Thursday, March 31, 2016

"Always Watching" by Chevy Stevens

Always Watching by Chevy Stevens is about a Psychiatrist, Nadine, whose bad childhood memories are stirred up when she gets a patient who left the same commune she was in, although it has a new name and advertises as a spiritual retreat place. Nadine feels the need to report what happened to her in the commune and hope the cops will arrest the leaders and get “The River of Life Spiritual Center” shut down to keep others from being hurt. Nadine also has a teenage daughter who ran away, got into drugs, and lives on the streets. All Nadine wants is for her daughter, Lisa, to be happy and longs for her to come back home. Her biggest fear is that the cult-like commune will get her daughter comes true.

I liked this book okay, but not as much as I liked this author’s other books. It just moved a little slow for my taste and was pretty predictable. Mostly was sad with what I thought was an unrealistic ending. It has a lot of flashbacks showing the memories Nadine had buried from her past. Nadine’s relationship with her daughter was heartbreaking. The last quarter of the book has the most action and suspense which I liked the most.
(Karen's review, 3 stars)

See my reviews of her other books:
That Night - great, both liked!
Those Girls - both liked
Never Knowing - great! (In both of our top favorites for 2011)
Still Missing - both liked! (One of Gerard's top favorites in 2011)

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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:
She shook her head, pointed forward, and awkwardly tried to pull me through the snow.  I wanted to run, forget about her, leave her in the forest.
From page 16 of Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys.

Karen's:

I looked again at Aaron's photo, his tranquil smile making me suddenly angry when I thought about Heather in the hospital, her wrists bandaged, blaming herself for the loss of her child.  I turned my computer off.
From page 27 of Always Watching by Chevy Stevens. 


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading. 

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 28, 2016

"If I Run" by Terri Blackstock is the first of a Series about a Fugitive

If I Run by Terri Blackstock centers on two people:  Casey Cox, who leaves a crime scene that she may or may not have had something to do with, and Dylan Roberts, whose job is to find Casey and get to the truth of the matter.  I really liked this book because Casey and Dylan were both good characters that I got into very quickly.  I encourage you to read this one.  If it would have had just a bit more action, I would give it 5 stars.
(Gerard's review, 4.5 stars)  

Karen's review 3/23/16, 3 stars:
If I Run by Terri Blackstock is about Casey, a woman who finds a journalist friend of hers dead at his home shortly after he told her to come over. She is convinced that dirty cops murdered him and are going to arrest her for his murder. She leaves town, gets a new identity and becomes a fugitive. The victim’s parents hire Dylan, a close friend back from the war in Afghanistan, to find Casey. Casey’s father’s death was declared a suicide when she was just 12, but she always believed he was murdered and fears her friend was murdered because he was looking into her dad’s death for her. Casey is a good person who goes out of her way to help others even when she is trying to stay low and not be found.

I liked this book all right but not the ending. When I read through the questions in the back though, I discovered that this is only the first book of a trilogy so I was glad to see that! Casey questions if there even is a God but finds herself praying just in case there is when she gets into sticky situations. I have a feeling this series will not only be about Casey’s running from the law but also about her personal search for God.



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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

"The Good Goodbye" by Carla Buckley

The Good Goodbye by Carla Buckley is about two young girls, Arden and Rory.  When they wind up in the same college, it looks like good times are to be had.  Then one day, their parents are told that both girls are in a coma.  When the facts and truth come out as to why they wound up this way, their families will be rocked to their core.

I enjoyed this book.  It moves along and the stories the two girls told was interesting.
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, March 25, 2016

We Both Liked "What Was Mine" by Helen Klein Ross

What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross is fantastic!  Lucy has been trying to have a baby, but it is a no go.  One day she sees a baby alone at a store and takes it!  The next day, she makes up her mind to return the baby to its mother, but she decides otherwise and keeps it, raising the baby girl as her own.  This story is told by a bunch of people that were affected by this decision, which really adds to the story.   I was hooked from page one all the way through!  This page turner is told very well and I liked the ending too, although not everyone may agree.  Read it for yourself to see what you think.
(Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

Karen's review, 5 stars:
What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross is an interesting contemporary fiction story about Madelyn whose baby, Natalie, is kidnapped by Lucy, a woman who wants a baby but can’t conceive. Lucy raises Natalie as her own, changing her name to Mia. Mia is raised with love and given the best education, never suspecting Lucy is not her real mother until she gets a friend request on Facebook from Madelyn.

This book tugged at my heart and kept me turning pages to find out how Mia feels about her abduction and finding her real family, what will become of Lucy and will Mia keep her bond with Lucy or bond with her real mother? This book shows how good people can make mistakes that affect many lives for years to come. I found myself liking Lucy better than Madelyn even though Madelyn was the victim and suffered a major loss because of Lucy. I never heard of restitution justice until reading this book. I thought the ending was incredible but left me wanting more! I think this would be a great book club read and highly recommend it to anyone who likes good contemporary fiction.


Have you read this one? What did you think of it?  Did you like the ending?  Did you like Lucy?  If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Shared this review at Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:
No one is.  I become aware of faces looking at me in disapproval and several mouths are saying things but the only sound I can hear is someone screaming something unintelligible.
From page 32 of What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross.  (Review will be up tomorrow.)


Karen's:

I give in to the temptation to pray, though I don't know if anyone will hear.  I have trouble believing in God, but when I'm in a mess, my mind often formulates quiet pleas. 
From page 3 of If I Run by Terri Blackstock. 



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading. 

Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

"Endure" by Sara B. Larson is Heart Wrenching!

Endure by Sara B. Larson is not only the third book of the Defy trilogy, but also the best! Good characters are motivated by love and loyalty while evil characters are motivated by greed and power in a struggle to survive. Alexa and Damian’s love story continues on throughout this book and is heartbreaking. Alexa’s fight against Armando and his black sorcerers is amazing! There is lots of action in this book as well as the tender moments of friendship and love.

I loved this last book of the series which is captivating and even made me cry near the end. When Alexa left King Damian after his proposal to rescue her friend, Rylan, I thought she was nuts and was proved to be right! I actually felt she made a very bad decision there and didn’t have as much sympathy for her during her captivity as I otherwise would have. I felt it was her own fault for being so stupid to go back to Dansii with Eljin to save Rylan.

This series reminded me a lot of THE THRONE OF GLASS series by Sarah J. Mass.  I discuss some differences and similarities in this video:
  


At any rate, this is a very entertaining and adventurous fantasy/clean romance series I highly recommend, especially for anyone new to fantasy. I was never bored and it moved along well. 
(Karen's review, 5 stars) 

See my reviews of Defy-Book 1 and Ignite-Book #2

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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, March 18, 2016

"The Girl in the Red Coat" by Kate Hamer

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer is told by Beth and her 8-yr.-old daughter, Carmel.  One day Carmel is out with Beth and the next second, Carmel is gone and Beth cannot find her.  I enjoyed the point of view by Carmel more than I did Beth.  It was more interesting, but Beth had her moments too.  This book is well worth reading and I enjoyed the ending very much!
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

"Ignite" by Sara B. Larson is a Fun Fantasy Read--Second Book of Series

Ignite by Sara B. Larson is book 2 in the DEFY series that is full of attacks, betrayal, suspense and mind controlling magic!  King Damian and his kingdom are at a loss when it looks like Blevon is breaking their peace treating.  Alexa and Damian’s love story continues and Rylan gets into some major trouble. Alexa is jealous when he falls for a beautiful woman visitor. Damian’s younger brother is abducted and just when things seem to be going right for King Damian, Alexa suppresses some important information from him and that’s where this book ends. This book left me with several unanswered questions that make me look forward to continuing on with the last book in the series, Endure.  Will Alexa and King Damian get their happy ever after ending?  What will happen to Rafe and Dansii?  Will Eljin fully recover and be able to help save Blevon and the sorcerer's temple?  Will Alexa actually get to become the Queen?

I liked this book as much as the first of this series and can’t help but root for Alexa and Damian to finally find happiness together. There is lots of fighting in this book but with a twist when Alexa has no choice but to fight her friends to survive. I liked all the action in this book as well as the romantic story line between Damian and Alexa.
(Karen's review, 4 stars)

See my review of DEFY.

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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:
Tonight I'll dream of her again, I can feel it.  I can feel her in the twilight, sitting up on the skeined branches of the beech tree and calling out.
From page 3 of The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer.


Karen's:

When the door burst open and a servant ran into the room, everyone paused, including Lady Vera with her fish halfway to her mouth.
"Stop!" he shouted. "Don't eat it!  Poison!  It's poisoned!"

From page 21 of Ignite by Sara B. Larson (Book 2 in the Defy series). 


Drinking alcohol and being sleepy severely affect the sensory, motor, and analytical skills of drivers.  Every year, about 100,000 accidents occur in the U.S. because drivers were overly tired, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 1,500 drivers died.

From page 191 of BRAIN--The Complete Mind:  How id develops, How it works, and How to keep it sharp by Michael S. Sweeney.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading. 

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 14, 2016

"Those Girls" by Chevy Stevens is a Thriller About 3 Sisters We Both Liked!

Those Girls by Chevy Stevens is a gripping novel that is about three sisters (Dani, 17, Courtney-16 and Jess-14) who are abused by an alcoholic father and later raped and how each is affected by their experience and deals with it differently.  These sisters are very close and support each other and start a new life with help from an unlikely source, an ex-con who got a break and is plays it forward.

The girls do pretty good at putting their past behind them until Jess discovers she is pregnant by the guy who raped her and brings everything back. 

I LOVED this book in spite of some very graphic and horrifying parts which worked to get the reader to really root for those girls to succeed.  The bond between the sisters was very interesting to me and how Jess's daughter became the "best part of them."  I liked the people who helped the girls along their way with the "playing if forward" theme worked in and the way they chose their new names for the new identities. The ending had a lot of suspense and action which made me to keep reading and not put this down!
(Karen's review, 5 stars) 

Gerard's review (5++ stars):
Those Girls by Chevy Stevens is about three sisters.  One of the sisters shoots their dad to save the other one from him and they all go on the run!  They soon find more trouble.  This books is told in three parts from various points of view.  I really enjoyed the first part of the book as the girls were in big trouble with non-stop action.  The second part was pretty much rehashing what happened in the first part but part 3 when everything came together more than made up for part 2 and I got caught up in it!

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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, March 11, 2016

"Unhinge" by Calia Read is a "Must Read" (Book 2 in the Fairfax series)

In Unhinge by Calia Read, the sequel to Unravel, Victoria Donovan's life was going very well.  She married Wes, so handsome, so loving, had a great wedding and a beautiful house.  But then it all came undone.  Now she is in a mental hospital.  Her husband is dead, but Victoria is sure he is still coming to see her.  Is he?  Will a stranger help her and make her all right?

Wow!! What a read this is!  This book grabbed me from the start with good writing.  When it all plays out, in the end you will be like "What was that?"  I highly recommend this one--must read!
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

"Go Set a Watchman" by Harper Lee was Disappointing

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee is about the girl Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird grown up. She comes back to her hometown from living on her own in New York to visit for a couple weeks. She is shocked at some of the changes she finds and is especially disappointed in her father who she idolized as a girl.

This was a big disappointment to me and I almost quit on it twice, but plowed through to the end. It was just very boring. The only parts I really liked were the few flashbacks to when Scout was a child and teenager which were humorous. I really liked her in the first book, but didn’t like her at all in this one. The theme was that everyone needs to follow their own conscience and not to judge others based on only their actions without knowing their motives. I would highly suggest you pass on this book.
(Karen's review, 1 star)

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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

"The Silence of Six" by E. C. Myers

In The Silence of Six by E. C. Myers, you will meet Max, a young teen boy who knows how to hack into computers, phones and anything else.  He is very good at it!  When a close friend of his contacts him and then kills himself during a Presidential debate, Max wants to get to the bottom of it.

I enjoyed this book because there is lots of action and Max is a great character.  The ending was really good too!  If you liked Ready Player One, you will most likely enjoy this book too!
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:

Does it matter?  Dying's what you came for; here's your grand chance.
From page 104 of In Wilderness by Diane Thomas.


Max closed his eyes, wishing he could shut out the sounds too.  He saw blood and brains explode from the back of
Evan's skull in slow motion, like some over-the-top horror flick.
From page 17 of The Silence of Six by E. C. Myers.

Karen's:

"It's just that I'm so afraid of making a mess of being married to the wrong man--the wrong kind for me, I mean.  I'm no different from any other woman, and the wrong man would turn me into a screamin' shrew in record time."

From page 48 of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.

"You're always up for some fun--right, girl?"  There was an edge to his voice, testing, like he knew something.  Courtney looked terrified.

From page 21 of Those Girls by Chevy Stevens.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading. 

Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

"In Wilderness" by Diane Thomas


In Wilderness by Diane Thomas, Katherine receives word from her doctor that her time is short, so decides to move to an isolated cabin to spend the time she has left. However, she is not alone. A Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD, Danny who is 20 years old, lives up there too. These two people that are pretty much lost to the rest of the world.

This book is told by both Katherine and Danny. Even though there is not a lot of action, I just had to see how this would all play out so kept me reading. I was riveted by both of them. It is well worth your time.
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, March 4, 2016

"DEFY" by Sara B. Larson

Manny Boy being defiant--ignoring the book!
Defy by Sara B. Larson is a YA fantasy novel about Alexa, who pretends she is a boy to avoid being captured and put into King Hector’s “breeding house.” Instead, she serves with her twin brother as a guard for Prince Damian. She is actually the best sword fighter in the army and would be captain except she is too young.

There is some mystery and action throughout this first book in the series. Secrets are revealed, people feel betrayed and Alexa finally gets to be herself. With some magic and a love triangle, this book kept my interest and I enjoyed it.  I look forward to reading the rest of this series with Ignite and Endure.
 (Karen'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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

"HOPE--a School, a Team, a Dream" by Bill Reynolds

HOPE--A School, a Team, a Dream by Bill Reynolds tells the true story of Hope, a high school in Providence, Rhode Island, and one season of basketball. The coach of the team is Dave Nyblom. What I enjoyed in this book was the interaction between the coach and the players. That was the main focus of the story. The part that dealt with the actual games was okay too. With March Madness set to begin in a few weeks, this book is perfect to get you in the mood for it!
(Gerard's review, 4.5 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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:
Roy had some trouble screwing the silencer onto the end of the gun.  It wouldn't thread right.  Martin Shine watched him with those magnified eyes.

From page 16 of Shaker by Scott Frank.

One night, he said, the kids were going from his house to his mother's house a couple of hundred yards away in a field.  It was dark and some of them had said they were afraid, and Nyblom had said, "How about I fire a few gunshots into the air so it will feel like home?"
From page 17 of Hope--a School, a Team, a Dream by Bill Reynolds.


What did she want from him?  A wave of panic overcame him suddenly.
From page 23 of The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin.

Karen's:

"I want to go home."  It was something he said in times of distress since he was a toddler.  It had been his first full sentence.  She always answered in the same way:  "You are home."
"I want my mama."
"I'm here, baby."
He looked away from her.  "Not you.  I want my other mother."
"I'm your mommy, honey."
He turned.  His doleful eyes locked onto hers.  "No, you're not."

From page 34 of The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin. (Sorry for the length, but had to get the gist across--the kid is 4 years old)

Bile rose in my throat and panic seized me.  I couldn't go back there--I couldn't lead other girls to that fate at sword point.
From page 16 of Defy by Sara B. Larson.


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading. 

Happy Reading!
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