Monday, December 31, 2012

"Danny's Mom" by Elaine Wolf


Danny's Mom by Elaine Wolf is about Beth Mauler, Danny's mom who is a guidance counselor at the high school. Danny dies in a car accident when Beth's husband lets him use the car against her wishes. After the accident, Beth's home life and her job are a mess! This book kept me turning pages. No "wow" factor, but worth your time reading.
(Gerard's review, rating 5 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Our Favorite Fiction Books Read in 2012


Karen's Top 12 Fiction Books for 2012:

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I read 113 books in 2012 but managed to choose just 12 top fiction books; it wasn't easy!  Here are my finalists, but I feel bad I had to leave off others:

 1)  Legend by Marie Lu  (YA, Distopian) (Gerard liked this too!)

 2)  Into the Free by Julie Cantrell  (YA)

 3)  Lead For God's Sake by Todd G. Congwer  (reads like non-fiction about a losing coach)

 4)  Catch Me by Lisa Gardner (suspense) (Gerard liked this too!)

 5)  Defending Jacob by William Landay (murder mystery) [favorite of Gerard's too!]

 6)  Home Front by Kristin Hannah (contemporary fiction) [favorite of Gerard's too!]

 7)  One For the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly (YA)

 8)  The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (childrens about a gorilla, really good!) [favorite of Gerard's too!]

 9)  Words by Ginny L. Yttrop (mystery)

10)  Unwind by Neal Shusterman (YA Futuristic) (Gerard liked this too!)

11)  Wings of the Morning by Murray Pura (historical romance)

12)  Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury (Christian fiction, Autism)

Use the search box to find our reviews for a particular book.

Gerard's Top 12 Fiction Books for 2012:

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 1)  Defending Jacob by William Landay (murder mystery)

 2)  The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly (murder mystery)

 3)  One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf (Karen almost put this on her list too) (mystery)

 4)  Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

 5)  Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen (suspense)

 6)  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (contemporary fiction) (Karen hated this one but most people love it.)

 7)  Impulse by Ellen Hopkins (YA)

 8)  Home Front by Kristin Hannah (contemporary fiction)

 9)  The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (children's)

10)  Double Blind by Brandilyn Collins (mystery/science fiction) (Karen liked this too!)

11)  172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Horstad (YA) Karen liked this too!)

12)  Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers (paranormal)

I also loved Little Boy Blue, Catch Me and Heft but could only list 12.

Have you read any of these? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. We highly recommend all of these.  Happy Reading!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Our Top 10 Non-Fiction Books Read in 2012

Gerard read 156 books this year so it's just too hard to choose only 10 favorites.  So this year, he will give you a list of his top 10 non-fiction reads and a separate list of his top 10 fiction reads.  Karen read 111 this year so will also give a non-fiction list of her seven favorites.  If you click on the links, it will take you to our reviews.  Notice Gerard's first two are also on Karen's favorite non-fiction list.

Gerard's Non-Fiction Top 10 Reads for 2012:

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1) Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick (based on a true story)

2) Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell and John Bruning

3) January First by Michael Schofield

4) Show Dog by Josh Dean

5) Wild by Cheryl Strayed

6) Nothing to Envy--Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick

7) The White Cascade--The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America's Deadliest Avalanche by Gary Krist

8) I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had by Tony Danza

9) Sutton by J. R. Moehringer

10) Into the fire by Dakota Meyer and Bing West

Karen's 7 Favorite Non-Fiction Reads for 2012:

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1)  Lead For God's Sake by Todd G. Congwer (revised list, this one is actually fiction.)

1)  One Shot at Forever by Chris Ballard

2)  Animals Welcome by Peg Kehret

3)  All God's Creatures--Spiritual Lessons from Animals of the Bible by Gary Richmond

4)  Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell (link in Gerard's list)

5)  Never Fall Down by Pat McCormick (based on a true story) (link in Gerard's list)

6)  Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands--How to Help Others Change by Paul David Tripp (no review of this one, but it is a good Bible study on how to give solid Biblical counseling to help people with issues.)

7) James - Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore

I would include The Power of a Positive Woman by Karol Ladd, but I'm not finished with it yet.

Do you have a different favorite non-fiction read?  Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Salvation of a Saint" by Keigo Higashino


In Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino, a husband is found dead in his kitchen. His wife is on a very short list of suspects but the problem is she was in another country at the time of his death. This is a really great tale of police trying to find the murderer with a definite "wow" factor at the end. I highly recommend you read this one if you like murder mysteries!
(Gerard's review, rating 5 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Monday, December 24, 2012

"Almost Home" by Joan Bauer

The girl, Sugar, has a rescue dog, Woof!  Woof!

First off, Almost Home by Joan Bauer is not a dog book in spite of the cover. It is a very good children's book about a young teen girl, Sugar Mae Cole, who finds herself homeless and put into foster care. I liked how it was written as well as the story. I loved Sugar and found myself cheering her on through her ordeal. This is a feel good book that I recommend.
(Gerard's review)

Almost Home by Joan Bauer is an inspirational story about how Sugar, her dog Shush and her mother, Reba lose their home and persevere to get their lives back to "normal."  Both are sweet people that are likeable characters.  Sugar expresses her feelings in poetry and thanks to some nice people who come into her life, finds herself in a good home.  I liked how the dog sort of parallels Sugar's growth as it gets braver throughout the book after having had a bad start.  The issue of trust is also addressed, especially trusting the right people. 

I enjoyed this book because it shows people can rise above bad circumstances and gives hope to kids who may be going through hard times.  I really liked how the mother instilled an attitude of gratitude in her daughter through a silly thank you card game and the challenge to "live bold." 
(Karen's review) 

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"Over The Edge" by Mary Connealy

This is about Seth, the crazy younger brother.  Loved it!

Over the Edge by Mary Connealy is a Christian historical western romance. It is about a romance between Seth and the wife he forgot he had after being hurt in the Civil War, and the son he knew nothing about. Callie is alone in the world with a baby boy so decides to try to track down Seth's brothers to see if they would take her in since she thinks Seth abandoned her and may be dead. When Seth finds her, it's not a happy reunion.

I liked Over the Edge by Mary Connealy because it has a lot of action in it with characters I liked. I loved how the author kept my interest once again with lots of action, adventure, humor and interesting characters. This is another clean historic romance involving cowboys, the third book in The Kincaid Brides series. Mary Connealy is fast becoming one of my favorite romance writers. It's a light, quick fun read but with a Christian flavor and lots of action!


Have you read this series?  Who was your favorite couple?  Rafe and Julia, Ethan and Audra, or Seth and Callie?  Mine was Ethan and Audra. Here are links to my other reviews in this series:  Out of Control and  In Too Deep.
(Karen's review)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Cross Roads" by William Paul Young

I liked Cross Roads by William Paul Young about the same as I liked his previous book, The Shack. The premise is the same but I think the story line is better. I liked the first half more than the second half. This is a real good book and worth your time--enjoy!
(Gerard's review, 5 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday Teasers: "Cross Roads" and "Over The Edge"


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should  Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just do the following
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page (well, we cheat and choose specific ones)
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on  that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away!   You don’t  want  to  ruin the  book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can  add the book to their TBR  Lists  if they  like your teaser.   
Gerard's:
Jesus reached over and took Tony's hand. "The gift I spoke of earlier, Tony, is that on this journey you are taking, you can choose to physically heal one person, but only one, and when you choose the one, your journey will end."
From page 148 of Cross Roads by William Paul Young.

Karen's:
Callie made a sound Seth had never heard from a human being before. Sorta like a wildcat crossed with a wounded grizzly bear during a Civil War battle in a cyclone--in hell. Only way, way more fierce.
From page 31 of Over the Edge by Mary Connealy (Book 3 of The Kincaid Brides series).

Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

"Kept In The Dark" by Penny Hancock


Kept In The Dark by Penny Hancock is not much of a mystery in my way of thinking.  A woman held a young man hostage in her house and reflects on her past with her brother.  I'd say this is an okay read, but nothing great.
(Gerard's review, rating 3 stars)  

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Friday, December 14, 2012

"Buddy" by M. H. Herlong

Woof!  Woof!  A great dog story about bonding!

Buddy by M. H. Herlong is a real good story about a boy and his dog. The boy is 13 and always wanted a dog. On the way to church, their dad hit a dog with their car and they took it in. When hurricane Katrina comes, they have to make some hard decisions about the dog. This is a quick read and I enjoyed it, even though it is a children's book. Although a cute dog is on the cover, this book is more about the family and what goes on with them than it is about the dog. Give it a read, you will be glad you did!
(Gerard's review, 5 stars)

Buddy by M. H. Herlong is a good story about a 13-yr-old boy, his family and his 3-legged dog, Buddy, who got separated when hurricane Katrina hit their home in New Orleans. The boy narrates the story from his point of view. Through the story, this book reveals what people went through in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It brought out several different emotions as I read this: happiness, sadness, and anger. It is a moving story about a kid growing up and maturing to where he thinks of others and seeks to do what is right.  I highly recommend it it to dog lovers, especially boys!
(Karen's review, 5 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"you came back" by Christopher Coake




You Came Back by Christopher Coake is a pretty good story about a man who re-unites with his ex-wife when they both come to believe their dead son is trying to get in contact with both of them. This man was engaged to be married so re-uniting with his wife does not sit too well with his fiance.

This is a real page turner; however, the lack of a "wow" factor keeps it at 4 stars for me instead of 5. Nevertheless, it is worth reading!
(Gerard's review)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"The Evil Inside" by Heather Graham


The Evil Inside by Heather Graham is a good story about a young boy accused of killing people with an axe.  It happened near Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts so there is also a tie-in with witches.  There is also a pretty good "wow" factor in this.  I enjoyed the audio book.  It's well worth your time to read this or hear it.
(Gerard's review, 5+ stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday Teasers: 3 Today


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should  Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just do the following
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page (well, we cheat and choose specific ones)
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on  that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away!   You don’t  want  to  ruin the  book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can  add the book to their TBR  Lists  if they  like your teaser.   
Gerard's:
The unknown woman had stared at him--into him. Whatever she'd found there had caused her to run.
From page 7 of You Came Back by Christopher Coake.

Karen's:
Even in his exhaustion the anger seethed, and he once again took aim at the indifferent God he imagined somewhere beyond the roof of the shack. "God, you couldn't even let us find her and bury her properly. Was that just too much to ask?"
From page 78 of The Shack by William Paul Young.

And there's Buddy, standing up on three legs. He's standing there all by himself with his white foot in his water bowl and that old blanket all gathered up under his feet and his tail just a-going.
From page 51 of Buddy by M. H. Herlong. (children's book)

Happy Reading!

Monday, December 10, 2012

"The Silent Girl" by Tess Gerritsen


The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen is a very good read. I think Rizzoli and Isles novels are always worth the read. This novel tells the story of a shooting in a Boston's Chinatown restaurant 19 years ago. The questions behind it are still left unanswered. Rat (a teen boy) and bear (his faithful dog) from Ice Cold are both in this book too.

I did not like this one as much as Ice Cold (audio book) but it is still good enough that I read it in three days. It's a real page turner!
(Gerard's review, rating 5+ stars)


Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

"The Shack" by William P. Young


This will renew your faith! This is just an outstanding book. It will renew your faith in God and answer questions you might have about things. It's like a Bible study that's down to earth, nothing fancy. Machenzie Allen Phillip tells a super story. If you need a hug from God, please read this book.
(Gerard's review, 5 stars)

"The Shack" is an interesting fiction book about a father's distrust of God for not protecting his little girl from being kidnapped and murdered, and then not even being able to find her body. The father got to talk to God face-to-face at the shack and see a glimpse of heaven and eventually got to the point where he forgave the man who murdered his little girl. Interesting book but really unbelievable. Presents God as compassionate, loving and just even when things happen that we don't think should. Emphasis was placed on trusting God and being dependent on Him rather than ourselves. The most important point for me was when we question God, we are really judging Him based on only our limited knowledge--we don't know everything God does. It was interesting how through Mack's face-to-face conversations with God, the book gives some insight into God's nature but some things are not biblical. It did make me look at my relationship with God but is not entirely Biblical so when you read this book, you need to keep in mind that it is fiction.
(Karen's review, 3 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

"All God’s Creatures—Spiritual Lessons From The Animals Of The Bible" by Gary Richmond

This is a "must read" for animal lovers!

All God’s Creatures—Spiritual Lessons From The Animals Of The Bible by Gary Richmond is a fun and interesting read. The author imparts a variety of characteristics and interesting facts about the animals mentioned in the Bible which makes for a greater understanding of the verses. He also shares some fantastic stories relating to the animals from his personal experiences as a zookeeper and veterinarian’s assistant. For example, he shared about the time he was cleaning the bear exhibit and the bear opened the gate and let the other bears in with him, or the time a deer jumped into the lion exhibit and the time he pet a lion. I love animals so enjoyed this book very much.

All God’s Creatures also makes for some good background material when studying certain Bible passages or verses that mention animals. It is a quick, easy read that is organized with separate chapters for each animal. I could easily skip around and read the animals I was most interested in first. I shared about the lion and the wolf in a ladies’ Bible study class and got very positive feedback afterward. I recommend it to all animal lovers and anyone who is interested in the Bible. It certainly shows God’s amazing work throughout the animal kingdom. Now I want to go back and take notes or mark it up! This is one I own.
(Karen's Review, rating 5 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Friday, December 7, 2012

"My Abandonment" by Peter Rock is Based on a True Story


My Abandonment by Peter Rock is based on a true story about a young girl and her father who live as homeless people. They could afford to live in a home but would rather not. I found it interesting how they had a plan so nobody would be following them. I enjoyed it!
(Gerard's review, 4 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

"In Too Deep" by Mary Connealy

Loved the two main characters, Ethan and Audra

In Too Deep by Mary Conneally is the second book of the Kincaid Brides series. It is about Audra and Ethan who enter a marriage of convenience and both are fearful of caring too much and getting hurt. Audra finds out that her former husband stole a fortune and the guy who he stole it from is coming after her because he thinks she knows where it is. The story takes place during 1866 in Colorado territory. Audra and Ethan have some very humorous conversations and both find courage to face their fears.

I liked this book very much because it was a sweet romance without being racy and still had enough adventure and suspense to peak my interest. The first book of the Kincaid Brides series centered on Ethan’s bossy older brother, Rafe and his wife, Julia who is Audra’s step-daughter. I liked this book much better and give this this 5 stars for good Christian romance. I look forward to reading Over the Edge, the last in the series, about the youngest brother, Seth.

See my review of the first in this series, Out of Control.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"Agenda 21" by Glenn Beck


Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck is a thriller about a young girl named Emmaline who only knows that she is controlled by the authorities. Then one day her mom is taken away and she begins to question why things are the way they are. It moves swiftly! It ends like there will be a second book which I will be reading too!
(Gerard's review, rating 5+ stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tuesday Teasers: "Agenda 21" and "In Too Deep"


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should  Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just do the following
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page (well, we cheat and choose specific ones)
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on  that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away!   You don’t  want  to  ruin the  book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can  add the book to their TBR  Lists  if they  like your teaser.   
Gerard's:
His head was down, his chin almost on his chest. He looked small and old, kneeling that way. They put the ropes on his wrists and led him away.
From page 6 of Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck.

Karen's:
Ethan smiled at his chawing baby. Besides Maggie, he had a helpful little brother and his cooking wife, who hadn't cried once in nearly a whole day of marriage.
From page 96 of In Too Deep by Mary Connealy (The Kincaid Brides--book 2).

Happy Reading!

Friday, November 30, 2012

"A Case For Solomon--Bobby Dunbar and The Kidnapping That Haunted a Nation"

A True Crime Book from 1912

A Case For Solomon--Bobby Dunbar and the Kidnapping That Haunted A Nation by Tal McThenia and Margaret Dunbar is a true story about a kidnapping that took place in 1912. Two boys are missing, one boy is found nine months later and two families claim him as their son. There is that trial and also the trial of the kidnapper which makes for a good read and at times, a page turner well worth your time! I enjoyed it!
(Gerard's review, rating 5 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Ice Cold" by Tess Gerritsen

A MUST READ THRILLER

This thriller, Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen, is the story of four people who were headed to a Doctors convention.  A blinding snowstorm threw them off course and they wound up in "Kingdom Come," a cult compound.  Hope came when they found this compound led by "The Prophet" but no one was there at all!!

I ordered this as an audio book and really enjoyed it a lot!  I got into it right away and the characters were very believable.  It contained lots of "WOW" factors for me with a couple of surprising twists at the end.  This is a must read (or must listen)!  I loved it!
(Gerard's review, rating 5++ stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Out of Control" by Mary Connealy

Read this on on Kindle

Out of Control by Mary Connealy is about two controlling people who fall in love very quickly during the 1800s in Colorado. Julia got trapped in a cave while looking for fossils and Rafe, a rancher nearby, discovered her in there and rescued her. The mystery comes when Julia is stalked by a guy who is after her father's buried treasure. This book has suspense and adventure but also interesting characters which makes it a good read. I look forward to reading the sequel, In Too Deep.
(Karen's review)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Teasers: Two Non-Fiction Books


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should  Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just do the following
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page (well, we cheat and choose specific ones)
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on  that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away!   You don’t  want  to  ruin the  book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can  add the book to their TBR  Lists  if they  like your teaser.   
Gerard's:
Tonight it was a more ominous din, and not just the rain, either. The woods outside were alive with barking dogs, roaring flames, and men screaming her son's name.
From page 6 of A Case For Solomon--Bobby Dunbar and The Kidnapping That Haunted a Nation by Tal McThenia and Margaret Dunbar Cutright.

Karen's:
As Jeff stood in the narrow corridor that was the passageway between the cages and the open area, he realized there was simply nowhere to go or to hide from the eight-hundred-pound giant lumbering toward him. He considered blasting the bear with the hose, but instantly dismissed the thought.
From page 40 of All God's Creatures--Spiritual Lessons From The Animals Of The Bible by Gary Richmond.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Not A Fan--Follower's Journal" by Kyle Idleman


Not A Fan--follower's Journal by Kyle Idleman is a 42-day devotional guide to challenge your thinking about your relationship with Jesus Christ and if you are a true follower.  The whole journal is based on the verse, Luke 9:23 which says, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."  The theme is that Jesus is not interested in fans but wants true followers who know and love Him and as a result obey his commands. 

I thought some of the exercises it suggested were corny but it did make me evaluate my Christian walk and made me more aware of Christ's presence in my life. NOT A FAN is more than a small group Bible study, it's a movement.  Visit www.notafan.com (the site), view the videos at www.youtube.com/notafantv (the videos), view tweets at www.twitter.com/iamnotafan (the talk), www.facebook.com/notafan (the movement).
(Karen's review)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Every Day" by David Levithan

Fun Read!

Every Day by David Levithan tells the story of a person who wakes up every day as a different person--sometimes male, sometimes female. It is fine until one day the girl of his dreams comes into his life and then it gets complicated.

You need to use your imagination to get into this book, but if you do, and accept the story as it is, you will be drawn into it. I did and loved it! There is a good "wow" factor too! I finished it in just two days. I think there may be a second book; if I'm right, I'm on it. Put it on your TBR list--you will be glad you did!
(Gerard's review, rating 5+ stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday Teasers


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should  Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just do the following
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page (well, we cheat and choose specific ones)
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on  that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away!   You don’t  want  to  ruin the  book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can  add the book to their TBR  Lists  if they  like your teaser.   
Gerard's:
What's clear is that if that man had sneezed on you, you'd most likely just get a cold. For me, it flipped my universe upside down and very nearly sent me to an asylum for life.
Take from page 9 of Brain On Fire--My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan (non-fiction)

Every day I am someone else. I am myself--I know I am myself--but I am also someone else.
From page 1 of Every Day by David Levithan.


Karen's:
"He's always made my life a lot harder than it needed to be." She opened her eyes and looked at her father's still face.
From Out of Control by Mary Connealy at location 1421 on Kindle, 24% along.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"The Shadow Of Your Smile" by Mary Higgins Clark

Disappointing Compared to Some of her Other Ones I Read

The Shadow Of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clark didn't appeal to me.  I didn't care for the three murders by three different people because it just made murder seem too easy.  I really liked some of her others, but this doesn't even come close.  I guess when my favorite character gets killed early on by her "long time friend," I lost interest.  The suspense just wasn't enough for me.  It's about a Dr. trying to find out who her father's biological parents were and the family she's related to trying to make sure she doesn't.  Her father was adopted at birth.  I really can't say anymore without giving things away.  It does have a good ending.
(Karen's review)

Others by this author that I recommend instead:  Two Little Girls In Blue & Just Take My Heart & Where Are You Now

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Buried Secrets" by Joseph Finder


Buried Secrets by Joseph Finder is a good story about a young girl kidnapped and held for ransom from her rich father.  The story was told very well and the detective who is trying to find and save the girl is a really good character.  In my opinion, there is not much of a "wow" factor but it is well worth your time.
(Gerard's review, rating 4 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Friday, November 16, 2012

"Bruce" by Peter Ames Carlin (Non-fiction)


Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin is a really good story about Bruce Springsteen aka "The Boss." It has some wow factor with details of how the band came to be and lots of inside stuff that I didn't know. I enjoyed it very much. If you are a Springsteen fan, it's a must read. I highly recommend it.
(Gerard's review, rating 5+ stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Astray" by Emma Donoghue


Astray by Emma Donoghue is a bunch of short stories based on actual events. Most of the stories are very good; some I wished were longer! I loved ROOM by her so I wanted to read this one too. It's not anywhere near as good, but I still enjoyed it. It's worth reading.
(Gerard's review, rating = 4 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday Teasers: 4 For You


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should  Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just do the following
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page (well, we cheat and choose specific ones)
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on  that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away!   You don’t  want  to  ruin the  book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can  add the book to their TBR  Lists  if they  like your teaser.   
Gerard's:
Overnight the story had grown expoentially as word spread about the police and prosecution's theory, that a home foreclosure may have spawned the murder of a banker. It put a blood and gust twist on the nationwide financial plague and that in turn packed the house.

From chapter 4 of an audio book: The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly Clicking the link will take you to my review that posted on Friday. (It was so good, I HAD to do a teaser from it.)

She was in a box. She could touch the end of the box with her toes.
From chapter 11 of Buried Secrets by Joseph Finder (audio book).

Karen's:
"We can't let that happen," the person on the other end of the line said matter-of-factly. "You've got to make sure it doesn't."
From page 4 of The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clark.

What is your "but first"?  I will follow but first let me. . . have some fun, build this house, get married, make a million dollars?
From page 101 of Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"The Gifted" by Terri Blackstock

Fun Christian Read

"The Gifted" by Terri Blackstock is a quick Christian fiction read which shows how Christians should work together to meet needs of others and introduce them to Jesus. When Andy, Carl and Bree were discouraged that they were the only ones who showed up for their Bible Study after work in an effort to reach their co-workers with the gospel, a tornado hit and they were crushed under the rubble. God answered their prayers and their lives were changed once they experienced God's power.

This is a powerful little book that challenges Christians to use the gifts God has given them to serve Him by serving others and meeting their needs. It is a fun read because each of the main characters are endowed with supernatural powers which makes for a good read but isn't very believable. Here's a little teaser that gives you an example:

"Where are we going, anyway?" Bree looked around them.
"I'm not sure, but my feet know."
Bree laughed. "Do you know how stupid that sounds?"
"Of course I do. It's downright ridiculous, but it happens to be true."
The hospital came into view, and Carl's feet picked up their pace. "Okay, now I've got it. We're going to the hospital."
(Karen's review)

If you have read this, I'd love to hear what you thought of it.  If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Friday, November 9, 2012

"The Fifth Witness" by Michael Connelly is a MUST READ!

A MUST READ . . . or LISTEN (audio book)

WOW! The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly is about a woman on trial for murder. She is charged with killing a man who is the head of the company that was suing to foreclose on her home. This is a fantastic story! I listened to the audio book and LOVED IT! The trial was very interesting and got my attention and held it. The ending blew me away. You have got to read (or listen) to this--it's a must read!
(Gerard's review, 5+++ stars)

Come back Tuesday to see our teaser from this one!

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Double Blind" by Brandilyn Collins

What If  Someone Could Plant Thoughts In Your Brain? 

I loved Double Blind by Brandilyn Collins! Lisa Newberry was going through a very rough patch of life so when a new procedure came out that could give her a new outlook on life, she took it. Is she okay now, or are the problems really going to start?

WOW, it doesn't get much better than this major "wow" factor in this book! It is hard to put it down so I finished it in just two days. Read and enjoy! I highly recommend it. You can't go wrong with Brandilyn Collins.
(Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

Double Blind by Brandilyn Collins is an interesting read with suspense and science fiction. Lisa is so depressed that she enters a trial to have brain surgery that will insert a chip into her brain that will get rid of her depression and help her be more self-confident. She was happy to have qualified and eager to get rid of her depression, but didn't realize that her real nightmare was about to begin. This will keep you turning pages to see what will happen next as she mends her relationship with her mother who helps her figure things out and God who she realizes did not abandon her. Risking her life, she tries to save someone she believes is going to be killed. This definitely is a thought-provoking book!
(Karen's review)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

"Rizzoli & Isles: Last To Die" by Tess Gerritsen


Rizzoli & Isles: LAST TO DIE by Tess Gerritsen is a better than average story. In this thriller, three children are enrolled at Evensong Boarding School, where all the kids have had traumatic events in their young lives. Now they are in a safe haven, or are they not?

This book went along so so but the last 150 pages it really got good! There's a great twist at the end that made it hard to put down until I found out how it all turned out! It's well worth your time!
(Gerard's review, rating 5 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Zoo" by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge


Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge is about the world trying to deal with all forms of animals who roam in packs and attack humans. I ordered this from the library and had to wait a long time for it. I feel this book could have been so much more. The parts of the book that deal with the animals are very good, the rest not so much. The ending left me with the sense that there is going to be a second book. If there is, I'll probably read it. It just did not "wow" me like I expected it would.
(Gerard's review, rating 4 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday Teasers: "Double Blind" and "Zoo"


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should  Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just do the following
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page (well, we cheat and choose specific ones)
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on  that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away!   You don’t  want  to  ruin the  book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can  add the book to their TBR  Lists  if they  like your teaser.   
Gerard's:
Larson is as helpless as a rag doll as Mosa shakes him back and forth by his head. When his neck breaks, with a crack remarkably similar to a pencil snapping, the sound is the very last think his brain registers before he dies.
From page 13 of Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. (The review will be posted tomorrow.)

Karen's:
How would I even explain what was happening? I'd turned into some man who kept killing the same woman? Sherry would panic and rush me to a psych ward.
From page 61 of Double Blind by Brandilyn Collins.

Happy Reading and check out our book giveaway for It Takes Two To Strangle--first to comment saying they would like it, gets it!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Quiz Meme About Me


And now for this weeks Questions:

1. What is your favorite thing about November?
The holidays and more time off work!

2. What was the last thing that you bought that you regretted soon afterwards?
strawberry shortcake flavored gum--way too sweet--yuck! Now I'm back to my Spearment.

3. What is your go to snack food?
Trail mix. Just found a Nutrition bone health nut mix by Planters that's really good!

4. Do you believe that newspapers should charge for their online content?
I don't care what they do.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

My question for you is:

5. Are you voting tomorrow or have you already voted? If you are not voting in this election, why not?
We voted by mail.

This is the Acting Balanced: Monday Quiz Meme.

Friday, November 2, 2012

"Low Pressure" by Sandra Brown


Low Pressure by Sandra Brown is a mystery about Bellamy who writes a novel based on the murder of her older sister which becomes a best seller. Although she used a pseudonym and didn’t use the real names, a reporter discovered it was based on fact and the author’s identity is exposed. She receives threats and begins to seek answers as to who is threatening her for writing about the murder. She had only been 12 at the time of the murder and her memory was spotty. Her investigation not only puts her in danger, but also others and secrets are brought to light. The killer was a big surprise to me! Along with the mystery is the romance between Bellamy (the rich girl) and Dent (the poor boy), one of her sister’s boyfriends who Bellamy had a crush on.

This book had an interesting enough story line to make me keep reading, but I can’t say it was an enjoyable read. I didn’t relate to any of the characters, the dysfunctional family with all the secrets, nor did I like the intimate sex scenes or the foul language. It just seemed far-fetched and unbelievable. After enjoying Unspeakable and Lethal by Sandra Brown, I was disappointed with this book.
(Karen's review, rating 2 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

"It Takes Two To Strangle" by Stephen Kaminski (Giveaway)


I received a complimentary copy of It Takes Two To Strangle (a Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective Mystery) by Stephen Kaminski for review. Here is the blurb from the back cover that made me want to read it:
When the owner of a traveling carnival is strangled—not once but twice—on opening night of the summer fair in Hollydale, the police surmise he was not well liked. As the head of Hollydale's citizens association and local liaison with the carnival, Damon Lassard feels obligated to help his dear friend, Detective Gerry Sloman, solve the crime. Damon is determined to bring the killer to justice, to the fascination of his mother, best gal pal Rebecca, and lovely local weather girl, Bethany Krims. To unravel the threads underpinning this peculiar murder, Damon will travel far from Hollydale as his quest to find a murderer leads to the discovery of long hidden and horrific crimes.
It Takes Two to Strangle introduces Hollydale’s lovable neighborhood leader, Damon Lassard, and twists the dabbling detective through an intricate maze of greed, deception, and murder.
This is a cozy mystery without any "wow" factor.  The action, what little there is, moved too slow for me.  If you are a fan of cozy mysteries and would like this book, be the first to indicate that in the comments with an email address so we can get your address and send it to you.
(Gerard's review, rating 3 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"The Whisperer" by Donato Carrisi is a Great Halloween Read


In The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi, girls are missing and then their arms show up except for one. Then one by one the bodies show up. What a fantastic read! You will not be able to figure out the killer at all! This book will stay with you. I can't wait for his next one! The Whisperer would make an awesome movie. Don't miss this one if you want a real page turner!
(Gerard's review, rating 5++ stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday Teasers: "Low Pressure" and "The Whisperer"


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should  Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just do the following
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page (well, we cheat and choose specific ones)
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on  that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away!   You don’t  want  to  ruin the  book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can  add the book to their TBR  Lists  if they  like your teaser.   
Karen's:
Strange is that when I got to your house last night, you were scared silly. Petrified, in fact. But you wouldn't hear of calling the police.
From page 75 of Low Pressure by Sandra Brown.

Gerard's:

Five little girls kidnapped in the course of a week. Then seventeen very long days of silence.
Until now.
Until these five buried arms.
From The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi. (A good Halloween read!)

Happy Reading!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Into The Fire" by Dakota Meyer and Bing West is Amazing!

Gerard loved this one--his first audio book!

Into the Fire is a Firsthand account of the most extraordinary battle in the Afghan War by Medal of Honor recipient, Dakota Meyer and Bing West (New York Times Bestselling Author). This is an audio book read by Zach Mclarty. What an amazing true story it is! Dakota Meyer is a true hero. This book tells the story of the battle at Genuisal. This is what war is really all about. I was able to get the audio book and liked listening to it in the car. I think I got more out of it than if I read the book. Either way, please take time to read or listen to this account and thank our armed forces that are still fighting. Mr. Meyer, thank you for your service.
(Gerard's review, rating 5+++ stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Friday, October 26, 2012

"Be Still My Soul" by Joanne Bischof

Like romance, historical fiction?  Then read this!

Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof is her first novel, a wonderful Christian historical fiction romance set in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Lonnie (17) and Gil (21) are forced to marry even though they barely knew each other.  In the beginning of the book, I felt bad for Lonnie and then about midway through, I started feeling bad for Gil.  They went through some tough times but Lonnie kept holding on to her faith that God was looking out for her.  This was a tear jerker for me, as they encountered heartache and physical pain.  I liked how the kindness of strangers brought healing to their marriage.  This is just the first book in The Cadence of Grace series which is based on I Peter 5:10:
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 
As I was reading this book, I couldn't help but think of how this couple would benefit from reading Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs.  I highly recommend this book if you like clean romance novels.  It also contains a reader's guide so would make a good book club selection.  I look forward to reading her next book, Though My Heart Is Torn

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

"The End of Your Life Book Club" by Will Schwalbe

I finally get on here since the cats weren't cooperating.  Woof!

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe gets 5+ stars from me—a great non-fiction book! Will’s mom has cancer. As she goes through her treatments and daily life, they talk about books they have read. If you enjoy reading, you will be able to relate to this book and get a ton of good book recommendations that you may want to read as well. I enjoyed it very much! Thanks for sharing, Will!!
(Gerard's review)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Speechless" by Hannah Harrington

Curl up with a good book like Manny Boy!

In Speechless by Hannah Harrington, Chelsea talks a bit too much and spreads some gossip that causes some tragic incidents. She decides to take a vow of silence and finds out things about herself and who she can really count on. I thought this book was very good with a good ending too! It went fast and I got into it! It includes a book discussion and a talk with the author at the end. Read both!
(Gerard's review, rating 5+ stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday Teasers: 3 For You


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should  Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just do the following
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page (well, we cheat and choose specific ones)
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on  that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away!   You don’t  want  to  ruin the  book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can  add the book to their TBR  Lists  if they  like your teaser.   
Karen's:
Instead here I am on a deserted country road with a man who wants to kill me.
Worst of all, nobody knows where I am.
From page 92 of Trapped by Peg Kehret and Pet the Cat. (The italic parts in this book were written by Pete the cat.)  The link will take you to my review of this book.

He certainly could not waltz over to the Sawyer farm and tell Joel that he would not marry his daughter. That would only land him on the receiving end of Joel's shotgun.
From page 41 of Be Still My Soul (The Cadence of Grace Series-Book 1) by Joanne Bischof.

Gerard's: 
They both twist around to look at me, and their expressions of content transform into identical looks of worry. It'd almost be funny if it were any other situation.
From page 35 of Speechless by Hannah Harrington.

Hope you come over to see me in action!

Happy Reading!  For a special treat, Spunky Doodle would like you to check out her latest video post of her playing Whack and Knock at Right Where We Belong.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Quiz About Us


Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered!

1. How often do you shop for groceries? Do you shop in one place or many?
We shop once a week at Giant Eagle.

2. How old were you when you had your first tast of alcohol?
Neither of us have ever tasted alcohol.

3. How much TV do you watch?
We watch football on Saturday and Sunday and a few favorite programs: Joel Osteen, Survivor (Karen), Parenthood, Once Upon a Time (Gerard), Army Wives, ESPN Magazine (Gerard), My Cat From Hell, Bad Dog, sometimes a movie  (Karen).

4. How do you relieve stress?
Gerard goes for a walk or works in the yard. I start singing praises or pet my cats and dog, sometimes listen to relaxing music.

For the 5th question I get to make up: What pets do you have and what are their names?

This blog hop is hosted by Acting Balanced.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Sutton" by J.R. Moehringer--Fantastic!


Sutton by J. R. Moehringer is a fantastic book! Don't let the word "novel" fool you, Willie Sutton was an actual person. He made the first FBI Most Wanted list. He robbed banks but never hurt anyone or shot a gun. When asked why he robbed banks, he responded, "Because that's where the money is." This page turner will for sure make my top ten books of 2012. I loved it!
(Gerard's review, rating 5+++ stars)


Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. Happy Reading!

We are adding this one to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop in response to this prompt:  Book Review time! Recommend a great book, perfect for these stormy fall days! Hope you will subscribe to our blog so you get all of our reviews!
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