Saturday, April 29, 2017

"The Kommandant's Girl" by Pam Jenoff

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.
(Gerard's review, 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!

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!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

"The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die" by April Henry

In The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry,  a young girl wakes up in a cabin.  She does not know who she is or what she is doing there.  What she does know is that two men are going to do something not so nice to her unless she does something quick.

This is a good short story.  It is just a little over 200 pages and kept my interest.  I liked the two main characters.  The story line is okay and the action moves along nicely.
(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 1, 2017

"The Great Hunt" by Wendy Higgins

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins is a fun YA fantasy read about a princess whose father has promised she will marry whoever kills the beast that attacks villagers and has started even to attack close to the royals!  Many hunters come to the palace from surrounding kingdoms to hunt down this dreadful beast.  The other aspect of this novel is that some have magical power and some use it for good, such as to heal but others for evil, such as to kill.  The use of magic has been outlawed in most of the kingdoms, but the princess finds herself falling for one of the hunters who has magical powers, although he has hidden it well all his life.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the second in this series, The Great Pursuit.  Princess Aerity is not your normal princess and I do like her; however, I don't understand why she just didn't explain her feelings to her father and work with the winner of the hunt to get out of marrying him since it is obvious he likes someone else more.  I also didn't understand why she didn't kill the evil woman who created the beast when she had the chance.  I found the list of the royal families in front of the book helpful.  Although this book has several kingdoms, it is not confusing as some others of this type are.  If you like fantasy books with a touch of magic and lots of relationship development, I highly recommend this one.  I found it to be entertaining as well as amusing and adventurous.
(Karen's review, 4 stars)

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins is a YA fantasy story I enjoyed. There is a beast in the land and it is causing rampage and loss of life. It must be stopped! The king decide that the man who kills the beast will get to marry the princess. I thought this novel was very good. It kept my interest for sure. I especially liked the relationship between the princess and one of the men trying to kill the beast. I thought the writing was really good too. I hope there is going to be a book 2. If that is so, I will be reading it too.
(Gerard's review 4/25/16, 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 31, 2017

"Nemesis" by Brendan Reichs

In Nemesis by Brendan Reichs, Min and Noah share the same birthday.  They also share something that happens to them that is not good.  They decide that it is time to do something, but then situations start to happen that not only threaten them, but the world as they know it!

I thought this book was pretty good.  Min and Noah tell the story and I enjoyed both of them.  The other characters were not developed very well.  It looks like there will be a book 2 and I will be reading that one too!
(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!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

"If I'm Found" by Terri Blackstock

If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock is the follow-up book to If I Run.  Casey is on the run for a murder she did not commit and Dylan is looking for her to help her.  But, does Casey trust him?  Meanwhile, Casey gets involved in an injustice that she sees.

This book kept me engaged for sure!  Casey and Dylan are really good characters and it has a good ending.  Although not quite as good as the first book, I think you will still like it as I did.
(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, March 29, 2017

"A Simple Favor" by Darcey Bell

In A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell, Emily and Stephanie are friends.  They have young boys that are close friends too.  One day Emily asks Steph to look after her son because she is going away for a few days. But when a few days turns into weeks, Steph begins to questions what she really knew about Emily, and what about Emily's husband and son?  How do they react?

This was written by a pre-school teacher.  Are you kidding me?  This is a very adult novel to be sure.  The first 100 pages set the scene and when you get to page 100, this book really takes off!  There are many twists and turns.  If you think you know what you know, trust me You Do Not!  LOVED 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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Teaser Tuesdays


Gerard's:

As I released Will from his stay and he climbed into the car, I knew that I could never send him away.  I sat beside him while he licked the tears off my cheeks, and I asserted, I will, I will, I will Willie, I will move heaven and earth to try to help us both.
From page 121 of The Education of Will by Patricia B. McConnell.

It wasn't the most sensible plan.  It had a few wrinkles that needed to be ironed out.
From page 156 of A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell.

Karen's:

He had his knife.  the beast was only an animal--no match for her betrothed.
From page 7 of The Great Hunt 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!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

"The Education of Will" by Patricia B. McConnell

The Education of Will by Patricia B. McConnell is a true story.  Patricia lives on a farm with sheep and a sheep dog to help her.  That is where Willie, her dog, comes into the picture.  You really get two stories as the author bares her soul about the stuff she has been through in her life.  I enjoyed the parts of the book with her training Willie and their day-to-day life together.  I enjoyed this book!
(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, March 25, 2017

"Frost Like Night" by Sara Raasch

Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch is the final book (I think) in the Snow Like Ashes series.  Meira discovers that she alone is capable of saving the world from Angra's evil magic by getting the three keys to the chasm and giving herself as a sacrifice because she is a conduit.  In this book she learns how to control and use special magical power to its full extent.  Her relationship with Mather develops into romance and the ending is very exciting.

In this, there is a lot of traveling, a lot of different Kings and Queens to keep straight and yes, some adventure and excitement thrown in, but most of the book was just a very slow build up leading to the exciting finish.  I thought the first half really dragged along but am glad I stuck with it.  Things started picking up a little past halfway and then the rest was pretty good.  Being fair, I think I would have enjoyed this one more had I read it closer to the previous book.  I pretty much forgot who the characters were so it took me a  while to refresh my memory.  We really liked the first book in this series but were disappointed in the sequels.
(Karen's review, 3 stars)

See our other reviews of the two previous books in this ho-hum series that seems like a wannabe of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas--this doesn't even come close:  Snow Like Ashes and Ice Like Fire

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 22, 2017

"The Stranger in the Woods" by Michael Finkel

The Stranger in the Woods--The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel tells the true story Christopher Knight, a hermit.  He was 20 years old and had a lot of things going for him.  Life was good.  Then one day he drives to Maine and heads into the forest, staying there for close to three decades and talking to no one!

I thought this was a remarkable story about how Christopher survived and how he planned things so he would not get seen by anyone.  I do not think you will read a book like this any time soon--this one is unique!
(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 21, 2017

Teaser Tuesdays


Gerard's:

"I said, 'Hi,'" Knight replies.  Other than that single syllable, he insists, he had not spoken with or touched another human being, until this evening, for twenty-seven years.  

From page 22, of The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel.
 
 The lights go off, and I jump.  You have got to be kidding me!
From page 51 of How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather.

You look up from your laptop and shrug.  You have all sorts of feelings but aren't sure how to react.
From page 20 of sad perfect by Stephanie Elliot.

Karen's:

I stumbled blindly on, deep into the forest, with one singular purpose:  vengeance.  It was only after I had run far longer than it should have taken to pick up the cart path that I realized I was lost.  
From page 41 of The Valiant by Lesley Livingston.

"How do you have magic?" I demand, my voice flat.  "And how can you use it on me?"
From page 34, of Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch.

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, March 19, 2017

"The Valiant" by Lesley Livingston (We Both Liked This!) UPDATED

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston is set during the time of the gladiators in Rome.  I would classify it more like historical fiction than fantasy, because it doesn't really have any magic in it and it is based on a real place and time period.  Fallon, the main character, starts out as a princess in love with Mael, a warrior she grew up with.  Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond her control, she finds no future with Mael.  Instead, she runs away and is taken captive and sold as a slave to become a gladiatrix for Ceasar!  She is shocked at what she learns and focuses on trying to earn her freedom by becoming a Gladiatrix. 

I liked this book because it moved along quickly, was not complicated and yet had some interesting twists.  I thought Fallen was a bit naive but then, she was young after all.  I really liked her older sister, Sorcha, Thalestris, Elka, and Cai.  It has lots of action and adventure too!  I always looked forward to getting back to it to see what would happen next.  The sister relationship was very interesting. 
(Karen's review, 5 stars)

In The Valiant by Lesley Livingston, Fallon is the proud daughter of a Celtic king. She is about to be 17 and wants to join the war band like her older sister did and fight for her country. At the huge birthday bash, her father announces a different plan for his daughter. Fallon runs off and will have to use all her training to survive.

Wow! What a non-stop thrill ride this book is! Fallon is a great character who reminded me of Celeana in the Sarah J. Mass Throne of Glass series. I loved the action in this and the story line moved along nicely. I want more of Fallon! This is my “book of the month.”
(Gerard's review3/15/17, 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, March 17, 2017

"Sad Perfect" by Stephanie Elliot

In Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot, 16-yr.-old Pea has an eating disorder.  She calls it her monster.  She keeps it well hidden.  Only her family knows, but now she has a boyfriend.  She worries that when her secret gets out, how people will react, especially her boyfriend.  Will it be a deal breaker?

I thought this book was pretty good.  The story line kept me interested and I enjoyed all the characters.
(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!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"How to Hang a Witch" by Adriana Mather

In How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather, Sam has moved to Salem, the site of the infamous witch trials.  Her family had some history in those, and when strange things begin to happen to people when Sam is nearby, people say that she is "cursed" and they want her gone!

This novel was okay.  I connected with Sam, but not so much with the other characters.  This would be a really good book to read around Halloween because it certainly is spooky!
(Gerard's review, 3.5 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 14, 2017

Tuesday Teasers



Karen's:

Ceridwen stared at the splatters.  Raelyn's joy had been demented as she had ordered Simon's head to be severed.
From page 25, of Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch.

Gerard's:
"I can fight," I said, lifting my chin.  "Better than you.  Better than all of your men."
From page 56 of The Valiant by Lesley Livingston.

Besides, getting close to someone meant risking her heart.  She'd had enough grief with her parents' deaths and her sister's illness.
From page 45 of The Freedom Broker by K. J. Howe. (Kidnap & Ransom Thriller)

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, March 12, 2017

"The Orphan's Tale" by Pam Jenoff (We Both Recommend This One)

The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff is a gripping historical fiction book about two women protected in Germany by joining a circus during the 1940s when Hitler took over and rounded up Jews for execution.  Noa rescued a little Jewish baby that was among many dead on a railcar and Astrid was a Jew whose German officer husband kicked her out when ordered to do so.  Astrid was from a circus family and the competing circus took her in.  Noa had no circus background, but the circus owner took in her and the baby to protect them and told Astrid to train Noa for the trapeze act.

This book was very good!  I really liked the circus aspect of this book and enjoyed seeing Astrid and Noa's relationship develop.  In this book, it showed how some were able to find happiness amid the terribly things going on.  There is a lot of sadness in this but also light parts too to keep it from being too depressing.  It is one I don't think I'll forget!  I had to wait to write my review to give me some time to recover from the sad ending.  I highly recommend this one!  My favorite character in this was Astrid, who was yours?
(Karen's review, 5 stars)

Gerard's review, 3-1-17, 5++ stars:
In The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff is set in the early 1940s in Germany when Hitler and the Third Reich ruled., 16-year-old Noa has been thrown out of her parents’ house. Her husband leaves her and her newborn baby is taken from her. Now she is on the run and is not alone. She carries a secret that if found out will mean death for her and her companion. Astrid knows the circus life very well. She is one of the stars of the show, but every day she lives in fear that her secret will come out.

I enjoyed both Noa and Astrid. I found this book very hard to put down as the tension builds throughout. Loved it! It is now my book of the month for February!


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 10, 2017

"The Freedom Broker" by K. J. Howe

In The Freedom Broker, Thea is one of 25 Kidnap and Rescue (K&R) specialists in the world--the only woman and the best!  Her father has been taken and it will take all her skills to rescue him, as more than just her father's life hangs in the balance. 

This is an adult novel to be sure with good action and plenty of twists and turns.  The ending caught me by surprise too!  This is the author's first book so I will be looking for more.
(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 8, 2017

"Future Threat" by Elizabeth Briggs

Future Threat by Elizabeth Briggs is the follow-up book to Future Shock. It was good to get back with Elena, Adam and Chris. They have to go to the future again in this book. We get some new characters in this one that I enjoyed. It flowed well with action and some good twists in the end. Although this one did not have the surprise factor of going into the future like the first book did, I still think it was pretty good.
(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 7, 2017

Tuesday Teasers



Karen's:

My departure years earlier had been remarkable, whispered about for miles around.
One did not leave to marry a German officer as I had--especially if one was Jewish.

From page 24 of The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff.

Gerard's:

I shouldn't have let him in, I shouldn't have let him in, is all I can think as the horror of the whole mess now collapsing around me sinks in.  If I hadn't let him in, I wouldn't have had to face it.
From page 167 of Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough.

Something coming, something powerful and fast.  Not only one thing but many, feet pounding the hard earth--animals or people, Ash couldn't tell which.
From page 7 of Bone Jack by Sara Crowe.

When you're late for your train and you have to get home, and you race down the platform with seconds to spare:  how fast can you run?

What if it isn't a train you're running for, but your life?
From page 112 of I See You by Clare Mackinthosh.

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, March 5, 2017

"Behind Her Eyes" by Sarah Pinborough

In Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough, Louise and Adele become friends after an accidental meeting.  They really do not have much in common at all except for one thing--DAVID.  He is Adele's husband and Louise' boss.  I think you can figure out where this is going.

I really enjoyed getting into the heads of these two women.  It is told by both of them.  The writing is really good and I just had to see how all this was going to play out.  The ending is not to be missed.  LOVED 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. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

"King's Cage" by Victoria Aveyard is Disappointing

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard involves a lot of politics.  Maven is now king of Norta and many do not like it.  He holds Mare prisoner and uses her to deceive other Reds into thinking the Red Guard is against them.  I kept reading only because I wanted to see how Cal and Mara would get back together.  There was some betrayal in this book but mostly it was the Red Guard building up its forces and joining with Montfort in an effort to overthrow Maven. 

Parts were a bit confusing but over all, I still liked it and am glad I read it.  I must say, I am disappointed in this series as a whole because I really loved the first book, Red Queen.  I was disappointed with the ending of this one as well, but still give it 4 stars.  There was enough interesting relationships and action to keep my interest.
(Karen's review, 4 stars)  

Gerard's review, 2.5 stars:
King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard is the third book in the Red Queen series.  Mare is now being held by Maven after giving up herself in book 2 so that her friends are still free.  I thought this book was going to be good, but I was very disappointed. King's Cage is told from various points of view.  Mare was good as always and there were some good parts; however, they were few and far between.  I wanted more action but all I got was talk.  The story line was just okay.  The next book has to be better than this mess!

See our reviews for Glass Sword (the second book of this series.)

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 3, 2017

"Bone Jack" by Sara Crowe

In Bone Jack by Sara Crowe, Ash is training for the annual stag chase.  He has the honor of being the stag like his dad was 20 years ago.  His dad is home from the war but he is not the same because of what he saw there.  Now Ash is dealing with strange goings on in the land where he lives and not everyone wants Ash to run in the race.

I thought this book was pretty good,  It had an unusual story line and I enjoyed the 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!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

"I See You" by Clare Mackintosh

In I See You by Clare Mackintosh, Zoe sees a picture in a classified ad that looks like her but who took it and why?  When other women that were pictured in that ad turn up dead, Zoe worries that she could be next.  This book was pretty good.  I thought the story line was good and I really enjoyed all the characters.  It had good twists and turns that kept me guessing with a solid ending that I did not see coming!  I liked her first book too--I Let You Go.
(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, February 28, 2017

Tuesday Teasers



Karen's:

Hundreds cheer on their king and his tyranny.  I cried on the walk across the bridge, in the face of so many blaming me for their loved ones' deaths. 
From page 6-7 of King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard.

Gerard's:

But somehow, in front of Anna, she couldn't declare that she was desperate for food.  Which was absurd, she reminded herself, since the girl was nothing but a shammer.
From page 49 of The Wonder by Emma Donoghue.

Whether it is sleeping or dying, I cannot say.  Clutching it, I start away from the train.
From page 19 of The Orphan's Tale 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, February 25, 2017

"The You I've Never Known" by Ellen Hopkins

The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins is about two young teen girls--Ariel and Maya.  Ariel lives with her dad.  Her mom disappeared when she was a baby,  When two people come into her life, she has some tough decisions to make.  Maya wants so bad to get away from her abusive mom but when she does, she finds trouble at every turn. 

The stories go back and forth, but Ariel's is told in verse so it goes pretty fast.  I enjoyed both of the stories very much.  The story lines were very good and the characters very believable with a shocking ending I really liked!
(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, February 24, 2017

"The Wonder" by Emma Donoghue is Based on a True Story

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue is based on a true story.  Remember that as your read this book!  Eleven-year-old Anna has not eaten for four months, yet she still lives!  Lib wright, an English nurse, has been sent to verify that this is true but she doubts it and is determined to get to the truth.

This book really drew me in.  The story line is very good and the characters are very believable.   Even though there is not a lot of action, I still kept turning pages.  The last part of this book is gripping and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to get o the stunning conclusion!
(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, February 22, 2017

"Carry On" by Lisa Fenn is Inspirational Non-Fiction

Carry On—A Story of Resilience, Redemption, and an Unlikely Family by Lisa Fenn is an inspirational non-fiction read about caring for others that focuses on her ESPN story about Dartanyon, a visually impaired wrestler and his friend, Leroy, a legless wrestler. It follows their story even after they graduate high school. This book is amazing. It is about overcoming all kinds of obstacles and the power of love in peoples’ lives. Lisa Fenn is an amazing woman of faith who really made a difference!

This book challenges the reader to not make assumptions about people but rather, get to know their story and thereby understand them. There are a lot of touching parts in this book and both highs and lows which makes it a very interesting read. The parts I liked the most were the wrestling and Judo matches, but it was all good once I accepted that it was much more than just about sports. I would recommend this to anyone!
(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!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday Teasers



Karen's:

He had long bought into the Wolverines' misfit identity, and he figured if he learned how to coach kids without shoes, he could learn how to coach a kid without legs too.  "Tell him to come to practice," he said finally.  "We'd love to have him."
From page 17 of Carry of--A Story of Resilience, Redemption, and an Unlikely Family by Lisa Fenn.

Gerard's:

I recognized the paramedics and I could tell they recognized me, so they knew who they'd be finding in the bathroom and rescuing from the clutches of death.  It wasn't the first time I'd seen them and it wouldn't be the last.
From page 16 of Train I Ride by Paul Mosier.

No, I will stand.  And though I have no idea how, I have to keep fighting, even here in the belly of the beast.
From page 7 of King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard (3rd book in The RED QUEEN series)

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, February 18, 2017

"Train I Ride" by Paul Mosier is Uplifting! (Updated)

Train I Ride by Paul Mosier is a children's story about Rydr, a little girl on an Amtrak train.  This book tells the story of the people she meets on the train as well as the back story on Rydr.

Every so often I need a book that I can relax with that doesn't have somebody getting hurt or killed so I read this book.  Rydr is a great character who will surprise you with her antics.  I think people of all ages would enjoy this debut book.  Job well done, Paul Mosier!
(Gerard's review, 5 stars)

Karen's review, 3 stars:  I read Train I Ride by Paul Mosier because my husband liked it so much and it is short and quick.  I liked Rydr, the main orphan girl who is on her way from Los Angeles to Chicago to live with some old uncle she never even met because her mom died and probably her father and her grandma who she was living with.  On the train, she meets several people who she really likes.  Although her money runs out, she is quite resourceful in finding ways to get some.  I especially liked her invisible monkey act but felt bad when she didn't even take the money she got from people.  I thought this was a pretty sad story but enjoyed the funny parts.  

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, February 17, 2017

"All Dressed in White" by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

All Dressed in White is a contemporary fiction thriller about a show called Under Suspicion that is like Unsolved Mysteries.   The book focuses on the most recent cold case the show is investigating about a missing woman who disappeared the day before her wedding from the Florida resort she was supposed to get married at. 

This book was very good.  I was never sure exactly what happened to Amanda until it was finally revealed near the end and the killer ready to kill again was a twist I did not expect!  This book is a warning to choose your friends carefully.
(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!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

"The Ice Beneath Her" by Camilla Grebe

The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe starts with a gruesome murder.  In fact, it looks like one that happened years ago and the police have no clue!  A CEO on whose property the murder too place is missing.  The search is on to find him and a woman desperately also wants to find him.

I thought this book was fantastic!  The writing is very good and the characters are believable.  The suspense really builds in this book and what you think you know, you do not!  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!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"Happily Ever After" by Kiera Cass

Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass is a companion to The Selection series and should only be read after you have read the series. It fills in some gaps and answers some questions about some of the main characters in the series, and retells events from different perspectives. It gives background about Queen Amberly and Maxon. Shares perspectives from Aspen, Marlee, and Celeste. It gives more details about Marlee and Carter woodwork’s story and Lucy and Aspen’s romance. It gives closure on what happened with Kris, Elise, and Natalie after The Selection was over and they lost.

This was not as good as the books in the series but I still enjoyed reading it. It seemed kind of like dessert—a nice final touch but not really necessary. I devoured the series and enjoyed it immensely so was glad when I discovered this book which gave me a little more.
(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!
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