Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Wishing Tide by Barbara Davis

Mary, Lane, and Michael.  Three marvelous and completely different characters when put together make the pages of THE WISHING TIDE come alive.

Lane owns a Bed & Breakfast, Mary is homeless, and Michael is the mysterious, unwanted guest who arrives during a storm for what appears to be for reasons other than not having any other place to stay for the night.

All three characters blend together with things in common that they don't know about, and they fill the pages of THE WISHING TIDE with a splendid, beautifully told story.

There is something about Mary that you can't help liking. Could it be her elusiveness,  her purple bag, her ability to read a person, or just her constant presence?

Lane is a character you will feel sorry for even though she seems to have it all. 

Michael seemed sinister, and is someone who appeared on the scene more than by chance and with secrets of his own to work out.​

THE WISHING TIDE is an emotional ride about life's lessons, personal secrets, and personal relationships. 

The writing was beautiful, detailed, and flowed nicely. The descriptions have you hearing the sea, smelling the sea air, and feeling the sand as well as vividly visualizing the buildings,  the quaint town, and every scene.

I enjoyed THE WISHING TIDE simply because it was a cozy, comforting read with outstanding characters, an intriguing storyline, and a magnificent setting.

The entire book and especially the ending wraps you up in a warm, homey cocoon.  Don't miss reading THE WISHING TIDE.  5/5

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

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff

WWII was still going on, and Poland was suffering along with all the European countries as families struggled to survive.

Helena and Ruth were left in charge of their three younger siblings since their father was killed by a runaway wagon and their mother was put in the hospital.  Both girls were hard workers but had different views about the war and safety as well as being jealous of each other for everything.​  

As the book continued, something unforgivable happened between the two sisters that led to more jealousy even though the incident was not spoken about but felt by the sisters.   ​

THE WINTER GUEST puts you right into the heart of the war with the fears and hardships the population was enduring.  As Helena and Ruth struggle to keep themselves and their younger siblings fed and safe, Helena then finds something out about her mother's heritage that she had kept secret her entire life and a secret that puts their family in more danger because of their mother's secret.

As you follow the Nowak family through their daily routine, you learn what they had to go through worrying about the Germans storming into the town and knocking on the door or stealing what they had, worrying about hunger, worrying about the children, and worrying about staying alive.​

Ms. Jenoff has written yet another wonderful, heart wrenching account of WWI​I.  The beginning pages grab your attention immediately, and the suspense and interest continues throughout the entire book.

​You will fall in love with the Norwak children.  Ruth and Helena are a bit difficult to like, but they beautifully carry the story to the end with its intrigue and ​revelations.  There is also a tender, sweet love story inside all of the pain and terror.

If you have never read a book by Ms. Jenoff, you need to.  Ms. Jenoff perfectly depicts what happened in Europe during WWII in all of her books that I have read.  

THE WINTER GUEST is no exception.  Do not miss reading this book or any of her other books.  

The only thing I don't understand is how the cover portrays "the winter guest"  because I thought the guest was a male.  :)  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 26, 2014

The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan

A bookstore, mothers, sisters, aunts, family secrets.

THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION is a wonderful, cozy, book that combines family, the love of books, and a small town and turns all of those into a book you won't want to stop reading.

Josie DiSantis had to move ​from New York ​back to her roots in Mill River, Vermont, after her husband was killed in a fire that destroyed their home.  Luckily she and her daughters survived and had a loving aunt to take them in.

Mill River is a town that I would LOVE to live in.  It seemed to be the perfect place to grow up, the perfect place to raise your children, and the perfect place to return to.

The only thing that wasn't perfect was the relationship between Josie's daughters, Rose and Emily.  Something happened that tore their once close, sisterly relationship apart and had them estranged for years. 

Josie tried to get them to reconcile all during her life and even after her death.  Josie had devised a perfect plan described in her will that would hopefully bring the girls back together.  Would this work?  Nothing else had.

Josie was a strong character, Aunt Ivy was all the warmth anyone could ask for, and Rose and Emily were total opposites.  Mill River and its residents knew everyone's business, but the town had the kindest folks ever.
I really enjoyed THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION because of the homey storyline and the beautifully described characters.

This is the first book I have read by Darcie Chan, and her writing style is inviting, descriptive, and simply superb. 

I didn't want to stop reading because I wanted to see how the plan Josie devised was working out as well as wanting to be a part of that town with all those delightful residents.
Don't miss reading THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION if you like cozy, heartwarming reads.

This is going to be one of my FAVORITE reads of this year. I didn't want it to end.  I wanted to spend more time with the characters.  :) Even the cover is  alluring and captivating.  5/5

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

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera

This statement alone is enough to make me want to read this book:   

Steaming cups of tea, freshly baked cakes, and lovely company

What about you?



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Awakening of Miss Prim_FC_France



Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera is a journalist and has spent the majority of her professional career in the field investigating economic journalism.

The Awakening of Miss Prim is her debut novel.

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The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera is on sale now

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Four children then three, traditional chocolate-Easter-egg hunts ​where you had to save the foil wrappings, a tidy house and then a very cluttered one. 

The Bird family was loving but very eccentric with Lorelei, the mother, being the oddest of all and who kept a secret that made her hold onto things.

Colin her husband re-installed the wall in their once duplex house and lived next door to his wife, Megan turned out to be a neat freak, Beth never left home until she was 30 because she thought her mother needed her, and the twins were total opposites as well as having a tragic incident happen to them.

There were a lot of strange things about the Birds, but they all loved each other.  As the years went on and the children grew into adults​, Lorelei still held onto their childhood toys, clothes, blankets, ​and even drawings as she herself remained an adult​ child and a compulsive shopper and hoarder.  The children couldn't believe what was in their childhood home when they visited and how they had to navigate through a small path surrounded with things Lorelei just had to have and couldn't part with.
If you want to read a book that will have you shaking your head but also not wanting to put the book down because of total enjoyment, you will want to read THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN. 
The storyline and writing were marvelous.

I enjoyed THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN because of the unique, creative storyline with characters that kept you wanting to know how each of their lives would turn out.  They all were quite unconventional, but you couldn’t help but love them.

THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN will have you thinking back to your childhood and wonder if what happened in the home you grew up in has actually shaped you into the person you are today.

We definitely can't forget the cover.  It is absolutely gorgeous with the egg being the basis of the Bird family's many memories of their Easter egg hunts which kept them all connected.

Along with being a beautifully told story, THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN has a happy ending along with characters you will remember long after you turn the last page.  

I don't think there will be any reader no matter what their preferred genre is who won't get caught up in this splendid story. 

My rating is going to be a 4/5 simply because I was lost in the beginning pages, but the rest of the book definitely made up for my being lost.  

Make THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN a must read for yourself.

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

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Don't Try to Find Me by Holly Brown

Meeting someone online and falling in love is wonderful.  Yes, it is wonderful but not when you are fourteen and he is twenty-nine and has lied to you about a lot of things including his name.

Marley met Brandon on a social media site, and he talked her into leaving her family and joining him for a life together.  But...she couldn't take her computer, her phone, or even go out of the house once she arrived.

As Marley traveled by bus to meet Brandon, on the other side of the country, her parents were frantically looking for her with no clues at all.  Marley wiped out everything on all devices so no trace of where she was could be discovered.

This nightmare was real for Marley’s parents, Rachel and Paul.  They used social media to start a site named

This book discussed a lot of social issues and showed the dangers of social media’s influence on youth as well as its ability to aid in getting cross-country exposure about a runaway.

The characters were difficult to like. I wanted to shake Marley. I definitely disliked Brandon.  I wasn't even fond of Rachel or Paul.

But, despite the unlikeable characters, DON’T TRY TO FIND ME had me glued to the pages and had my heart racing.  The suspense was quite high.  My fear for Marley had me tense while I was reading the book as well as when I was waiting to return to see what was going to happen.  I still am anxious as I am writing this...definitely the sign of a GOOD book.

If you like to be kept on the edge of your seat, don’t miss reading DON’T TRY TO FIND ME.  It was a quick read, but very intense.  It could even be called a thriller.

My rating is going to be a 4/5 because parts of the book were a bit too descriptive, but the anxiety and apprehension as each scene took place made it a terrific read.

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

Meet Sharman Ramsey and Her Mint Julep Series

Don't these mysteries look and sound wonderful?  



I love what inspired Ms. Ramsey to write this series.

The Mint Julep Mysteries were inspired by my grandparents’ plantation home in Alabama. Wakefield, an 1832 Steamboat Gothic plantation home featured in many books and magazines, is now owned by my sister and her husband. 

Think Murder She Wrote but with two formerly estranged, newly widowed Southern sisters who cannot cook and whom critics compare to Lucy and Ethel starring on a food show set on a plantation in Alabama. Spice it up with Rosemary and Thyme with an organic garden planted by the Cox County Master Gardeners around Waverly that inspires Victory Gardens around the country. 

Mix in romance with the Saks Fifth Avenue quality gentlemen who attend the Five O’clock Mint Julep Hour on the Waverly veranda. Season with Newhart appeal as Palmer, former ghost town, now attracts outdoorsman from around the world to the best deer hunting in the world. 

Add a dash of variety with a multicultural cast. Stir in the drug dealing serial killers upset with all that attention and a broad variety of heroes and villains and you have the Mint Julep Mysteries. 

Complicate everything with genealogist Dabney’s genetic memory, the result of the accident where the SpedEx truck killed her husband of 35 years and left Dabney in a coma from which she emerged in tune with past events that intrude into the present.



Mint Julep Mysteries at times get a bit -- how shall I say -- bawdy. I decided to write it as I saw it. This is a multicultural view of the New South that I know, warts and all. You will run through a bar in the middle of the French Quarter, attend a Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting, follow a priest to a rendezvous, have Mint Juleps on the front veranda of an historic plantation home, and eventually travel back and forth in time in Guatemala. 

I just hope no one asks me to tell the rest of the joke about the man taking the chicken to the movie! Dabney Palmer Rankin is a character readers find quirky and fun, often serious and thoughtful, confused by male relationships, sometimes floundering in a world without the husband she depended upon who finds support in the friends she never thought she'd find and a sister with whom she forges a new relationship. She is a friend you'd want to have and return frequently to visit. 

The first two books, like any series, introduce the characters and set the scene, with lots of action and mysteries/murders to solve. They really build toward the third. I hope readers will just be prepared to enjoy the ride and meet some fascinating people.

I thought folks might be interested in the plantation house that inspired the mysteries so my sister and I collaborated on the history/cookbook. Recently, the etiquette page of my website: has gotten the most hits and inquiries so I added the primer on Southern manners and etiquette.




Sharman Jean Burson received her BSE degree from the University of Alabama where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. She received her Masters degree from Troy University. She is a wife, mother, amateur genealogist, Master Gardener, teacher and sometime adjunct history professor, freelance writer, short story writer, karaoke singer, and webmaster for, a general interest website. “Whatever I am generally interested in goes on the website.”  

Ramsey also writes historical fiction under the name of Sharman Burson Ramsey -- a family saga published by Mercer University Press beginning with Swimming with Serpents and continuing with In Pursuit.

She divides her time between Dothan, Alabama, and Panama City, Florida, with her husband. Both she and her husband share an Alabama heritage, two daughters and a son, three granddaughters and two grandsons and a standard poodle.