Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saturday Snapshot - 8/31/13

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy.

It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Melinda’s site.

I haven't participated for a few weeks, but wanted to share the "river/rivers" that appeared in my back yard after we had a heavy rainstorm.


Friday, August 30, 2013

The Book of Someday by Dianne Dixon


Can your childhood affect your entire life? 

THE BOOK OF SOMEDAY connects the lives of three unrelated women. Three women with different backgrounds and different lives. Three women with pasts, secrets, and regrets. Three women wanting and needing something that they never had before and are desperately trying to find. Three women looking for answers and an answer to why and to what happened.

Micah, AnnaLee, and Livvie were somehow connected, but what was that connection?  Had they met at one point in their lives and were not aware of their meeting?

Who is this woman in a silver dress and pearl-button shoes? Could she be the connection between the three women? The three women who all need basically the same things out of life.  Three women who question their relationships and the relationships they really didn’t have with family and others they cared about.

The chapters detail the lives of each character with no lull in the story.  Libby's story definitely is a mystery with the other women woven in. Micah's story has a health issue. AnnaLee's story has social issues.

You will love Livvie and Grace.  Andrew won’t be your favorite.  You won’t like Micah.  AnnaLee will pull at your heartstrings because of her unhappiness.  Micah was quite cruel, AnnaLee was not happy, and Livvie was always feeling guilty and afraid but was the sweetest character who grew from her hurt.

Each story is skillfully wrapped into one well-executed story that definitely is unique and will keep you turning the pages. The author is amazing in the way she smoothly takes you from one life to the other leaving a tidbit of information at the end of each chapter that kept you hanging until that character appeared again with the continuation of her story. 

THE BOOK OF SOMEDAY is ingenious. The writing is flawless, descriptive, and will pull you right in.  The ending will blow you away.  If I can use one word to describe the book it would be:  WOW!!

I hope you get to read THE BOOK OF SOMEDAY and share the love and the lessons found in each chapter.  I absolutely loved the book. 5/5

This book was given to me at the BEA free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford

William lost his mother but not to death.  He knew in his heart that she was still alive and he would find her some day, but he had to escape from the orphanage to do that.  He knew that there was a reason she abandoned him because his mother wouldn't have left him without a good reason.

William knew nothing of his mother's past but it didn't matter. He had to find her.  He and his friend Charlotte planned how to escape from the orphanage to find her.  William was a kind, sweet boy just like his mother. You will feel so sorry for Liu Song and William as well since he had to live without his mother for five years when she was actually alive and close by. Most of the characters were sad and unhappy, but the book is exceptional.

SONGS OF WILLOW FROST tells the tale of Liu Song and her life of sadness, loneliness, and betrayal.  Her life was not pleasant.  Liu Song had to endure hardship and a cruel stepfather who made her call him Uncle because he was disappointed and embarrassed that she wasn't a boy.  She also had to live with the stigma that her mother who was onstage was deemed no better than a prostitute.

You will feel Liu Song's pain, hopelessness, and humiliation ooze through the pages as Mr. Ford beautifully weaves between past and present. Beautiful like the good heart of Liu Song.

You will be immersed in old-world traditions as you follow Liu Song through her day being treated as a slave instead of a daughter. You will feel her pain as the inevitable happened to her because of her step-father's visits at night and her sadness as she had to give up happiness.  You will HATE Uncle Leo because he is the one who caused all of Liu Song's problems.

SONGS OF WILLOW FROST was skillfully written in Mr. Ford's descriptive, flowing style and also very heart wrenching.  I felt myself wanting to push Liu Song to tell the truth about what really happened to her and to move on so she could have some happiness in her life instead of despair. Mr. Ford allows you to feel as though you are right there feeling the emotions and living the lives the characters are leading.

SONGS OF WILLOW FROST was about making decisions, living with regrets, and longing for what some folks have and what you were deprived of. 

SONGS OF WILLOW FROST is haunting, heartbreaking, and hard to believe yet mesmerizing. Mr. Ford’s marvelous talent won’t disappoint in his second book. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

MEN WE REAPED is very well written and in a style that feels as if the author is right there with you having a conversation. The prose is beautiful, and the descriptions are vivid and make the scenes come alive.

The author revealed her life very eloquently even though her life growing up wasn't very eloquent. Jesmyn had to suffer through a premature birth, a father who wasn't true to her mother, a dog mauling, poverty, drugs, drinking, and deaths of loved ones.

The book was enlightening as well as heartbreaking to hear the narration of her life and her family's struggles.

I normally do not read memoirs, but I am glad I read this book.  It is an eye opener.  Thanks for writing this book, Ms. Ward.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Widows of Braxton County by Jess McConkey

Can family history be repeated?  Can murder be repeated and with the same weapon, the same manner of death, and to the same family member but years apart? Can it really be called a family curse?

The Krause family had a history of being difficult to get along with and with being abusive to their wives.  When Kate married Joe, she wasn't aware of the history of the Krause men nor of the murder of her husband's great-great grandfather that caused a rift between the Krauses and the entire town.

Had her new husband kept all of this from her on purpose.  She knew he had lied to her from the beginning when they arrived at their new home and his mother was there and there to stay.  The Krause men expected their wives to obey them and not work outside the home.  Kate didn't care if that was the Krause family tradition, she wasn't going to be a stay-at-home, old-fashioned wife.

Social issues were the main focus of THE WIDOWS OF BRAXTON COUNTY as well as the mystery about the murder of Kate's husband's great-great grandfather and then Kate’s husband.  The murder affected the whole town both in 1890 and in 2012. Neighbors were still mad at each other after all these years because of the wrong doing about the murder.  One neighbor blaming the other because the case was never solved.

The author skillfully adds intrigue and suspense to the novel by taking the social issues to the level of murder and secrets. Going back and forth between the two time periods was the perfect way to tell this story and to keep the anticipation from wavering.

Kate will gain your sympathy immediately, and you will want to praise her for her actions.   Trudy, her mother-in-law, will be on your last nerve, and you will dislike her from the minute you meet her.  The entire Krause family was not well-liked by the town and won't be liked by you, the reader.

The family history of murder and anger issues along with the history of how women were treated during the 1800’s was a large focus of the storyline, but the secrets and murders made for an incredibly outstanding page turner.  I really didn't want to put the book down.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Angel Heart by Marie Laval

Marie-Ange a widow? But is she really a widow?  Besides mourning her husband, she is almost out of money, and her home is falling apart.  

Her money problems may become solved because of an inheritance. A connection to her mother wrote and strongly suggested Marie-Ange travel to France to obtain her inheritance, and her adventures began....adventures both good as well as dangerous.  Being a lady, she is not allowed to travel alone.  She is accompanied by Capitaine Saintclair. When she safely arrives, she finds out her inheritance was a ploy to get her to tell Uxeloup, an evil man who is dying, where the Cross of Life is.  Marie-Ange really has no idea, but plays along to save her life.  ANGEL HEART follows Marie-Ange through her life describing the many adventures she encounters or creates for herself.

The book is well written and detailed.  There are a lot of unsavory, devious characters and many secrets for Marie-Ange to find out. Secrets about who her father really is, secrets about what really happened to her mother, and secrets about why everyone wanted to possess the Cross of Life.

Marie-Ange was a bit naive but very strong willed.  Christopher, her husband, turned out to be an evil person.  Captaine Saintclaire was a bit unsavory, but interesting enough to be liked.

I enjoyed the book, even though it was a bit long.  The lengthy book was worth it, though, because just when the book became a little too detailed and you were ready to give up Ms. Laval skillfully threw in a teaser or tidbit to keep you reading.

If you enjoy a good romance, mystery, fantasy, and history ANGEL HEART fits the bill. ANGEL HEART kept my interest with the ending pages being the best part with a good deal of tension and intrigue. 4/5

I received this book free of charge and without compensation from the author in return for an honest review.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Butterflies that changed someone's mind about an affair?  Butterflies that have the entire country flocking to Knoxville, Tennessee?

Yes...butterflies may be what Dellarobia needed to change her boring farm life into something more exciting and something more inclined to her intelligence.

Migrating monarch butterflies and global warming were the main focus of  FLIGHT BEHAVIOR.  The word "flight" seemed to have two meanings in this book.  To me it meant how Dellarobia was trying to flee the doldrums of her life as well as referring to the miracle of the flight of the monarch butterflies who instinctively knew where to go.  Her life was never a pleasant one in terms of family and financial situations.

The book had deep meanings but to me I was seeing the surface of the book which focused on Dellarobia's life.  The reader will follow Dellarobia through her daily life, her financial struggles, and the unpleasant living conditions she had.  She had to live on her in-laws' farm and deal with her critical mother-in-law. 

You will feel sorry for Dellarobia and will keep hoping something good will come out of the uproar the butterflies caused on the farm.  Dellarobia is an endearing character you will want to talk to, try to help, and wish you could actually meet. Her mother-in-law was someone you wouldn’t want to meet.  Her husband was indifferent about everything, and her children were sweet.

FLIGHT BEHAVIOR is an excellent read even though it took a few pages to get you hooked.  The characters are what carried the book instead of the storyline.  Characters who had a connection to each other but in reality were disconnected and made the book unique.  Ms. Kingsolver's masterful writing and detailed descriptions will take you away and pull you right in.

Science buffs will thoroughly enjoy the butterfly research as well as Ovid, the head scientist.  Overall the book was enjoyable, enlightening, and one that will make you think about your family, your life, your contribution to the world as a person, and how to improve yourself as well as the small part of the world that you inhabit.  4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.  I picked up this book at the BEA in June of 2013.