Friday, July 27, 2012

Blog Tour - All He Saw Was The Girl by Peter Leonard

Detroit and Italy.....what could these two cities have in common?  You would be surprised. 

There was a connection between the two cities, and it definitely wasn't a good connection. The connection involved murder, marital affairs, the Mafia, street gangs, and kidnappings.

The book's chapters slide from one side of the world to the other and ultimately end up in Italy along with all the characters.  The characters are vividly described along with the action. You will feel the tension among the characters as they "face off" in different situations.  You will also be frightened for the characters because of some of the choices they make.  The ending has non-stop action.

It took a few chapters to get the hang of where the book was heading, but you won't be disappointed.   The excellent writing and descriptions of Italy's landscape and life allow you to be there.

My rating is a 4/5 since it took a few chapters to get interesting, but once you realize the relationship between the characters, it is difficult to put down.  You will need to brush up on your Italian too. :) 


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Coke With A Twist by A. W. Hartoin


A great mystery with great characters. The main character, Mercy Watts, will win your heart from page one. She has no problem filling in for her dad as a spy for one of his cases or for getting in trouble because of her task.

The book is short, but packs a great story into the few pages.  I enjoyed the book and the characters. If you are looking for a good mystery with a new "twist," check out this book. Enjoy!!

I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Postcards from Home by Sylvia Morice


Have your funny bone tickled non-stop with this book. You will laugh from the first paragraph to the last.

Stories of a stay-at-home mom from the grocery store to any holiday. The author has great tales that will entertain you.  The author said they are takeoffs of things that really happened to her, and they are quite funny.

You will be taken on a daily ride through the life of this mom with two children and a lot of disorganization but with a mom who gets things done right under the wire.  If you have children, you will relate.  If you do not have children, you may be glad you do not.

This is quite an entertaining, light read. It isn't very long, but long enough to let you enjoy and relate.  5/5

Friday, July 20, 2012

Angel Sleuth by Lesley A. Diehl

A writer, unexpected guests, pool sharks, and a death that didn't appear to be from natural causes.

Angel Sleuth took place in a small town that was for the most part free from crime, but not free from the pettiness and gossip that happens in small towns.  Now with the death of the town's most-loved resident, Leda, who was also the local advice columnist, the town heated up with intrigue and suspicion.   Once Leda’s body showed up, there were more bodies to follow and many connections that were discovered.

This is a fun cozy mystery with great characters.  The characters are sweet, lovable, innocent, and delightful....well most of them were :)  There also are characters that are evil, characters that are involved in drug traffic and organized crime, and characters such as Desdemona the pig who saved the day at one point.

The story line was great and with all the eccentric, adorable characters, the book was difficult to put down.  Enjoy this quick, delightful read.  5/5

A Ligher Shade of Gray by Devon Pearse Blog Tour


This isn't the book you think it is. :) This book is a good lesson about life. It is about Devon Pearse's life....a life filled with sorrow and regret and a mother who began to develop mental illness when Devon was around twelve, but also a life with a loving father. Devon constantly was concerned about developing the same illness her mother suffered from.

The book takes you through her childhood - through love and tragedy - and moves to the present with Devon as an adult and with her continuing problems and problems of friends with secrets.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Mine by John A. Heldt

Going back in time wasn't what Joel Smith had in mind when he and his friend Adam took a break from finals.

It was the year 2000 when he started his day and the year 1941 when his day ended. He had barely any money and only credit cards which definitely were of no use to him in 1941.

Joel found himself back in the time when everything moved slowly and without technology it moved even more slowly, but Joel made the best of the 1940's.  In fact, things were working out very well for him after about a week.

I was reading this book while on a train across Pennsylvania to New York.  It turned out to be the perfect book for this trip because of the nostalgic feel of the train and the adorable towns that whizzed by.  It felt like I had been transported back to the 1940's for those 10 hours, and I loved it.

The author had plenty of humor, flashbacks, a great storyline, wonderful characters, and great detail.  The characters were very likable, and it was easy to feel their pain, their sorrows, and their agony with decisions.  It was a sweet, nostalgic trip back in time but turned a little eerie when Joel met future relatives.  Joel did have some fun, though, when he could bet on fights and baseball games and win big in gambling games with others because he knew the outcomes.

This book was quite enjoyable.   The author did a great job with the storyline and in keeping my interest.  I am not sure I would have wanted to have been transported back to another time period, but it was perfect for a quick, delightful read.  

This book can be described as one with something for everyone. The author took an idea and stretched it to a point that you won't want to return from. The ending line should give everyone some inspiration....take crumbs of information that someone may leave you and run with them. You may be surprised at the results. 5/5



Monday, July 9, 2012

Bitter Freedom by Jafa Wallach

A gripping read that should remind everyone that the right of every human being is to have a life free of oppression and one of respect for others. 
Beautifully written from Jafa Wallach's notes and spoken to her daughter, Rena.  The pain and the horror the Jewish people went through will again be very evident to the reader.  This book was not about a concentration camp, but about being in hiding.  The Wallach family....five of them at one point....lived and hid in a hole that they had dug themselves under a friend's home.  A hole that was so cramped they couldn't even stand up.  A hole that they shared with vermin and insects and one that was either too hot or too cold and one with barely any air and a life filled with daily starvation and no water.  
Enduring those 22 months below ground was a horrible nightmare that was shared by many more Jewish people than the five that lived there.  I was counting the seconds and the days until liberation as I was reading their story of the terror of fearing for your life every day and the dread of living in that horrific space.
The person who made their survival possible was a wonderful person named Jozio.  He lead a seemingly normal, but stressful life during the day and helped the Wallach family by giving them food and water at night whenever he could. 

As difficult as their lives were, the human spirit is one thing that the Germans couldn't break or take from Jafa and her family.  They survived with the knowledge that their little girl was safe and that they would be reunited with her after the war.  These thoughts kept them going even though it was not easy.

As the book ends, you will hear the other side of the story from Rena and how she lived those 22 months without her mother and father.

Being aware of the Holocaust atrocities and the lives it changed forever should hopefully be more than enough to have the human race strive to not let this  happen again.  This wonderfully written book is a book about love, family, surviving, heartbreak, and compassion.  The publisher also included photos in the back of the book.  .  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge by the publisher for an honest review.  All opinions are mine.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Spirit of Lost Angels by Liza Perrat


First the twin children were burned in the house fire and now papa was run down by a nobleman's carriage.  What else could happen to the Charpentier family?  A lot could and did happen in this small town of Lucie-sur-Vionne, France; a town with many strange customs such as these: you can't conduct business on Fridays, you can't dig a grave, you can't wash clothes, and you can’t give birth?  Now the not giving birth definitely had to be a challenge...can babies really wait?

Madame Charpentier, whose duty as a midwife became questionable was claimed a witch and drowned by the town leaders. She left her two remaining children to fend for themselves....Victoire and Gregoire.  Victoire was forced to become a servant in the household of a noble in Paris while her brother remained in Lucie.  She did not want to leave her brother, and of course Paris was not the place she wanted to be.....away from her family and at the mercy of her employer.  Luckily circumstances in Lucie changed, and Victoire returned to marry.

The book took place during an interesting time period in history.  You will follow Victoire through her life during and after she returned to Lucie...both the good and the bad.  She had something happen to her when she was a scullery maid, and she now wanted justice for the commoners to make the nobles pay for taking advantage of them.  You will follow Victiore and her accomplice as they work together to bring this justice to fruition and cause a revolution for commoners' rights. 

You will learn quite a lot about France in the 1700’s in terms of the family life, the laws, the treatment of women, the treatment of the commoners, and the living conditions of the lower class, and the superiority of the nobles.  You will be interested simply because of how well written and detailed the book is as the author clearly outlines the path of a commoner's life and the hardship of Victoire's life from childhood to adulthood.....very intriguing.  

The book was very well researched, and your interest will not wane even during the discussions about the revolutions since Victoire and her antics are at the heart of it all. There is even a surprise person who came on the scene…a well known person, but nevertheless a surprise.  It is an historical book about enduring, accepting, regret, love, loss, family, hope, coming home, and an angel pendant that held it all together for each of the women who wore it.   5/5

I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Island House by Posie Graeme-Evans

Singy and Freya are living parallel lives on the Scottish Island of Findnar, but during different times in history.  Singy lived on Findnar during the time of a Viking raid where her entire family was murdered and Freya living in present day came from Australia to her dead father's Island House to finish her PhD in archaeology and to complete his research and to find the many historical, hidden treasures on Findnar. 

It was exciting to be with Freya as she uncovered items noted on her father's research cards and items that had been used and left by Singy when she had lived on the island.  On the other hand, it was heartbreaking to see the harsh life Singy had lived with the nuns and monks. 

Ms. Graeme-Evans did an outstanding job of blending the two stories together. When Freya discovers something from Singy's era, you will be excited because you actually know the real story of the find and want to let Freya know.  History buffs will go crazy with the archeological finds Freya uncovers.

The author described the two main characters in detail and as equivalent to each other with their likeness being the island they lived on and the people in their lives.  There is even a parallel between their two love stories.  The secondary characters are just as fascinating and are vital to the book's awe and storyline and are appealing in terms of their uniqueness. 

The cover in itself is intriguing, and once I started reading, it was easy to get absorbed.  The storyline and writing style are perfect in all respects, and the lives of Singy and Freya keep you looking for more.  The interesting detail on the author’s part and such a marvelous blending of  the two eras along with the flawless, captivating storyline that moved from one era to the next will keep you turning the pages and wanting to see more of what was to come.  

As the chapters flowed from one character and one era to the other, you will see the similarities in the setting and lifestyle, but of course one is more primitive than the other.  I loved how the ending sentence or simply one single word of a chapter was the beginning of the other era in the next chapter.  What a beautiful writing style as well as a magnificent book.

Don’t miss this exceptional read that brought past and present together in an unforgettable tale of love, loss, hidden treasures, and discovery.  Ms. Graeme-Evans did a remarkable job in this compelling read that will be in my list of favorites because of the history, the mystery, and the added flare of Scotland's magic and its legends and myths.   5/5 

I received a free copy of this book from Simon & Schuster in return for an honest review.