Saturday, January 14, 2017


THE CHERISHED QUILT by AMY CLIPSTON

Someday I hope to visit Amish country . The people live a simple life, work hard, help each other and love God with all their heart. Until I get to visit Amish country I can travel there through this authors books. She writes so beautifully and her words are like silk that glisten in the sun. With her words I feel like I am there watching the story unfold. I feel part of the family as the characters are so welcoming. Each book she writes brings readers a fresh look at subjects that we may struggle with in our own lives. I love how she brings characters through tough issues and gently guides them to the answers found in the Bible. After finishing her books, I always feel a gentle breath of fresh air come over me as her story stirs emotions inside me.

Christopher or Chris to his friends doesn't seen to be able to live up to his dad's standards. They seem to disagree a lot and Christopher struggles with self confidence. I loved how the character showed his weaknesses and struggles to try to change. After a devastating accident that takes his brother's life, Christopher leaves home to go live with his aunt and uncle. He blames himself for the accident and sadly so does his dad. I can't imagine the heavy burden Christopher carried around believing he caused his brother's death. Can Christopher ever find peace? Will he and his dad be able to make amends? Will Christopher find a trade that he is good at?

Emily is someone you want  to be friends with. She has a welcoming smile and genuinely cares for everyone. When she meets Christopher she gives him a warm smile . Christopher  is not very friendly to Emily and she is bewildered by his actions. I loved Emily's never give up attitude and determination to make friends with Christopher. Can Emily help Christopher learn to trust again? There are quite a few things that Emily does to show Christopher she wants to be his friend  and I thought her character was sincere and charming.

The book has some emotional moments that you won't forget. I can tell you that I did shed a few tears while reading the book. Will Christopher open up to Emily and share with her the pain he carries around? What will happen when Emily surprises Christopher with a very special gift? I loved reading this book that showed how important forgiveness and believing in yourself is .

I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


GOD'S NOT DEAD 2 by TRAVIS THRASHER

I remember watching the first movie that the book was from and thinking how powerful it was. The challenge was to prove that God was real . I loved how the author gave the character strength and wisdom to fight for what he believes. In this second installment the same premise exists  except it is now about a teacher.

Grace is a sweet and lovely young woman who teaches history at a high school. When she references Jesus in an answer , that starts a downward spiral for her job. It seems that everyone is so sensitive to words that were not really preachy , just making a statement. After a student complains Grace finds herself trying to save her career. I loved how Grace was not upset with the student and held her ground on what she believes . Could you stand up to others and claim God is not dead? Would you have others to support you?

Tom is a lawyer who takes Grace's case. It is ironic that Tom is going to defend Grace since he doesn't believe God exists. I thought that was really a great way to witness to him by having him research and listening to others about the existence of God. Will he change what he believes? What I really liked about the book was that I didn't feel like it was preachy but stated viewpoints from both sides. Isn't is nice that we live in a country where we can freely express our beliefs ? I think about those in other countries that have to hide that they are Christians.

The story is fascinating and there are other characters in the book that play a vital part in the story. As you read the book you feel the passion that people have . I kept thinking about the right we have for freedom of speech. I don't take that likely and I think we see that right being  displayed everyday. I loved the book and thought the story was well written and gave readers issues to think about.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bookfun.org. The review is my own opinion.

telling-tails-large-banner640Telling Tails
by Sofie Ryan

It takes a wonderful author to create such twists, and turns, Sofie does this well and gave a great story that will leave the reader with a craving for more!
~Bibliophile Reviews 
The storyline is intriguing…I couldn’t put it down.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…
This is a good book to read on cold winter day. I read it in one setting. I couldn’t put it down.
~Books, Dreams, Life
This is an adorable series and I love the cat.
~3 Partners in Shopping; Nana, Mommy, &; Sissy too
If you are looking for a great escape read, with fun characters and an intuitive cat, look no further. I enjoy this series and am always thrilled to visit again.
~Laura’s Interests 
The compelling mystery, the great setting, and the fun characters are what keeps me coming back to this series.
~Brooke Blogs
I enjoyed this story. I love that most of the main characters were feisty older people…
~T’s Stuff
I am absolutely crazy about this series…
~Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and Meows
I liked the characters, four senior sleuths are always fun to read about. I really liked the plot of this mystery, it was different.
~Melina’s Book Blog
This is another great entry in this series. The supporting characters are just as important to the story as the main character…and Elvis, the cat, does his job as a furry lie detector yet again.
~Book Babble
This was a great cozy, full of family, friends, cats, and clues.
~The Book’s the Thing
telling-tails
Telling Tails (Second Chance Cat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Series: Second Chance Cat Mystery (Book 4)
Publisher: Berkley (January 3, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101991206
E-Book ASIN: B01E4WAHRA
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Synopsis

The New York Times bestselling author of A Whisker of Troublereturns as secondhand shop owner Sarah Grayson and her rescue cat, Elvis, get caught up in a case of she said, she said….
When Sarah Grayson opened a secondhand shop in the quaint town of North Harbor, Maine, she was expecting peace and quiet. Then she was adopted by a rescue cat named Elvis and a kooky trio of senior sleuths known as Charlotte’s Angels. Now she has nine lives worth of excitement…
Sarah’s friend and employee Rose is delivering a customer’s purchase when the quick errand becomes a deadly escapade. Rose arrives just in time to see the customer murdered by his wife, but before she can call the police, she is knocked out cold. When she wakes up, no one believes her, especially after the woman claims her husband is very much alive and has left her for someone else—and has a text message and empty bank account to prove it.
Despite her convincing story, Sarah is sure something is fishy—and it’s not Elvis’s kitty treats. Sarah, Elvis, and the Angels are determined to unravel this mysterious yarn, before the feral killer pounces again…
100_0457sofie kelly
Sofie Ryan/Sofie Kelly is the pseudonym of author and mixed-media artist, Darlene Ryan. Sofie/Darlene lives on the east coast with her husband and daughter. In her spare time she practices Wu style tai chi and likes to prowl around thrift stores. And she admits to having a small crush on Matt Lauer.
Purchase Links:
Pre-order at:
Amazon.ca
Amazon
Barnes&Noble
Books•A•Million
Chapters
IndieBound


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I can't believe that I read the book in one setting. This definitely kept my attention and was an easy read. The characters were great and I would love to join them for muffins sometime. The town is great and I loved the shop that Sarah had. I could wander through the store for hours looking at all the eclectic items she had. Each item in there has a story and we find out that a set of candlesticks from the store become a focal point in a mystery.

Sarah has surrounded herself around a group of older people that love to solve mysteries. They call themselves Charlotte's Angels. They are a feisty bunch and I especially liked Rose. She is one tough lady and can I just say if I ever am in trouble ,  I would call her to help me. She doesn't give up and doesn't let her age slow her down.

Rose has volunteered to deliver a special gift to a woman that has been bought  by the husband from Sarah's shop. He wants it to be a surprise but the surprise is on Rose. What was the gift that Rose was delivering? Why was it so important to have the gift delivered on a certain day? Rose is ready to knock on the door when she sees something through the window that shocks her. The next  thing she knows she is waking up in a hospital.

The story is well written and I loved Elvis the cat. I thought he was a great asset to the story and I loved his attitude. He sure thinks he is the boss and maybe Sarah doesn't mind since he is such great company. She talks to him like you would a friend and I found that very cute. I talk to my dogs all the time. They know my secrets and I'm sure they think I need to get out more.

Sarah joins forces with Charlotte's Angels to solve a murder that Rose thinks she witnessed. The story has several suspects and of course the wife is the main suspect. Well the spouse usually is when there is a murder aren't they? I can't forget to mention Nick. I haven't quite figured out if Sarah likes him or if she is holding back for  a reason. Whatever the case, he seems like a perfect match for her. I will be interested to see how the relationship develops as the series continues. Mystery fans will love this book with subtle hints that make you think you know who the killer is.  I have  to say I was surprised at the outcome and the ending was a real page turner .

I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Great Escape Book Tour. The review is my own opinion.


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January 5 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017


POLICED by ALANA TERRY

Each book I read from this  author  is an emotional well executed story.  She takes subjects that are controversial and writes a book that is well researched and without prejudice. I loved this book especially because the topic is like reading front page  news. The situation is real and the author does an outstanding job of allowing readers to see both sides of the explosive theme in the book. I have come to really like the characters in this series and I love how Kennedy is still finding her way in her faith.

As Kennedy and her friend Reuben decide to take a night off from studying their lives are forever changed. I don't know how I would react to the turmoil they went through but I know I would be scared. It's hard to predict how someone will react in a life or death situation. I could feel the terror and fear as Reuben  and Kennedy were victimized by the police officer. Kennedy reacted exactly how I probably would have. What would you do if someone you cared about was being unfairly treated? Would you step in and help or turn and walk away? The author delivers a story that divides people as they struggle to find the truth.

There was a part in the story that I found to be very emotional as Kennedy and Sandy are talking. We all have doubts at times and wonder why God allows things to happen. We also question if we are being a good example to others. I thought that part of the story was very pivotal for Kennedy and it showed how a person can question their faith and know that God is still there. I will say that this is one story you don't want to miss. There are a few surprises in the book that will once again lead to discussions . I am thankful that the author does  not shy away from topics that others don't want to talk about. One of the key ingredients in her books is honesty and sharing both sides of an issue without letting her feelings known. I am looking forward to the next book in this series where faith, trust and unconditional love will flow throughout the book.

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

THE PORTRAIT OF EMILY PRICE by KATHERINE REAY

What an astonishing book I just read. The story is so emotional, exciting, breathtaking and filled with history I had to read it all the way through to the end. It is not easy yo put down a book that is so expertly written. I learned a lot about Italy through the eyes of the author. She captured the beauty of the land and people with brilliant words that painted a picture of pure beauty. I loved the food that was described and could smell the pasta cooking on the stove. This is one story that will stay with you for years to come. The story has captured the meaning of family in such a way that it has left me emotional but filled with hope.

Emily has a gift that many admire. She can reconstruct things and make them beautiful again. I found her work to be fascinating and the author described her work with great detail. I wanted to watch Emily work and listen to her as she brought something that had been destroyed back to life. As she is working on a family's home she finds out that she is going to be out  of a job. Her chance meeting with Ben was mesmerizing and enchanting. Ben has come from Italy to help his family's restaurant out. Ben has everything going for him with his good looks, being a master chef and Italian. Who could resist this man of many  talents.

Joseph is Ben's brother and has been doing his best to keep the business going. There is definitely some friction between the brothers but Emily can't figure out what it is. Emily has started to help do some restoration in the restaurant and help Joseph out. I loved how they both shared the same interest in art and their talks were fascinating.

I was a bit surprised when Ben suddenly asks Emily to marry him. They had only known each other for two weeks. She had plans to stay and work with Joseph. Ben's charm was to hard to resist and off she goes to get married. When they reach Italy I'm sure she was overwhelmed with what she  had just done? Was she to impulsive? Will Ben's family accept her?


The story is so much more than restoring paintings and old relics. It's a look at a family that has been torn apart by something that happened a long time ago. Emily is not easily accepted by Ben's family , especially his mother. She is cold and distant. I loved Ben's father and found him to be so enduring and lovable. What is the secret that broke the family apart? Why won't Joseph come home to visit his family?


The author shows us through the eyes of Emily,  brokenness , anger, unforgiveness and rediscovery. Her art captures each element and opens hearts that have hardened by pain and shunning. There is a part in  the story about a painting that has long been covered up. The biblical reference is unmistakably the most powerful part of the story. The painting depicts a time when sin was thrown upon a woman that almost destroyed  her. How this story is reflected back to Ben's family is emotional and I loved how the author used it to show how shame and guilt can cause someone to become  bitter. What is the significance of this painting to the family? Can it bring healing and hope ? Can Joseph forgive the past and reconcile before it is to late? I kept thinking of "Beauty from ashes." Our lives may seem like they are in ashes and there is no hope, but God sees the beauty and gives us hope, joy and restoration.

I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my honest review.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017



a-fatal-twist-large-banner640

A Fatal Twist
by Tracy Weber


…a funny story and the author does a wonderful job with the characters and scenes.
~Bab’s Book Bistro
With Tracy Weber we get an abundance of education while having fun…The action and troubles seem to never cease.
~Laura’s Interests
The author has created characters that are fun and entertaining…I highly recommend this book (and series) to all readers!
~A Date With A Book
a-fatal-twist
A Fatal Twist (A Downward Dog Mystery) 
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Midnight Ink (January 8, 2017)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738748788
E-Book ASIN: B01FOR0Z0I
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Synopsis

Yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s life takes a chaotic turn once she agrees to not only be the doula for her pregnant best friend, but also play foster mother to two puppies. The chaos only gets worse when Kate finds the dead body of a philandering fertility doctor and Rachel, one of her yoga students, fleeing the scene.
Kate is convinced her student is innocent, and she sets out to find the real killer before her testimony condemns Rachel to a life behind bars. But her hands are full with caring for three dogs, teaching yoga classes, and gaining an unexpected crime-solving partner. If she’s not careful, Kate’s next yoga pose may be a fatal one.
Tracy Weber Small Headshot

About The Author

Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series featuring yoga teacher Kate Davidson and her feisty German shepherd, Bella. Tracy loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any form possible. Her first book, Murder Strikes a Pose won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and is a 2015 Agatha award nominee for Best First Novel.
Tracy and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.
 Author Links
Purchase Links
Amazon B&N


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Kate is the main character in this cozy mystery. She has a great sense of empathy for others and I loved how she was determined to make sure the right killer was charged. She has one of these keen senses that lets her know when something is not right. I loved how the author talked about Kate learning to be a doula. I found it very interesting and learned something new. The yoga was so well described I think I could easily do some after reading the techniques that Kate does.

Kate is attending an open house at Lake Washington Medical Center where the new birthing facility is opening. It is a grand place with modern technology and all the comforts to make the parents feel relaxed. I can say when I had my kids I just remember  a sterile room with boring ceilings and nurses bothering me constantly. As Kate excuses  herself from the party after a mishap with a cake , she stumbles upon the body of a doctor. I will say this doctor was not well liked and the suspects are numerous.

I really like Kate's boyfriend Michael. He is such an easy going person and is quite the catch for Kate. When he brings home two cute little abandoned puppies starving for attention, Kate knows she is going to have to break the news to Bella her dog.  Mutt and Jeff as Michael calls them will turn out to be a handful. I laughed at their shenanigans and loved reading about  how they tried so hard to be good. I have to say reading about them was one of the highlights of the book. It brought a little fun to the story and made readers aware of puppy mills.

The story has some serious moments that I thought were well placed in the story such as fertility issues, losing a child and the mistreatment of animals. Kate never gives up on trying to shuffle through potential suspects to get answers. I liked how she was able to question people without being to obvious. Well there is one or two that get upset with her, but she keeps going . Will she figure out who the killer is? The book does slow in some areas as it seems the murder is not the focal point of the story at times. I did enjoy the book but honestly I think it was a bit off balance between the murder, the puppies, affairs and  relationship and fertility issues. Sometimes there can be too much going on that the main theme in the book gets lost.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Great Escapes Book Tour. The review is my honest opinion.


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January 6 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW
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Sunday, January 8, 2017


THE BLUE RIBBION BRIDE'S COLLECTION

Each story in this beautiful collection  is well written and takes you back to an era where things were simpler. I loved the description of the late 1800s to early 1930s. I could picture the dresses the women wore that were simple yet practical. They loved to bake and show off their skills . I could smell the pies and cakes as they graced the tables . I instantly felt like I was at the fair and could here the laughter of children, and feel the excitement as blue ribbons were about to be presented. Each story is written with great detail and compliments each other. The authors take us on a journey that is filled with excitement . The energy can be felt with each story that brings hope, forgiveness, joy and faith. It's time to settle back and enjoy the fair and be swept away with characters that come to life.


A Taste Of Honey By Darlene Franklin

Edith is quietly gathering honey  from the bee hives  when suddenly something or someone disturbs the process. I loved how the author did a great job of describing the stings that Edith got and I could see her hand swelling with each word that made the scene come to life. She had everything figured out about the honey  that she was going to use at the state fair. With the honey she was harvesting it was sure to be a great ingredient for her.

Grant is back from the navy and bumps into Edith on his father's land . Guess he didn't realize that Edith was trained in gathering honey or maybe he stopped her for a reason. He sure didn't make a great impression at first. He feels bad for her injuries but tells her that there will be no more honey as he has other plans for the land. After his dad had a stroke, the farm wasn't doing as well  like it use to. Why does Grant feel like others in the area have taken advantage of his dad? My heart went out to Grant's dad. Having suffered a stroke was so difficult for him but he had such a giving heart.

Edith's dream to enter the baking contest at the fair Is coming up soon. She has hopes of perfecting the perfect recipe and the key is the honey . What does  she want to do with the money if she wins? If Grant decides to plow up the land and get rid of the bees, where will she get her honey? I loved the time Edith spent with her mom as they walked their land. The author made me feel like I was in the open pasture looking at the beautiful land that God had made.

The story is filled with hope and compromise. What will happen when Grant finds out that part of the land he thought was his is owned by Edith's family? . The excitement builds as the fair is in full swing. Who will win the grand prize? Can Grant and Edith find a way to work out their differences over the land? This is a delightful story that shows how faith and working together can bring happiness.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from author Darlene Franklin. The review is my honest opinion.