next adventure these cute little ladybugs will go on.

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


MESSED UP MEN of the BIBLE by TINA SAMPLES & DAVE SAMPLES

As I was growing up I always looked up to my dad as a role model, but unfortunately he was not  the role model I had hoped for. "When father's struggle with being authentic, they leave muddy footprints on little girls' hearts."  But I have learned over the years that he wasn't perfect and I still honor and respect him today even though he has passed away.He was a messed up man but God saw past his imperfections and ordained him as a pastor of a church.

Women sometimes feel like they need to help their husband out when they mess up. What  we really need to be doing is encouraging him, listening  to him, praying for him and waiting on God. . Sometimes I think God needs a little help, but I end up getting in the way. I've learned that God doesn't need any help. He has this. He is there watching over our husbands and knows exactly what they need.

My husband is very talented and smart. He can airbrush murals that are breathtaking and his intelligence is amazing to me. There have been times in his job when he has been discouraged but the best thing I could do for him was pray and stand beside him. Nothing is more true than " the greatest need a woman needs is to feel secure." When that security is taken away, we feel lost and vulnerable. But God wants us to trust Him and know that even though we go through hard times, He is still there and He has a plan.

The book gives us twelve men from the bible and breaks down what each was having problems with. It is very in depth and gives great examples about control , depression, and other issues that the men had to face and overcome. It gives readers practical tools to apply to help our men feel confident and loved. I loved the examples of six things that men fear. They are authority, disrespect, feeling insignificant , failure, illness or death, and women. Those are big things to be fearful of, but God doesn't want us to live in fear. We can't fix our "messed up men" but we can pray for them as God changes them and they become warriors. Thank you for sharing your personal stories throughout the book. The book was very insightful with scriptures and bible studies at the end of every chapter to help us apply what we read . "Remember , it's not about changing messed up men but walking with them and coming to see them as God sees them."

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review."