Friday, April 21, 2017

What Would Does it Take To Believe in Change?

Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite authors. The Alaskan Quest is series is an older series of hers. The first book in the series is Summer of the Midnight Sun. It is the sequel to the Yukon Quest series which is an absolute must read! Jacob and Leah are the characters that carry over from that series. Karen and Adrik’s story also takes place there. Are you ready for a thrill ride?

Synopsis:

Leah has had one desire for ten years which is to marry, but can she forgive the one man who broke her heart? Jayce Kincaid thinking Leah a child at that time rejected her. Now Leah is seeking new purpose especially after ten years of waiting for someone else to come along. Jayce comes back into her life and offers her brother Jacob an opportunity of a life time. A quest to the north pole. As Jacob starts preparing and helping Jayce an accident occurs and Leah is called to help him. 

Meanwhile on the other side of the country in Washington D.C.; Stanley a Pinkerton agent gives instructions to his sister Helaina about capturing the criminal Jayce Kincaid.  As she prepares to join this quest; will she find her man? Will Leah be able to Forgive Jayce and move on?

My Thoughts:

I loved this book! It is an easy read! The characters are compelling and interesting. The author does a great job of creating complex characters that grow over the arc of the novel. This story is set against the back drop of primitive Alaska. I thought that the dialogue was wonderful too! Jacob is a very direct character and one of my favorites. He will tell it like it is. He had a conversation with Jayce about Leah and her feelings. These characters are also used to communicate a faith track throughout the book. Tracie Peterson is a master!

TraciePeterson continues to create awesome characters and great stories please check out her Beloved Hope a Heart’s of the Frontier Novel. 

Rating: 5/5


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Daisy Goodwin is Reigning Supreme in Victoria

Thank you for St. Martin’s Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for this review. 

How many of you saw Victoria on PBS? For the many who watched how many set their dvrs not to miss an episode? Today we will be reviewing the companion book Victoria by @DaisyGoodwin, which was mentioned the airing of the television episodes.

Synopsis:

Victoria has always been under the thumb of her mother and Sir John. They brought her up in the Kensington way. When her uncle the King dies Victoria becomes his successor. She has her independence from her mother and Sir John. How will she break free? She first moves the household to Buckingham Palace. It is more central to London. Her tutor as she progresses in her reign is Lord Melbourne. He helps her navigate the rough path of her enemies. Victoria is enjoying her friend but does it come with a price? Will she marry? What changes may come as her reign progresses?

My Thoughts:

Did I love the book as much as the television show? Yes, for me it is Daisy’s best work yet. This book shows great growth as a writer. In the past I would have said that her pacing in her book is slow in the middle, but not with Victoria. I also read it while show was on the air. Daisy mentions in her thanks to the actor’s portraying the roles for helping her to write the book. I thank them as well because I could definitely visualize these characters as I read the book. The story is enticing from the beginning! Who could not identify with a teenager battling for independence from her parents?


London is a beautiful setting for the story of Victoria. I hope to visit one day. The only negative for me is that I have to wait for the next season and Daisy’s next book.  Daisy is busy working on the second season of Victoria.  She is also writing a book focusing on Victoria’s later years.

 Rating: 5/5


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I Bet You Didn’t Know This About Hebrews!

I recently committed to do a bible study at the church I have been attending recently in John’s Creek Georgia. I have read passages in Hebrews from the bible, but I had never studied it in a bible study. Lisa Harper's Hebrews THE NEARNESS OF KING JESUS is the first study I have done with her. I gathered with a group of ladies that were also new to the church to begin this short six week bible study.

I have featured other bible study teachers such as: Beth Moore, Elizabeth George, Jen Hatmaker, and Priscilla Shirer. So Lisa’s style is new to me. I found her teaching style to be humorous but also very pointed. The teaching seasons are brief lasting no longer than 30 to 40 minutes at the most. Some other teachers can last longer than that. I am not naming names here but if you have experience with these teachers then you know who I am talking about. The sessions cover various chapters of Hebrews. The structure is that Lisa would teach on in the video session Chapter 1 of Hebrews. Then the homework would be in Chapter 2 of Hebrews.

The homework is short most weeks. The homework starts with her sharing a story with readers. Then a passage of scripture which is followed by a section titled Lean Into Scripture. This section focuses on the actual scriptures that will be focused on in the homework that week. The next section Live the Story Out Loud is where Lisa has four tasks that you can do as part of the homework. There are also articles about Hebrews at the end of the sessions as well. Participants can choose to read them or not. She includes links where the scriptures come from in case a participant wants to go deeper.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed and learned a lot from this study. I have an enhanced appreciation for the book of Hebrews from the bible. I also learned what the book was trying to communicate to its audience of the time. Lisa is a good teacher and people will find entertaining. My only wish was that I would have had more time with the study. The study guide  is written well with great points and humorous anecdotes.

This is a study worthy of your time. Lisa Harper teaches live in a series by Lifeway  Abundance. Also check out her latest Believing Jesus.



Rating:


4/5

Thursday, April 6, 2017

What Colors Our Perspective?

Small Great Things is the latest book from author Jodi Picoult.  In her latest book she covers the topic of racism and how it affects different groups of people.  I debated with myself on whether I wanted to cover this book on Writer’s Corner. 

Synopsis: 

Ruth Jefferson an African American has been a nurse for over twenty years.  She has worked in the Labor and Delivery ward in a small hospital in New York.  She has one sister Adisa who is lives in the ghetto and gets by on benefits and minimum wage jobs.  Her answer to everything is to turn to her prejudices for solutions to her problems.  One day while Ruth is at work she is assigned to a couple with a baby. The father asks her to not touch their baby and has her removed from the case.  The father Turk is a white supremacist and does not want anything to do with African Americans.  When his baby dies he wants to blame someone for his death.  So Ruth is promptly arrested and charged with the crime.  Is she really guilty?  Enter Kennedy McQuarry public defender who takes on Ruth’s case.  Does she really understand what this case is about?

My Thoughts:

I feel that this book is well written.  It is a powerful and moving story! Ms. Picoult does a great job of covering all the different viewpoints, in this hot topic.   I remember seeing her in Atlanta while she was on tour discussing this book.  She interviewed a skinhead to get an idea for how to write the character of Turk.  The story is set in New York.  

I have always operated from the perspective that everything is not always obvious to everyone.  This often annoys my family.  Would it be accurate to say that when taught to hate via circumstances; our views are colored by what we see?  The past cannot be changed but the future can.  Do two wrongs make a right?   I will leave with this parting thought.  “16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16 (Bible gateway)

Rating: 

4.5/5


Jodi is busy working on her next project.  Purchase Small Great Things here.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What Goes on Behind Closed Doors?

Debbie Viggiano is stopping by Writer’s Corner to share her next book.  The Corner Shop of Whispers a great read for this spring or summer at the beach.  She takes a neighborhood with some interesting characters and speculates what would happen if a scandal occurred?

Romantic Florrie, scatty Daisy and snobby Alison are neighbours, living their married lives in the tiny English village of Lower Amblegate where everyone knows everybody. Together the three friends share laughter, tears, and things they wouldn’t want anybody else knowing. But unbeknownst to them, a scandal is brewing. As rumours circulate, the gossips go into overdrive, rocking marriages and revealing the women have much more in common than just neighbourly bonds…

Purchase your copy of The Corner Shop of Whispers here.

About the Author:

Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued puppy from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her children return home from uni bringing her much joy...apart from their gifts of dirty laundry. Follow her blogTweet @DebbieViggiano or look her up on Facebook!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Where Do I Find Hope?

Where Do I Go is the first book in Yadayada House of Hope series by Neta Jackson. What happens when life takes a different direction? How do you move forward? These are hard questions for our main character Gabby Fairbanks to answer. Let’s look at her journey.

Synopsis:

Gabby has moved to Chicago with her husband Phillip. He is building a new business with his partner Harry Fenchel. The first item on the list is to get settled in this penthouse. Gabby does not care for the penthouse.  One day while looking out of one of their windows, she sees a bike path. She decides to check it out and while exploring Gabby runs into a homeless lady Lucy. Gabby cut her foot and Lucy offers to help. She wants to return the favor for Lucy but has forgotten the dinner party taking place at home. The welcome by her husband Phillip is anything but warm. So Gabby finds a solution and sends her to a homeless shelter. The next morning Gabby decides to check on Lucy. Once she finds out which homeless she went to from the concierge. He gives her the information and Gabby starts to learn about Manna House and its services. A door opens to a possible job opportunity. Will this job help or hurt her relationship with her husband? Will God lead her down a different path?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this story. Readers will find Gabby’s story consuming as they turn the pages. I loved how the author focused on how God’s path is never easy. Or what happens when life takes a different turn. How do you navigate alone? Loved how Philip is written so well as the antagonist of the story.

The author also focused on the classic concept of the haves and the have nots. Does having money make one happy? Or does the loss of it mean no opportunities? How do you trust in God at a time like this? When I have experienced less funds than currently needed. God has opened doors for activities that I might now have time for such as Writer’s Corner.

Please visitNeta Jackson as she continues to explore Gabby’s story in the House of Hope series.   

Rating:


4.5/5

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What Would You Choose?

Thank you to Tara K. Reed and Door Flower Publishing for sending me a copy of this novel Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda. It was given in exchange for an honest review. I received no financial compensation.

How many of you remember the little red and white books with stories that allowed the reader to make a choice? This choice would allow you to choose where the story went next. These books would often be found in the school library or book shop. The series was Choose Your Own Adventure with various stories associated with it. Tara Reed has written one for adults. Is it as cool as the ones from childhood?

Synopsis:

The premise is that the reader takes on the character of Elle. She is going to a club with her best girlfriends Rachel and Valerie. What happens after that is up to you? You may meet an interesting gentleman. Or you might have room for time with your girlfriends. You choose the ending. It is all up to you the reader to make the selections!

My Thoughts:

This book is really interesting! I remembered the Choose Your Own Adventure books from my childhood. The structure of the story is the same as the books I read as a child. The major difference is more grown up subjects. I definitely feel that there would be a market for this type of book, and is one that readers will enjoy.

I was not a fan of the setting chosen for this story. I am not a clubber so it wasn’t my scene. I enjoyed everything else about the book. I would love to see other books like this with different settings.

TaraReed is a popular author in the Chick Lit genre please check out her other books here.

Rating:

4/5


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Welcome Back to Tradd Street!

The Guests on South Battery  by Karen White is the second Tradd book that we have featured at Writer’s Corner. Josephine reviewed the last book in the series. I will be sharing this one with you. I received no financial compensation for this review.

Synopsis:

Melanie is looking forward to getting back to work after having twins. There is only one problem she has no nanny. Is it a problem that she has spreadsheets for all her children’s activities? A mother must keep track of her children. So as she heads to the office she learns that she has a new client Jayne. She is from Alabama and has recently inherited the Pinckney place on South Battery. Jayne wants to sell but Melanie and Sophie try to convince her otherwise. There might be a small problem of a ghost or two. This is nothing new for Melanie and her family as they have dealt with the paranormal before. Everything could change when Jack starts researching an idea for a new book.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this book. Melanie’s quirks are entertaining. I did not realize that there was a paranormal element to the Tradd series. I loved how the mystery is woven around this element. The author left room for a couple more mysteries to take place yet. So readers have something to look forward to in the following Tradd Street books.

Charleston South Carolina is a beautiful city! I had the opportunity to visit once. It is a city that is worth visiting again and again.

Karen White’s next book When the night the lights go out is available for preorder. As always you can keep up with her on Facebook and Twitter.  You can also preorder at FoxTale book shoppe for the launch.

Rating:

4.5/5





Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Start Your Spring Right with Deanna Martinez-Bey!

Please welcome Deanna Martinez-Bey to Writer’s Corner.  She is here to share her new book When Life Gives You Lemons, Drink Coffee! I am excited to share her work.  I feel that readers will really find this book great for the beach!

About the Book:  

Janine is a smart and sassy southern girl from Triple Creek, North Carolina, who knows what she wants and fearlessly goes after it. Janine's goal of making a life for herself and marrying the man of her dreams finally became a reality. She was a newlywed, married to a successful business man named Tom Whitfield and owned her own bakery. Their life seemed perfect and all was well in Janine's world until her faith is rocked through a course of events that would challenge her own beliefs and change her fate forever. 


Tom is unexpectedly promoted to a new job that requires change for both he and Janine. Leaving her life in Triple Creek to support her husband's career took a leap of faith for Janine and was a risk so early in the marriage. But the bigger threat comes when Janine discovers some of Tom's darkest secrets and learns valuable lessons while she was there. 

Janine makes new friends in New York, but she still misses her family and friends in North Carolina. She discovers that love is not always predictable when faced with new challenges. Can love truly conquer all? Or are some things best left behind? After seeing things that shock her, Janine feels betrayed by people who she thought she could trust. 

This is the second installment written by author, Deanna Martinez-Bey, and focuses on Janine, a character we met in her first book, Twinkle, Twinkle Christmas Star. Told from the perspective of Janine and her funny southern humor, this story will move you while you share in this journey of discovery, love, betrayal, and the realization that you can make anything you like out of what life gives you.

About the Author:  

Deanna Martinez-Bey was born in New Jersey and currently resides in North Carolina. She has been writing stories and poems since she was a young girl. Deanna enjoys writing, running and cooking. She spends her spare time boxing, weight training and drinking coffee!  

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

How Well Do You Know Your Roommate?

Mary Kubica is the new darling of suspense. I had the honor of meeting her last spring at Fox Tale Book Shoppe. She shared her current title Don’t You Cry. At the time I was intrigued by Ms. Kubica's work because of hearing so much about it. Is she the new master of suspense?

Synopsis:

This story has two different points of view. Quinn is the roommate of Esther. When Quinn realizes that Esther is missing, she starts to investigate. She turns her roommate’s bedroom upside down hunting for clues about what has happened to her. She even enlists the aid of a friend from work Ben. As she progresses in her investigation she starts to wonder who her roommate is. And wonders if she might be in danger as well?

The other point of view is Alex’s story. He is the son of the town drunk. His mother left him when a little child. He does odd jobs around town for neighbors and those sympathetic to his cause. Alex sacrificed a full ride scholarship to stay home and take care of his father. One day a mysterious woman comes into town. Alex is drawn to her and even goes as far to meet her. He also shares the story of Genèvieve with her discussing her ghost.  What was she like as a person?  Are these two connected? What will the consequences be to Alex’s for involving himself?

My Thoughts:

This story is very interesting!  If I had read the book; as opposed to listening to it I might have enjoyed the story more.  The narration was done well. The author has a way of bringing that creepiness factor into the story line. As the story progresses the circumstances seem to get more sinister with each step. I knew when the book started that the two storylines between Quinn and Alex are somehow related. I didn’t know how. Once the action sped up in the story I found it more interesting to find out how it would end.

Mary Kubica pick up a copy today of Don’t You Cry. You preorder her next book Every Last Lie.

Rating:


4.25/5

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Welcome to Your Next Meal!

I know it is early for the beach, but it is time once again to visit Nantucket. This time we will visit the Blue Bistro. A fabulous restaurant on Nantucket, and a  very special place for those who work there. 

Synopsis: 

Adrienne is starting over. Her last boyfriend stole everything she had to support his drug habit. She was glad to get away from him especially after he cost her job. Her friend Tara suggests she go to Nantucket. Adrienne has worked in many resorts. On her way to Nantucket she meets a man on her ferry who suggests she go to the Blue Bistro for a job. Never having worked in a restaurant she thought she would give it a shot. To her surprise is hired on the spot. She will be the new assistant manager and work the front with Thatcher Smith. Adrienne finds housing with one of the servers Caren. The Blue Bistro is owned by Thatcher Smith and Fiona Kemp. This will be the last season for the restaurant to be open. Will Adrienne be able to start over? Will she finally out run her past and set down roots? Or will it be on to the next location?

My Thoughts:

The Blue Bistro is one of my favorites of @elinhilderbrand. It is a restaurant I would dream about visiting but never be able to afford. Ms. Hilderbrand captures the restaurant life expertly. The readers will learn about Adrienne’s back story throughout the book. The reader will learn to love the family that is the Blue Bistro. Your mouth will water from page to page.

I really  wanted to give this book a five out five. I could not because the ending fell flat for me. I wanted more for Adrienne and I thought she deserved better. I am not giving away the ending. So sit down with your favorite meal and get a copy of the Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand.

Her  recent release Here’s To Us is now out in paperback. She is busy working on the next book in the Winter Street series. 

Rating:

4.5/5


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Meet Barrie Knee!

Welcome Barrie Knee to Writer’s Corner today.  We are sharing her new book Plain Jane.  It is the story of a forty something wife and mother who has kept a secret from her family for almost seven years. 

Jane has forever considered herself to be plain. Her BFF Gaby is the exact opposite. Following a night of countless margaritas, Jane and Gaby make a secret pact because thats what friends are for. Now Jane has less than a week to tell her family what she has done. The secret is revealed over a four and a half hour time period while Jane is running a marathon. Each chapter begins with a song that Jane is listening to while running. The lyrics tie into the secret and many other stories that Jane tells about Gaby, her family and mostly herself. “Keep moving Jane! You can do this!” This is Jane’s running mantra throughout the book. The physical and emotional journey of running a marathon is continuously felt. Plain Jane keeps the pace of a marathon with each song. Jane’s sixty-four songs playlist is at the end of the book. It is a great playlist for those that run a ten minute mile like Jane.

About the Author:

Like Jane, Barrie also a wife and mother who enjoys running, yoga and mostly listening to classic rock music. Professionally, she spent fifteen years working in online media. She also designed and manufactured decorative covers for children’s bedrails called Kover-Ups. This product earned an iParenting Media award. 

Read more about and  Plain Jane.  Barry is also active on Facebook and Twitter. 



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Million Little Things

Thank you to Mira and Tandem Literary for an opportunity to review A Million Little Things. It is the latest novel by Susan Mallery. This novel was given to me in exchange for an honest review. I received no financial compensation.

@SusanMallery has received high praise for her Mischief Bay series. I am excited to share my first Susan Mallery novel. I met her once when I attended one of her signings. A Million Little Things is the third novel in the series.

Synopsis:

Zoe has watched her friends date, marry, and have families of their own. She recently ended a relationship that she thought had looked promising. Zoe wants to share situation with her best friend Jen. She is obsessed with her toddler son Jack. If he would just talk like other children his age. So Zoe decides to try something new and joined a pilates class at Mischief In Motion. She meets Jen’s mom Pam during class and forms a friendship. Pam decides to introduce Zoe to her son Stephen. They hit it off. The only conflict for Zoe is the relationship between Pam and her widowed father. Then she gets news from her doctor could cost her a new boyfriend and her relationship with Pam? Will she be able to come to terms with with all these changes?

My Thoughts:

I liked this novel. Zoe is a very relatable character. I empathized with her during journey in this novel. I learned from my opportunity in meeting Susan  Mallery what her writing process is. She uses a screen writing format. It was different than what I normally see in most other novels, but it works. The reader will feel like they are seamlessly transitioning from one scene to the next.

The theme in this novel is letting your kids grow up and make with their own choices. Then parents giving them the freedom to do so.

I look forward to reading more by Susan Mallery. You can purchase A Million Little Things here. Susan is also very active on Facebook.

Rating:

4.2/5




Thursday, February 23, 2017

Who Was the First Girl In Disguise?

Thank you to Source Books for a copy of GIRL IN DISGUISE by Greer Macallister. This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. I received no financial compensation for this review. It is also a Library Read’s pick for March 2017.

What do you know about the Pinkerton Detective Agency? I had heard of this agency through various books that I have read over the years. I did not know about it’s very first female detective Kate Warne. Many of the events we read about in history are often remain in the past. As I read this book I learned that the Pinkerton detective agency still exists today. You can also visit their site to learn more about the history of this agency.

Synopsis:

Kate is widowed with no children of her own, but she must find a job. Kate has tried out various positions but nothing seems to be the right fit. Then she responds to an ad in the Chicago paper for an agency looking for detectives. This agency is the Pinkerton Agency. Kate responds to the ad and meets Mr. Pinkerton. She receives a case and auditions for the role. Once she finds success with her first case then Pinkerton starts to train her. Kate realizes that she might have found her place in the world. Her cases include saving President Lincoln’s life and other clients. She is then promoted to the head of the Women’s division of the Pinkerton Agency. Success is wonderful but what about a normal life? Will there be anything more than the work?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this book! It is a fictionalized biography of Kate Warne. GreerMacallister is a master story teller. Her story is easy to read. Kate narrates the story as we follow her through her many cases. Ms. Macallister did a great job of weaving the work of the agency in with also describing her personal life. The book was a little slow at times. I am sorry that I had missed her other books. She made writing this story of Kate Warne look easy.

 The story is set in Chicago Illinois, but also moves to Virginia and other parts of the south. One of my favorite parts is the dialogue between Pinkerton and Kate. He would use a training technique. “Lie to me! “ It also asks an interesting question. Could you tell a convincing lie? The point was for Kate to convincingly like about her life to use in her work.

Pick up Greer’s latest book here GIRL IN DISGUISE.

Rating:


4.5/5

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Debut with Excellent Recommendations

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is the first novel by Katarina Bivald in the United States. The author is from Sweden. This novel came highly recommended to me. I also had the opportunity to meet Katarina last April when she visited on tour at FoxTale Book Shoppe.

Synopsis:

Sarah is going to visit her friend Amy who lives in Broken Wheel Iowa in the United States. Sarah is from Sweden. She has very much looked forward to the trip. Sarah arrives in Broken Wheel to learn that Amy has passed away. So the town decides that she should stay at Amy’s house. The town has been so gracious that Sarah wants to do something for them so she opens a book shop with the town blessing. Will the town really enjoy her gift? Will they be ready for her to go home when she finishes her stay?

We learn about Sarah and Amy's relationship through letter exchanges. These letters appear at the beginning of each chapter. The letters start at the beginning of their relationship and lead up to the current time in the story.

My Thoughts:

My hope is that readers will enjoy this novel as much as I have. It is very entertaining and full of humor. I could see this novel as a feel good movie. A romantic comedy? This is the first author from Sweden that I have enjoyed. She creates memorable characters in the town of Broken Wheel. My favorite is Sarah. I wish that I could be like her and open my own bookstore. It also has great humor!

Pick up your copy today of The Readers of  Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald.

Rating:

4.75/5