Saturday, December 24, 2016


ILL MET BY MURDER by ELIZABETH J. DUNCAN

The book is a great and entertaining cozy mystery. The details are so good that I might possibly have been on stage with the characters. The story goes at a good pace and I found myself really enjoying the book. It was an interesting concept to have the story set during a production of none other than  a Shakespeare play. That sure does bring back memories from school when i had to learn lines from his multitude of plays.

It's time for another big time production at the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company. The town is all excited as it brings in a much needed fundraising. Paula Van Dusen reminds me of a snotty well to do person who has many ties to wealthy people. She is known to be the biggest name around to bring in the money when needed. It just so happens that this year's production also will include a celebration for her daughter's upcoming wedding. Now how convenient is that? Two parties for the price of one sounds a little fishy but we will have  to see if Paula can pull it off.

Things don't go well as the party gets into full swing. The bride and her fiancĂ© have a little competition going with a fellow guest at the party. What a coincidence that Adrian  the fiancĂ© is a real estate mogul and who else is there? Well it's none other than his biggest enemy oops I mean competitor Hugh. Who do you suppose is found dead at the fundraiser?

Charlotte who has become an amateur sleuth .  With her able assistant  they decide to snoop or perhaps look around for clues. Why does it feel a little chilly among the bridesmaids? Do they know something about the murder?  The tension mounts as fingers are pointed and hypothetical guesses are made on why there was a murder? Is it tied to Adrian and his real estate dealings? Is he hiding something from everyone? The story is a fun read with a cast of wonderful  characters. There are secrets and twists that will have  readers on the edge of their seat. Will Charlotte and her side kick find  themselves in danger as  they try to  unravel this fun mystery?

I received a copy of this book from The Goodreads Giveaway Program. This is my honest opinion.

AND THE GREATEST OF THESE by JOE PRITCHARD

Mental health for some is a very hard subject to talk about. If it gets brought up, you can see people start to get uncomfortable. They don't know what to say and sometimes people are pushed aside when they desperately need help. I loved this book because it brought a tough subject to the forefront. Why are people who have mental illness classified as crazy? That is the stigma that society has labeled them. In this book the author really did a good job of letting us see the inner workings of an ER department and the procedures they use to help the mentally challenged. What if your grandparents were suddenly found at an ER and your granddad was being evaluated by the psych department?

John and Maggie find themselves on a roller coaster ride when John is examined and determined that it is in his best interest to be admitted. How do you explain to someone who is temporary not thinking clearly that he needs to stay for his own safety? It doesn't  help when you can hear staff complaining and realize you have  to leave your husband of over fifty years in their care. Maggie must have felt helpless.  I loved John and Maggie's story and the deep love they had for each other. Will they be able to get through the red tape and get John the help he needs?

I was overwhelmed with all the paperwork they had to endure and frustrations of trying to get the best care for John. Michael is a great character and I loved his bedside manners. He treats his patients with kindness and I loved how he slowly became part of John and Maggie's inner circle. His determination to help this couple was refreshing and emotional.  Some of the staff sure don't have any patience when it comes to the psych ward. It must be scary for a patient to be there and sense that no one cares. The book is very good and really details the ongoing problem with mental illness. Well John get the help he needs or will he get lost in the bureaucratic system? I was very impressed with the storyline and I fell in love with John and Maggie. There are some very emotional moments in the book that broke my heart as I felt myself sitting  there watching the story unfold in front of me. I became invested in the story and eagerly turned the pages in anticipation of what was to happen next. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand the struggles patients have with mental illness and a doctor who cared enough to help them.

I received a copy of this book from The Goodreads Giveaway program. The review is my honest opinion.

Friday, December 23, 2016


THE OTHER SIDE OF REASON : A JOURNAL ON PTSD by DAVID GIBSON

The book is an account of a tragedy that happened to David Gibson.  If you have ever experienced a traumatic event then this book may bring back some unwanted memories but is not intended to be a self help book. I know first hand what PTSD can do to a person. It is not easy for others to understand but it is real and at times very emotionally draining. I appreciate the authors willingness to share his story with openness and honesty.

Who knew that September 18, 2013 would turn into a disaster for passengers on a bus that ultimately resulted in a crash with a train? Who was to blame for that accident? It was later decided that the driver of the bus was at fault. On that fateful day five lives were lost. Those that survived were left to recover from physical and emotional pain. David  now must face the aftermath of going through a traumatic event. No one can truly understand the full impact that PTSD has on someone unless you experience it yourself.

David tells us through poems and writings the nightmares, the struggles, the pain, the anger and helplessness he faced everyday. His poems at times might seem like rambles but for a PTSD person they make absolute sense. It is hard to put into words the inner struggles you face and I myself find it easier to write my thoughts down. I appreciate the  author sharing his story and shining a light on PTSD. Many people deal with it everyday and this book is one that hopefully will reach people and make them aware that PTSD is real and people live with it everyday.

I received a copy of this book from Librarything's Early Reader program. This is my honest review.

DIASTER FALLS by STEPHANE GERSON

This is a very emotional and heartbreaking story to read. I found myself needing to take breaks from the book many times. Losing a child has to be the most difficult thing to go through. As Stephane tells the story of his son Owen I could feel the gut wrenching pain he and his family have gone through. Do you ever get over the loss of a child? I don't think you ever do and I'm sure there are days that are more difficult than others.

A fun family rafting adventure turns to tragedy when Owen tragically drowns. There is no way to predict that the day would turn to grief as the family enjoyed their trip on the Green River. I can't imagine hearing your son saying "this is the best day of my life" and in a blink of an eye Owen is gone. How safe is river rafting? Did the guide make sure that the family understood all the dangers involved in the excursion? I can't imagine the guilt and torment Stephane feels at the loss of his son. The decision to put Owen in a smaller raft that fateful day will haunt Stephane for a very long time. Parents do everything they can to protect their children. Sometimes accidents  happen that we have no control over.

Owen's family they must have been in shook when the realization hit them that he  was gone. Stephane writes with a  gripping and honest look at the toil it takes on him and his family. I appreciated his willingness to share his story.  There are no parent books that warn us about every danger our children may face . We do the best we can to protect them but sometimes something happens that we have no control over. The book is well written with emotions that are felt on each page.

The book reminds me to make each moment count with your loved ones. We are not guaranteed one moment on this earth, so make the best of it while you can. If there are relationships that need mending don't wait till it's too late to repair them. Take time to appreciate what you have and most importantly  cherish each moment with loved ones.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Librarything Early Reader program . The review is my honest opinion.

AFTER SEPTEMBER by STEPHANIE SMITH

Between the pages of this book is a captivating story about a woman who rediscovers herself. Along the way her life is changed and with it the author brings an unforgettable emotional journey of  new beginnings.  I loved the character development and felt like they were my friends. The children in the story are precious and yes I wanted to take them all home.

Rose needs a change of scenery after her divorce and decides to take the summer to reflect on her life. She finds herself in St. Croix with beautiful clear skies and water that is crystal clear. The place she rents is homey and relaxing. I loved the friendship between Rose and Wendy. It was refreshing to read how their friendship  developed from a simple transaction of renting a place to stay to forever friends. Wendy is one of those people you instantly like.

An unexpected accident sends Rose to the clinic to see a doctor. The doctor she sees also runs  the orphanage in town. It was easy to like Patrick as his character is very humble, has a heart for children and strong beliefs that he doesn't back down from.  Their attraction grows and now Rose finds herself starting to really like Patrick. Can Rose let go of her hurt from the divorce and open her heart to a new relationship? Patrick has his own past that he hasn't let go of. Why does he feel guilty at times being with Rose? I loved how the author showed Patrick as a true gentleman and wouldn't give in to temptation.

 Rose's idea to include the children in her project  for the orphanage brings  excitement to the children. It is so true that children want to feel needed and loved. Her involvement with the children brings her joy and she finds herself starting to get attached to the children.  In the story you will meet a very special young boy. I can tell you that he captured my heart and I was ready to bring him home.

I loved when Rose decides to go to church and meets the pastor. The pastor is this big as life person overflowing with joy, love and compassion. There are moments in the story where Rose struggles with her faith. Will she find her way back to God? When it is time for Rose to return home, will she be able to leave? The story is very emotional at times and has a great message of forgiveness, letting go, and finding happiness. Make sure you grab your copy of this wonderful book.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Bookfun.org. This is my honest opinion.

Thursday, December 22, 2016


REFLECTIONS WITH GOD by LINDA SEGER , TH.D.

I have come to really enjoy books written by this author. They are always informative and written  with passion. I appreciate her openness and sharing personal struggles. As I began to read this book, I felt a sense of peace as the words soothed my soul. I'm sure there are many of us that are waiting to be healed from something. In some cases it is physical healing and in others it it emotional healing. I have been guilty of asking God why has He not healed me yet? The author makes a good point when she said, " Our struggle with health often triggers a struggle with faith." People around us are encouraging us to have faith but it sure is hard when you see nothing changing. I can sometimes get into the why  me pity party and forget all about God's promises.

Do you find yourself angry at God when you are still waiting for your healing and nothing is happening? I never thought about the people who God places in our pathway as someone who could help me. We get so focused that we forget to look around us. We hold on to every word the doctor says in hopes of being  cured. What we forget though is that there are other people who may have the answer we have been seeking. An interesting thought is seeking out someone with a similar illness and asking them for directions. Who better to ask then someone going through exactly what you are going through. What if that was God's plan all along? Yes we can get sidetracked and miss what God is trying to show us.

I really enjoyed the reference that the author used about Job. He was a man who lost everything and struggled for answers. When  he realized that God was real he repented  for doubting him. That is a great reminder for all of us to not give up but to keep fighting. The author encourages us to surround ourselves with family and friends who will support us and pray for us. Sometimes I find myself shutting out the world and trying to deal with things by myself. Isn't that a perfect time for the enemy to isolate you from the truths of God? Before I realize it, I find myself depressed, angry and lose my focus on His Word. The author provides many scriptures that are helpful  as we go through our struggles. I find that saying the scriptures aloud gives me more strength to fight and not give up. There is power in His word.

This is a powerful book that will help you and encourage you as you walk through your illness. Reach out to God and rely on Him. Be conscious of people around us who want to help . Be sure and celebrate each improvement that brings you closer to your healing and never give up.

"We never walk alone and God promises never to leave us alone."

I received a copy of this book from Bookfun.org and the author. This is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


OUT OF THE FRYING PAN by MICHELLE GRIEP & KELLY KLEPFER

Zany. Crazy. Quirky. Laugh out loud moments. Mystery. Twist and Turns. Loveable characters. A dead body. Now what do all of these have in common? The funniest cozy mystery I have read with a murder that has everyone looking like a suspect. It's like Lucy and Ethel meets Mrs Fletcher trying to outwit the Detective . There are plenty of great moments in the story where I couldn't  stop laughing.

Fern and Zula are sister-in-laws who have assigned themselves detectives when the chef of Sunset Paradise Retirement Village is found dead. Yes they have promoted themselves as bonified sleuths who can't seem to stay out of trouble. I loved the interactions between the two and wasn't quite sure who was in charge at times. They sure are stubborn and get in the way of Detective Jared Flynn more times then I can count. Can Detective Jared solve the murder before Fern and Zula find themselves in danger? The people at the retirement center were comical when the ladies living there  thought it was their job to keep Jared occupied with their granddaughters. That did seem a bit strange, but not to be out done, our lady sleuths call in their niece Kathryn  to come help them. Or is she there to meet the dashing Detective Jared Flynn?

I do believe Jared has his hands full with women flirting with him, a murder to solve and ladies who want to solve the case on their own. Will Fern and Zula turn on each other? With finger pointing and drugs turning up there  is a lot to keep the town buzzing with gossip. This is one book that kept me laughing all the way till the end. The writing is well crafted and the characters are like mixed match socks. They don't really go together but they sure make you comfortable around them. They become your friends and in the end, they fit perfectly into the story.  Make sure you grab a copy of this book and get ready for laughs and shenanigans that keep the story entertaining and lively.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Bookfun.org. This is my honest opinion.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Looking for a blogger? Need a review ? Check out my blog and help me out.

My goal for this holiday is to catch up on reviews, ignore my depression and remind myself how strong I am. As the new year begins I look forward to writing more reviews for authors and hopefully having authors contact me to do reviews for them. In the mean time I Look at my PTSD and say you will not win. I have a gift and purpose. So authors check out my blog. Http://deana0326.blogspot.com. Its called Texas Book-aholic. I need your support to write reviews to help relieve my stress. I have a passion to do reviews and I'm honored to bless authors .i an determined to take my life back in 2017. will you help me? Keep me busy, help me fight. Let my passion bless authors. Help me grow my blog to reach readers and authors.





HEALING OF THE HEART by LOREE LOUGH

What would you do if you had a father who was a thief and killer? Would you try to hide your identity from other people? I know we don't get to pick who our parents are, and that is exactly what Ruby faces in this unforgettable story of redemption , secrets and trust. After Ruby's father is hanged for his crimes, Ruby is stunned to find out that he has left her a very wealthy woman. I think at first she had a hard time taking the fortune because she knew how it was obtained. What would you do if you inherited money that you knew was tainted?

I found Ruby's character was very interesting and heartfelt. She wants to do the right thing and make amends to all the families her father hurt. It was a big task but her heart was so broken by her father's wrongdoing she needed to lessen the pain she felt in her heart.  She knew this is what God wanted her to do. I loved the story and found it to be a great lesson in forgiveness and healing. Her heart must have been crushed to learn of the evil doings her father did. Was Ruby feeling guilty and somehow  taking responsibility for her father's sins?

When Ruby and her mom travel to FairPlay, Colorado to continue using the inheritance there seems to be a bit more to do in this town that will be a big challenge for them. Rex Truett is the sheriff of the small town and is a bit suspicious of Ruby and her mom. He is a very strong character and I loved his unconditional love for the two children he was taking care of.  Ruby and Rex sure don't see eye to eye at first. I'm not sure who was more stubborn but it sure made for many encounters with each other that were tension filled. Rex has to be asking himself " Why would a beautiful woman and her mom travel to a town where they know no one with the intentions to improve the town? "

The story is very well written and flowed at a nice pace. There are others in the town that will add a bit of intrigue to the story. There are many surprises and secrets that have people wondering who they can trust? Will Ruby be able to let go of the shame of her father's sins? Can Rex find a way to trust again? The story is filled with a glimpse into the lives of people who have trust issues, guilt, insecurity  and learning to love again.

"When we're hurting, we have a choice , too. We can get all mad and mean, or go to God for comfort and strength."

I received a copy of this book from Bookfun.org.This is my honest opinion .

Sunday, December 18, 2016


HIS PRAIRIE SWEETHEART by ERICA VETSCH

I have become a huge fan of historical fiction and after reading this story I have found an author that depicts the historical fiction  with precision. Pioneer days were hard with little to eat at times . The weather could be treacherous and the author described a blizzard with such great detail I found myself shivering . I love when an author can make me feel like I can vividly see the story unfold before me.

Savannah is a very beautiful woman who has all the luxuries she needs. She is excited that she will become a married woman and finally the day is here to say her vows. Well not everything goes  as plan when the groom doesn't show up. I can't imagine the hurt and embarrassment she must have felt when she realizes her dreams have just been shattered. The story takes on a great adventure when Savannah decides she needs to get away .

She finds herself in Snowflake, Minnesota as the new school teacher. Not everyone is thrilled to see her though. Elias who is the sheriff has seen several women leave the teaching position because they couldn't handle the harsh life out on the prairie. I really like Elias and found him to be a strong character. He does  give Savannah a hard time but I found it to be quite funny at times. Who in their right mind comes to a small town out on the prairie in fancy clothes?

 Savannah is in for a culture shock as she realizes that the townspeople are Norwegian immigrants. I laughed so hard as she tried  to talk to the people and suddenly realized  that they speak very little English . I think someone left out that  little bit of information when she accepted the teaching job. She is in for an adventure that will test her faith . I loved how the author included scriptures in the story with the children learning them as part of their lesson at school. I have to mention probably one of the funnies things that happens to our beloved Savannah. Let's just say her introduction to a skunk was not the most enjoyable encounter. I think after that incident I would be packing my bags and saying goodbye Snowflake, Minnesota.

The author did an exceptional job of describing the history of Minnesota and the Dutch uprising of '62. I found it very fascinating and loved learning about the Norwegians and their customs. The story is so well written I didn't want it to end. Will Savannah convince Elias that she can endure the weather and any obstacles that come her way ? Is she the right choice as the teacher for this small close knit town?  Be sure and grab a copy of this wonderful book and discover how pride, love and faith come together to make an unforgettable story .

I received a complimentary copy of this book. The review is my opinion and I was not compensated for it.