Thursday, June 22, 2017

"The Bright Hour" by Nina Riggs

The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs is her true story.  She was already going through a rough time with her mom who has Cancer and does not have much time left.  Then one day she gets a call from her doctor that no one ever wants to get and hears that they found a spot on her breast.  It is hard to say I enjoyed this book because it's very sad.  I did enjoy her interactions with her family though which makes up most of this book.  Rest in peace, Nina, and God bless your husband and children.  (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, June 20, 2017

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:

A heavy door slams outside, making us both jump.  She's as nervous as I am, I realize. 
From page 6 of He Said, She Said by Erin Kelly.


My heart is a yo-yo, whizzing up and down, and he's the one pulling the string.  Only I didn't ever know it could go this high.
From page 51 of Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith.
 
Karen's:



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   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, June 17, 2017

"He Said/She Said" by Erin Kelly

In He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly, Kit and Laura want to see an eclipse but Laura sees something else too:  a man and a woman who is being attacked.  Months later, the woman shows up on Laura's doorstep.  Soon Laura questions if what she saw was really that bad.  There is a lot of twists and turns in this book.  The build up to the last part is so good!  You really do not know how it will play out.
(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, June 15, 2017

"Windfall" by Jennifer E. Smith is Interesting

In Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith, Alice and Teddy have a very close friendship. On Teddy’s 18th birthday, Alice, who has a huge crush on him, bought him a lottery ticket with numbers she picked. Teddy won a big payday! Teddy and his mom, who had next to nothing, now can have everything! How will this change Teddy? Will Alice and Teddy’s relationship grow or will it break apart over money?  I enjoyed this book because Alice and Teddy are both great characters and I liked the ending.
(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, June 14, 2017

"Making Bombs for Hitler" by Marsha Forchuk

Making Bombs for Hitler by Marsha Forchuk is based on a true story.  Lida and Larissa are sisters who are separated by the Nazis when they are taken to a concentration camp.  Lida vows to find her sister.  Does she?  Do the two sisters even survive?  It addresses the question of "What would you do to survive?"  This book is a quick read and I found it very east to get into.  (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, June 13, 2017

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:

The dog had two red lights for eyes, and although Sarah Schoefel knew they were nothing but colored lenses over laser targeting systems, she swore that those eyes glared at her.  With menace, with what she felt was a kind of bloody, wicked pride.
From page 48 of Dogs of War by Jonathan Maberry.


My heart is a yo-yo, whizzing up and down, and he's the one pulling the string.  Only I didn't ever know it could go this high.
From page 51 of Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith.
 
By the time we finished with the introductions, I realized that I wasn't the only one who had been separated from a sister or brother or parents.  We lay there, listening to the constant thunder of bombs in the distance, each of us wrapped in our own personal pain.

From page 30 of Making Bombs for Hitler by Marsha Forchuk.

Karen's:

The unrelenting weight of these stone walls would no longer be kept tolerable by his sister's presence, by the motivation that he was working toward her future as well as his own.  The whole world keeps on turning while you just try to hold your own life together.
From page 9 of Girl on the Leeside by Kathleen Anne Kenney.


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   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, June 10, 2017

"Not A Sound" by Heather Gudenkauf

In Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf, Amelia is deaf due to an incident that she was lucky to still be alive from.  She is trying to get her life back together.  One day while she and her dog are out on the river paddle boarding, she comes across a dead body--a nurse she used to be good friends with!  Who killed her friend and why?
 
I really enjoyed the dog, Stitch but the main character was okay too.  I would have loved more action though.  The last 50 pages things picked up and I liked the ending so 4 stars for this one!
(Gerard's review)

Karen's review, 4 stars:
Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf is about Amelia and her service dog, Stitch. Amelia is a nurse who lost her hearing in an accident and whose life pretty much fell apart. She turned to alcohol and her husband kicked her out, only allowing her to supervised visits with her step-daughter, Nora. Her closest friend since childhood is Jake, a cop, who sort of watches over her like a brother. When she discovers the dead body of one of her nurse friends from several years ago in the woods by her river where she was paddle boards and kayaks, her curiosity gets the best of her and she jumps into the investigation. As she comes closer to figuring out who murdered her friend, her life becomes more complicated and dangerous.

I enjoyed reading this book but of course, the cops are once again portrayed as incompetent and it’s up to Amelia to figure out who and why murdered her friend. My favorite character in this book is the service dog, Stitch. The medical portion of this book was pretty scary. (4 stars)

Spoiler Alert – do not read further unless you have read the book! The ending of this book was very good and I really liked the big chase when the murderer came after Amelia but couldn’t help but think how stupid she was by leaving her dog and running off instead of using the guy’s stun gun against him that he dropped in the snow and retrieving her cell phone from his pocket when she had the chance. I did have to give her credit for getting out of her house through her bedroom window, but then again, why would she leave her car keys on a table downstairs instead of in her pocket? I was hoping her husband would not be involved and they would reconcile, but I am okay with her ending up with Jake. What did you think of this?


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, June 9, 2017

"Dogs of War" by Jonathan Maberry

In Dogs of War by Jonathan Maberry, a radical scientist has come up with a plan that will cause havoc on earth.  Billions will die and there is not too much that can be done to stop it!  The technology is that good.  Joe Ledger and a rebuilt department of military sciences are all that is left to stop this from happening!   Plenty of action makes this book zoom right along!
(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, June 8, 2017

"Navy Seal Dogs--My Tale of Training Canines for Combat" by Mike Ritland is Amazing!

Navy Seal Dogs--My Tale of Training Canines for Combat by Mike Ritland is about Malinois dogs used in battle and how they are trained.  It is pretty fascinating and was interesting reading about the different dogs and how they helped in battle.  It was also eye-opening to see what the trainers and handlers go through to prepare the dogs for battle.
(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, June 7, 2017

"The Long Drop" by Denise Mina (Based on a True Story)

In The Long Drop by Denise Mina, William Watt's wife, daughter and sister-in-law got shot to death and William is the primary suspect.  Watt turns to Peter Manual who claims that he has information that only the killer would know, but can he be trusted?  Will Watt give Manual what he wants in exchange for the information?

This novel is actually based on a true story!  I thought it was pretty good and kept my interest to the end.
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:

'I killed my wife, they say.  I suppose anyone might kill their wife, but her sister?  Why would I?  Who would?  And my daughter?'
From page 43 of The Long Drop by Denise Mina.

Karen's:
From his seat between the knees of his handler, a SEAL named Brett, Chopper's chest rose and fell at a slightly agitated rate in response to the men's eagerness.  The men were about to rappel out of the plane into the pits-black night and into enemy territory, and Chopper was going with them.
From page 2 of Navy Seal Dogs--My Tale of Training Canines for Combat by Mike Ritland.

I  offered her emergency contraceptives and the phone number for a domestic abuse shelter.  She didn't cry once during the entire process.  But now the tears are falling freely, dampening the clean scrubs I gave her to change into.
 From page 10 of Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading.  Happy Reading!

Friday, June 2, 2017

"100 Hours" by Rachel Vincent

In 100 Hours by Rachel Vincent, Genesis and Maddie and their friends are on vacation in Columbia.  They are soon taken hostage and their parents better comply with the people now in charge or people will start getting killed.   The first 100 pages set the scene and from then on this book takes off in a good way!  There was just enough action to keep me interested and the ending makes me look forward to book 2.
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

"Two Good Dogs" by Susan Wilson--We Both Liked This One (UPDATED)

Two Good Dogs by Susan Wilson is all about second chances and is a heartwarming story involving two Pit Bulls who used to be used as fighting dogs but got rescued. Skye and her daughter Cody are trying to start a new life after Skye’s husband got killed in a drive-by shooting. Skye decides to go after her dream of running a hotel but her daughter does not share that dream and resents having to leave all her friends and move to a little town. Cody has a secret that she cannot tell anyone because it is a matter of life and death. Adam is a widower who visits Skye’s hotel with his dog, Chance, a therapy dog. Chance leads Cody to Mingo, a street kid who overdosed, and his pit bull, Dawg Chance and Dawg become friend;, Cody and Mingo become friends. Cody’s strange behavior is all related to the big secret she feels forced to keep.

I loved this book and it went by quick. I was sorry to see it end because I really liked Mingo and would have liked to see how Cody would continue to mature and grow. I also would have liked to know if Adam and Skye would actually marry, but the book ended before any of that happened. I still enjoyed this book very much and liked all the main characters. I thought Skye, the single mom, was also an interesting character who I felt sorry for throughout the book because of all the trouble her daughter got into.
(Karen's review, 5 stars)

Gerard's review, 5/25/17:
In Two Good Dogs by Susan Wilson, single mom Skye runs a hotel with the help of her daughter Cody but when Cody falls in with the wrong crowd, she needs help.  Adam and his dog check into the hotel and Skye befriends him.  When Cody befriends a street kid named Mingo and his Pitbull, can these four form a bond?

I thought this book was pretty good.  The story line kept me interested and I really enjoyed both dogs in it!  (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, May 31, 2017

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (UPDATED)

In Flame in The Mist by Renee Ahdieh, Mariko is to be married, but her convoy was cut short when the Black Clan attacked and killed everyone but her!  Mariko wants revenge and decides to join the Black Clan to find a way to destroy them and why they wanted her dead.  

I thought this book was really good!  Mariko is a great character and this book has good action along the way.  I enjoyed the twists in the story that I did not see coming and look forward to book 2 in this series!  (Gerard's review, 5 stars)

Karen's Review, 5/28/17:
Flame in The Mist by Renee Ahdieh centers around Japan and is the story of Mariko, a young woman who feels she is looked down upon because she is a female. She has a twin brother who is a warrior and she would like to be a warrior too. While on her way to becoming the bride of someone she never met that has been arranged by her father, her caravan is attacked and everyone is killed except for her. She gets away but before too long, finds the Black Clan who are the ones she believes were the attackers and wants to find out who wanted her dead.

This story has quite a bit of action in it and I enjoyed reading it even though parts were a bit confusing. The names were strange but I liked the relationship that developed between Okami and Marika. I liked how Marika was able to fool people into believing she was a guy. I did not really understand the magical stuff in this book like the enchanted forest and the beast that came and went. Some things just didn’t make sense to me. The strange ending left me hanging. I did not like the way it ended at all and for me, that brought my rating down from a 4 to a 3.  (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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tuesday Teaser


Gerard's:

The glimmer in Tella's eyes grew brighter; when she was happy, the world turned shimmery, making Scarlett want to beam along with her and say yes to whatever her sister desired.  But Scarlett had learned too well how treacherous it was to hope in something as illusive as a wish.
From page 17 of Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

Karen's:
If Mariko lingered, she would be burned alive.  If she moved from her hiding place, the masked men outside would undoubtedly finish their dark task.
From page 17 of Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh.

I put my nose to the air that puffs out as the doors close.  Yes, absolutely.  This is one unhappy girl.
 From page 39 of Two Good Dogs by Susan Wilson.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   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, May 29, 2017

"Caraval" by Stephanie Garber

Caraval by Stephanie Garber is about Scarlett who has always wanted to go and experience Caraval, a faraway, one-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show.  Her father would not allow it though and she didn't have a ticket.  When she manages to get a ticket, she has her sister defy their father and go.  But when Scarlett gets there, her sister, Tella, goes missing.  Is that part of the Caraval game or is it something more?

I thought this book was very good.  Scarlett was a great character and I never knew what was real and what was not!  Sign me up for Book 2 in this series.
(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, May 26, 2017

"Nearing Home--Life, Faith, and Finishing Well" by Billy Graham

Nearing Home--Life, Faith and Finishing Well by Billy Graham is practical as well as inspirational.  This is a non-fiction book about aging that is inspirational and made me feel a bit better about approaching retirement age.  It is encouraging and uplifting.  It's a quick read that I finished in just one day.  One of my favorite quotes from this book is "About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age."  I recommend this one!
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"Bear Town" by Fredrik Backman - Loved This One! (Updated)


Bear Town by Fredrik Backman is about how a small town got so wrapped up with their boys’ hockey team having a shot at the championship that it became the town’s priority. This book deals with rape and how people always assume the girl brought it on herself, or deserved it, or wanted it, especially when the accused rapist is a popular, well-liked boy who is captain of their beloved hockey team.

I liked this book because of all the different characters and their interactions with each other. I liked how parenting played a big part in this book as well as the hockey team. It is well written and was never confusing. I got into this right from the start and my views about some of the characters changed for me along the way. My favorite characters were Amat, Peter (the GM), Benji and his sisters, the teacher (“Sweet Cheeks”), and Ramona. I liked the surprise ending too! (Karen's review 5/24/17, 5 stars)

Gerard's review, 5/19/17:
Welcome to Bear Town by Fredrick Backman, author of A Man Called Ove.  Bear Town is a small town that is excited because its junior boys hockey team has a chance to win a championship, but this book is so much more than just hockey!  The writing is fantastic!  The characters in this book are so real that I got sucked in early.  You need to read every page because the author includes so much that you might miss a game changer if you skip parts.  The ending is perfect!  This book will be high on my top book list for 2017--that I know!
(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, May 23, 2017

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:

"Come on.  We helped you steal it, and if that box caused what happened with Miss Peters, you can bet we're going to get grilled about it."
From page 36 of To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough.

Karen's:
The headmaster lets out an anxious yelp and flies up from his chair, takes her by the arm, and leads her our into the corridor.  Perhaps grabbing someone's arm is the correct response.
From page 137 of Bear Town by Fredrik Backman.


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading.  Happy Reading!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

"To Catch a Killer" by Sheryl Scarborough

In To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough, Erin Blake's life has always been tough.   When she was a toddler, she was left alone with her dead mom for three days.  Through the years, she always wanted to know who killed her mother.  Now someone close to her is killed again, 14 years later.  Is she getting close to finding out who?  Is she next? 

For a debut novel, this was pretty good.  It kept my interest for the most part and has a good ending.  The forensic part with the DNA dragged along for me, but I give it 4 stars.
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

"Avenged" by Amy Tintera


Gerard's review, 5/17/17:
Avenged by Amy Tintera is the sequel to Ruined, which we both liked a lot.  EM is back, and that is a good thing.  Now she is the Queen of Ruina along with her sister, Olivia.  But they do not see things the same way!  Trouble is coming and Em must save her people and their land.  Will her sister get in her way?  Will Cas and Em get together?  This book went fast since it has good action and the ending sets up a great book 3.
(5 stars)

Karen's review, 5/20/17:
Avenged by Amy Tintera is a continuation of Ruined.  It took me a while to remember the characters because it's been so long since I read the first book of this series, but once my memory kicked in, I really enjoyed this book.  The sisters are both queens of Ruined together, but because they have different views about plain humans, things become quite rocky.  Olivia wants to fight off everyone and destroy them all while Em prefers to try to keep peace through negotiating.  At least they both agreed it would be a bad idea for either of them to marry the Oslo prince Austin, a complete jerk.  There is a lot of action in this and the relationships kept my interest.  It ended too soon, left me wanting more, ugh!  (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!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

"The Red Hunter" by Lisa Unger (Updated, We Both Liked This One)

Manny Boy (R.I.P. 5/14/17)
The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger is a mystery with complex characters and surprises about seeking justice/revenge. At the center of this novel is an old “haunted” farmhouse that was Zoey’s childhood home where her parents were murdered years ago and one Claudia has inherited and is renovating. Some cops justify stealing $1 million from a drug dealer and after the agreed upon cuts, Zoey’s dad hides it. The story line with Claudia centers on her marriage, her teenage daughter Raven and the renovation while Zoey’s story centers on her hunting down and killing the men who murdered her parents and tortured her as a kid.

This novel is fast-paced and kept my attention, peaked my interest and challenged me to think about the difference between justice and revenge. I liked both Claudia and Zoey. The ending was great but also a bit shocking. The only thing I didn’t really like was that abrupt switching between story lines without any transition. I really liked this one though in spite of that and highly recommend it if you like crime novels that weave in normal lives. 
(Karen's review, 5/18/17, 5 stars)

Gerard read this first:
In The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger, Claudia wants a new start.  She is trying to deal with a horrible assault on her that she will live with forever.  She is going to fix up an old house that was in her family for her and her daughter.  Zoey Drake had a terrible ordeal too and wants revenge in the worst way!  What these two women have in common is that house and the secrets that still exist in it, none of which Claudia has any idea about.

This is good stuff!  The first part of the book sets it up and the last part of the book shows how it all plays out.  Lisa Unger is always good!  This is another good read by her and I look forward to her next one.  (Gerard's review, 5/8/17, 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, May 16, 2017

Teaser Tuesdays


Gerard's:

"Fine."  he'd find someone else to kill.  There were plenty of Lera hunters running around Ruina, attempting to get out now that they were the ones being hunted.
From page 20 of Avenged by Amy Tintera.

Karen's:
What would they, my coworkers, say if they knew what I was?  All the same things they said about him.  That I was quiet.  Kept to myself.  They would have a hard time reconciling the pale, silent, nondescript girl who worked beside them.
From page 27 of The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger.


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading.  Happy Reading!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

"A Rancher for Their Mom" by Leann Harris

A Rancher for Their Mom by Leann Harris is a happy Christian fiction romance for Mother's Day.  A widow rancher with two young boys who want to be cowboys and one little girl prays for God's help to get her farm planted and keep the ranch going.  The answer comes in the form of a rodeo cowboy passing through town.

This is light reading and you know right from the title how it turns out, but the boys in it made it somewhat interesting and a heartwarming read.
(Karen's review, 3 stars)

On a sad note, this our cat, Manny's, last photo shoot.  He was a very affectionate cat and we will miss him terribly, but he stopped eating and when he did, he couldn't keep it down anymore.  He kept losing weight and I had to do what was best for him.  We chose to end his life so he would die with dignity and not be in pain any longer.  This picture was taken on his last day with us. 

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, May 13, 2017

"A Court of Wings and Ruin" by Sarah J. Maas - We Both Loved It!

A Court of Wings and Ruin is the third book of A Court of Thorns and Roses series and did not disappoint! It starts off with Feyre back with Tamlin in the Spring Court where she creates some havoc with her mischief, but soon moves back to Valeris. Feyre and Lucian’s friendship is strengthened and he proves. In this book, other courts come into play and more new characters are introduced. Feyre’s sisters have a major part in this book and some romance starts to blossom. Rys and Fayre are reunited and work together so well throughout the book. There is a lot of banter and adventure.

This is a page turner that was hard for me to put down once Rys and Feyre were reunited. I was happy to see Tamlin come through for Feyre and her flying lessons with Azriel were pretty funny but paid off in the end. I loved how this book brought out a wide range of emotions for me and of course had some surprises along the way. I look forward to the next book in this series. (Karen's review, 5 stars)

Gerard's review:
This is the third book in this series written from Feyre's perspective.  WOW!  This book is really good!  It has plenty of action and I loved the dialogue between all the main characters.  That really added to the enjoyment of the book for me.  The ending is full of surprises and I had a hard time putting it down for the last 150 pages.  With this book, Sarah J. Mass shows once again why she is one of the best!  I give this 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, May 10, 2017

"The Takedown" by Corrie Wang

In The Takedown by Corrie Wang, Kyla has it going good, on track to be the valedictorian, debate champ and good friends including a loving boyfriend.  But when a video hit the internet just days before college applications, Kyla might lose it all!

I had a love-hate relationship with this book.  Just when I wanted to give up on it, I found a reason not to.  I liked the main character and it had a lot of hi-tech gadgets that were pretty cool with a real nice ending.
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

"The Dog Who Was There" by Ron Marasco (We Both Liked This!)

The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco is told by Barley, a dog who lived during Bible times.  He has a lot of adventures and also gets to see "the kind man."  This book is a very good read, especially for Easter, but I think you would enjoy it any time.  This is very good Christian fiction!
(Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

Karen's review:
The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco weaves the life of a dog in Judea during Bible times with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, told mostly from the dog’s point of view. Barley, the dog, has good times and bad, changes masters throughout the book and shows how forgiveness and love can change people. Although there is quite a bit of sadness in this book, it also has happy times with a marvelous ending! (4 stars) The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco weaves the life of a dog in Judea during Bible times with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, told mostly from the dog’s point of view. Barley, the dog, has good times and bad, changes masters throughout the book and shows how forgiveness and love can change people. Although there is quite a bit of sadness in this book, it also has happy times with a marvelous ending! (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!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:

The fading light, the unfamiliar people, the confusing twists in the landscape made Barley feel like he was running up the road of a bad dream.  But he kept moving, pushing himself, racing uphill, sniffing, looking, listening, and hoping to catch the smell, sight, or sound of his beloved masters.
From page 66 of The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco.

This baby is proof that even out of the most horrific possible moment, in your darkest hour, something wonderful is possible, Claudia had countered.
     Martha, who was fifteen years older than Claudia, just shook her head, looked off into the middle distance as if she were the long-suffering knower of all things, just waiting for her little sister to catch up.
From page 20 of The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger.

Karen's:

That was my first step: make Tamlin believe, truly believe, that I loved him and this place, and everyone in it.
          So that he would not suspect when I turned them on each other.
From page 22 of A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading.  Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

"Angels on a School Bus" by Dr. Roberta K. Ray

Angels on a School Bus--How a Community of Volunteers Saved Two Hundred German Shepherds and Huskies by Dr. Roberta K. Ray is a true story.  Over 200 dogs were being held in a school bus by a man who hoarded them with the intent to sell them to make money. 

I loved this book because it shows that there are lots of people willing to do what they can to help!  I especially enjoyed the stories of the dogs that found their good forever homes!

(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, May 3, 2017

"Last Seen Leaving" by Caleb Roehrig

In Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig, Flynn’s girlfriend has gone missing. The cops and her parents have their eyes on Flynn as knowing all about it, but Flynn has his own secret and will do and say anything to make sure that his secret does not get out. I thought this book was pretty good. The story line kept my interest and what I thought I knew turned out to be wrong. (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, May 2, 2017

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:

My thoughts splintered as I stumbled up the slope, abject fear making an icy slush of my bloodstream, certainty and denial kicking in simultaneously.  I told myself, No, no it isn't, it can't be, no, but I knew.
From page 97 of Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig.


Karen's:

"You'll be more likely to make mistakes if you're nervous.  Just stay quiet, observe as much as you can...and trust no one."
From page 101 of The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   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, April 29, 2017

"The Kommandant's Girl" by Pam Jenoff (We Both Liked This One!)


The Kommandant’s Girl by Pam Jenoff is a very interesting story about a Jewish girl, Emma, doing whatever she needs to do to survive the Nazi rule. Emma is just 19 and recently married to Jacob, a leader in the resistance movement, at the start of the book. When Jacob leaves Emma alone to work on dangerous missions for the resistance, Emma goes to live with her parents, but finds that they have been taken away to a Jewish ghetto. She follows them but with the help of the resistance, escapes to her husband’s Aunt’s house who she then lives with. When the aunt throws a dinner party for high ranking political officials, Emma takes on a whole new identity and begins to work for the Kommandant at Nazi headquarters. Will she ever be reunited with her husband? Will the Rabbi’s little boy who lives with her survive? Will he ever know about his Jewish heritage?

This book is about Emma’s journey and raises some moral and ethical questions. I liked this book and was not disappointed. The double life that Emma found herself in was very interesting and I also liked both the Kommandant and Jacob. I could easily see how Emma could be unfaithful to her husband under the circumstances. It was fun trying to figure out who Emma could trust. It would be a good one for a book club to discuss. There is lots of aspects to discuss. I highly recommend this one! I read this book because I liked The Orphan’s Tale by this author so wanted to try another one by her. (Karen's review 5/2/17, 5 stars)

Gerard's review 4/29/17:
In The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff, Emma is a newly married woman when the Nazi's take over Poland.  Her husband goes underground to fight the takeover.  Emma wants to help too, but when circumstances give her a chance to do her part, it is very dangerous.  One false move means death for her and those she loves!

This is good stuff!  The story line is very good and I felt the tension grow.  The characters are very believable too.  (5+ stars)

We both also liked The Orphan's Tale by this author.

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!

This is linked up to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop in response to the book review prompt.  

Friday, April 28, 2017

"Every Heart a Doorway" by Seanan McGuire

In Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, the children find a way into a fantasy world, for a time at least.  Their parents send them to a home under Miss West's care to get their heads straight.  When Nancy arrives, strange things start to happen and it is up to Nancy and her schoolmates to get things back in order.

I got this as an audio book.  I enjoyed the different children and how they had to work together but give it only 4 stars because it is so short.  The book only has 170 pages.
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"The Dead House" by Dawn Kurtagich is Really Spooky and Creepy!

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich is a very dark, creepy book I just read for a change of pace. I was intrigued that it was about a girl with Dissociative Identity Disorder or multiple personality disorder. It is told in a very unique way through interviews, video transcripts, notes and emails. This is a psychological thriller with paranormal activity as well. I wish it was written in chronological order because I found it a bit annoying that I was reading parts dated “after the incident” before I even knew what incident it was referring to. Parts before the incident included dates and a countdown of days before the incident—quite an interesting way of creating some suspense, I admit. This book is an interesting and creepy mystery that drew me in. If you like strange and unusual mysteries with black magic, then you would most likely love this book. I did not like the ending at all! If you read this one, we’d like to hear what you thought of it.
 (Karen's review, 4 stars)

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich is really creepy!  It tells the story of a diary that belonged to Carly Johnson.  This is a VERY disturbed mind for sure.  She tells of Kaitlyn, Carly's alter ego!  This book got me hooked because of all the strange goings on.  I just had to see how it all played out.

This author really knows how to play with your mind, that's for sure!  I won't be able to get this one out of my head for a while.  To me, this is even creepier than many of the Stephen King books I've read!
(Gerard's review, 4/20/17, 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!

"BANG" by Barry Lyga

In Bang by Barry Lyga, Sebastian had a terrible incident when he was 4 years old. He has had to live with his actions from that day every day. Now he knows that there is a way to make it stop, and he has decided that it is time to do just that. I got into this book from page 1. The characters were well developed and very believable. It is a very quick 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!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:

She has taken my words seriously and not treated me any differently.  A part of me imagined that learning about my past would either repel her or bring her closer to me, but she's acting as though she hasn't learned something horrific.
From page 161 of Bang by Barry Lyga.


Karen's:

(AL):  That's what made her case so interesting.  She had only one other alter, and that one was fairly normal, as far as alters go.
From page 55 of The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading.  Happy Reading!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

"The Art of Pickleball--Techniques and Strategies for Everyone" by Gale H. Leach

The Art of Pickleball--Techniques and Strategies for Everyone by Gale H. Leach is a comprehensive book about how to play Pickleball.  The material includes the rules, how to execute and when best to use different types of shots, etiquette, grips, footwork, doubles and singles, some drills and the mental game and strategies.  The author interviewed tournament players and presents different views on technique and strategy.  I believe anyone who would like to improve their game would find this book helpful.  One thing that made a lot of sense and really stood out to me that I came across in this book is that when playing outdoors, if one side of the court is at a disadvantage due to the sun or if playing on a very windy day, when you reach 6 points (halfway through a game) teams switch sides!  Having played outdoors on very windy days myself, this seems to be a very fair rule, one I had not heard before.
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey is a predictable romance set in England during the 19th century. I read this because I came across a teaser that was humorous and just wanted a change of pace. It is somewhat humorous, but for the most part just dragged along with lots of conversation and very little action. If you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice, you would probably like this one. I didn’t care for it all that much.
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"Hunted" by Meagan Spooner

The father in Hunted by Meagan Spooner has three daughters.  He wants the best for them and invests his entire wealth into a plan.  When that plan blows up, he must move with his daughters to the forest.  There he will go hunt the beast and regain some wealth.  When he does not come back for some time, the youngest daughter heads out to find him and help kill the beast.

I really enjoyed this book a lot!  Yeva, the youngest daughter, is a great character.  There are subplots that really add to the enjoyment of the book.  The ending was perfect and this is a stand alone!
(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, April 18, 2017

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:

"You promised not to run," he murmured.  "You did not promise not to try to kill me."
From page 164 of Hunted by Meagan Spooner.


Karen's:

"We will not mention having to pry you free from certain death, if you do not mention having seen us on this side of town . . . to anyone.  An easy arrangement, don't you think?"
From page 9 of Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading.  Happy Reading!

Friday, April 14, 2017

"Winter Journey" by Diane Armstrong


Image from Amazon.com
Winter Journey by Diane Armstrong is based on a true story!  Halina is a forensic dentist.  She is taking part in a war crime investigation, but emotions still run deep and she finds herself in the middle of something that will probably not end well.  She is also about to discover something that will change her life as she knows it!  The ending is fantastic!  I did not see that coming at all. 

Some of the best books I read are non-fiction books on topics that I know little or nothing about.  WOW!  What a story this is!  Halina is a great character and the others are well developed as well, especially the priest.  LOVED IT!  This is my new favorite book of the month.
(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, April 13, 2017

"PICKLEBALL Fundamentals--Master the basics and compete with confidence"

I was thrilled to find PICKLEBALL Fundamentals by USA Pickleball Association with Mary Littlewood because we are adding this sport to our church FOCUS sports camp for the first time this summer and I will be the director for it.  I was looking for a complete book that included tips, instructions and drills.  This book has it all!  It covers all the different shots and gives an explanation of when they should be used in a game.  Everything that is addressed is also shown with pictures or diagrams to help the reader understand.  It even has checklists as to what adjustments to make when you find yourself making the same error repeatedly.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about learning to play Pickleball well or anyone who is in a position to teach others how to play. 
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Horizon" by Scott Westerfeld (UPDATED)

Horizon by Scott Westerfeld is about eight young teens left to fend for themselves when the plane they were on crashed.  All the rest of the passengers are gone!  They are on land but don't know where because they were flying over the arctic, but when the plane crashed, they found themselves in a jungle! There is good action in this and I enjoyed all the characters.  There is going to be six more books in this series--should be interesting!

Note:  We went to play the game at scholastic.com/horizon, but couldn't figure out where the "jump" key was to get over the obstacles, nor did we see any explanation of how to play the game--very lame.
(Gerard's review, 4 stars)

Horizon by Scott Westerfeld is a mystery about eight teens who seem to be the only survivors of a very strange plane crash in the arctic.  Four of them were on their way to a robotics soccer championship in Japan.  The other 500 passengers on the plane are missing.  The teens find themselves in a jungle where strange things happen.

This is an interesting, fun read that leaves you with questions at the end.  Apparently this is only the first book in a series of seven.  It has adventure and lots of mystery in it that made me want to keep reading.  I was not satisfied with the ending because it only answered one of the questions that was raised--where are they?   I think kids would really like this one a lot!
(Karen's review, 4 stars) 

My favorite character was Yoshi.  If you've read this, who was your favorite character? 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, April 11, 2017

Teaser Tuesdays


Gerard's:

Halina sat up and shook her head in disbelief.  How could a vision have such power?
From page 46 of Winter Journey by Diane Armstrong.

Starbursts filled my eyes.  I was still blinded, but this time by the sudden glare of light.  
From page 26 of Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton (Sequel to A Rebel of the Sands).

Karen's:

I can hear all the moms out there thinking I've broken my own rules.  NEVER HAVE ANOTHER CHILD OVER FOR A PLAYDATE WITHOUT BACKUP CONTACT INFORMATION!!!
From page 17 of A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell.

When played correctly, pickleball is a game of finesse and soft, controlled shots at the net.  The ideal position for doubles partners is for both players to be just behind the non-volley zone line, facing the action on the other side of the net.
From page 18 of Pickeball Fundamentals by USA Pickleball Association with Mary Littlewood.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   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, April 10, 2017

"Traitor to the Throne" by Alwyn Hamilton

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton is the follow up to Rebel of the Sands.  This book is SO MUCH BETTER than the first one.  It is not even close!  Amani is still her bad-ass self but the other characters are more developed and have a bigger role in this book.  The main story line is that a rebellion is underway to overthrow the sultan.  The action is good throughout and makes me want a book 3!  This is my book of the month so far!
(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!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

We Agree: "The Great Pursuit" by Wendy Higgins is Really Great! (UPDATED)

The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins is the sequel to The Great Hunt. Aerity and her sister and cousin are amazing in this along with Pax, Tiern, Harrison and Lief and Furball!  This is full of adventure, suspense, fighting and romance.  The addition of Furball, a beast that was rescued from Rozaria Rocato by Harrison and Aerity, a very entertaining addition.

I loved Furball and how the women insisted he come along and stay at the castle.  In this book, I really got invested in the main characters who were very interesting and well developed.  The ending was fantastic and I loved how the plot developed and moved along.  There were no boring parts in this one for me!  I highly recommend this if you want an entertaining read with adventure and romance.  I think I will check into the Sweet Evil series by this author as well.   
(Karen's review, 5 stars)


The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins picks up where The Great Hunt ended.  Princess Aerity is to marry the man who killed the great beast.  But can she marry a man she does not love?  Soon Lochlanach is in great peril--can the royal family survive?

I thought this book was Fantastic!  It has constant action which made this book fly by for me.  I never knew what was coming next. I enjoyed all the characters very much!  The ending was perfect!  I am glad this story was finished in just two books.  LOVED IT!
(Gerard's review 3/23/17, 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, April 7, 2017

"Rebel of the Sands" by Alwyn Hamilton

In Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, Amani is a young girl who wants out of her small town.  She will go to great lengths to make sure that happens.  She meets Jin in a shouting contest and she sees him as her ticket out of town, but little does she know she is about to go on the adventure of her life!

Amani is a great character who does not take gruff from anybody!  There is good action in this book but the last part has new characters introduced that got me a bit confused.  That being said, this first book by this author is well worth reading--on to book two!   
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

"Tune My Heart to Sing--90 Devotions on Hymns from "Our Daily Bread"

Tune My Heart to Sing is a collection of 90 devotions on Hymns from Our Daily Bread that is very interesting if you are familiar with hymns. I really enjoyed reading about the background of different ones and as I’d read, the tunes would run through my mind. As you can see from the picture, I marked a lot of pages that had things that stood out to me. I think the scripture index at the back of the book is a helpful addition. I highly recommend this devotional book because they are short, only one page long, but all contain scripture passages related to the hymns.
(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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

"Roseblood" by A. G. Howard

In Roseblood by A. G. Howard is a retelling of "The Phantom of the Opera."  Rune has a very beautiful singing voice, but when she is done singing she gets very ill.  Her mom sends her to a French boarding school for the arts in hope that this will fix her.  There she is befriended by a young boy named Thorn.  What she does not know is that he works for the Phantom who wants Rune for himself.  Will the Phantom get Rune or will Thorn go against the Phantom which would mean certain death for him?

(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, April 4, 2017

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:

Calling cards to leave, strange novelties that would rive her to seek out the illumination only darkness could provide.  She would find him of her own free will; and she would find herself and her purpose, whether she was prepared or not.
From page 31-32 of Roseblood by A. G. Howard.

There's no way she could be mixed up in something bad.  There'seither been a terrible accident or some kind of mistake.
From page 136 of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry.

Karen's:

"What I did today . . . I wish I hadn't been a part of it.  And I wish Lord Alvi would not have glamorized my role."
From page 34 of The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   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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