Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I See You by Clare Mackintosh - Review and Short Videos

Seeing your blurry but recognizable photo in an ad for escorts caught Zoe Walker's attention, but no one in her family believed the photo was Zoe.

After seeing other faces in the same ad and seeing that harm had come to those women either brutally or by robbery definitely had Zoe worrying she was next.

I SEE YOU was confusing at first because there were too many characters, and making a connection took a while.

The plot seemed to go round and round and not get anywhere, but I didn't want to stop because I know Ms. Mackintosh throws in zingers and twists right up to the end.

The zingers started when Zoe's live-in boyfriend and her boss seemed to be suspects in the stalking. 

The ending was ​good and was worth the LONG wait for the suspense to begin.

I am wavering between a 3/5 and a 4/5 for my rating.

The 3/5 would be because it took too long for the suspense to begin.

The 4/5 would be because I SEE YOU dealt with a problem that technology​ can potentially cause as well as being helpful, the intense ending, and how the characters involved with the crimes were a complete surprise. 

I will leave it at that, and let you make your decision after you read the book.

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


Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Fill-Ins - 2/24/2017

Friday Fill-Ins:

1. I wish ____ would come back in style.

2. I always have ___ in my purse ( or wallet for men).

3. I think that I             .

4.                  is a pet peeve of mine.

My Answers:
1.  I wish talking to each other instead of texting on the phone would come back in style.
2.  I always have mints in my purse.

3.  I think that I will always love reading.

4.  Not being on time or not being responsible is a pet peeve of mine.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Dressmaker's Dowry by Meredith Jaeger

From San Francisco 1876 to present day, we learn of the plight of the poor, the privilege of the wealthy, and secrets of a family that connect both eras.

Sarah married into a wealthy family and brought a secret with her that she never revealed to her husband.  Her husband's family had a secret too, but he was unaware of it.  Or was he?

Sarah was writing her thesis and came across two dressmakers, Hannalore and Margaret, who lived in1876 and who fascinated her because of the story of their lives.

As Sarah researches, she finds connections between the dressmakers and her husband's family.

THE DRESSMAKER'S DOWRY moved us back and forth in time with Hannalore's life story being much more interesting than Sarah's story about her life as the wife of a wealthy man and a journalist.

Hannalore's story tells of her hardships as well as her resilience as she takes care of herself and her three siblings after her mother dies and they escape from their drunken, abusive father.

The characters definitely were authentic especially the wealthy with their fancy clothing and privileges.  The destitute were equally well described, and you could feel their pain and suffering through the excellent writing style and descriptions of Ms. Jaeger.


I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction, switching back and forth in time, and finding items from past to present turning up for a mystery that includes a bit of love.   5/5

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Glory Over Everything Paperback Release Celebration

In celebration of the release of the paperback edition of GLORY OVER EVERYTHING by Kathleen Grissom, Charlotte O'Donnell of  Simon & Schuster will be sending THREE lucky readers a copy of the paperback.

USA and CANADA entries!!
Entry form is at the bottom of the review.  Good Luck!!


From James Pyke to James Burton.

​From the South to the North.

From a plantation to a home in Philadelphia.

James Pyke fled from the plantation
to start a new life after he killed his abusive father.  It wasn't an easy life, but James​ ​managed to find a wealthy family with a silversmith business who took him in, adopted him, and taught him the trade.​

James became very successful with his father's silversmith business and quite prominent in society.

We follow James from his childhood to his adult life. He could never be happy no matter how wonderful his life had become because he always feared the secret he had would be exposed.

GLORY OVER EVERYTHING kept my interest even though it dragged a bit at times. Once the secret James had been keeping is revealed, the book heats up.  The last quarter of the book is very suspenseful, and the book has a satisfying ending.

If you enjoy this time period in history, you will enjoy how Ms. Grissom put together a story line that will captivate you with a wonderful, emotionally packed sequel to THE KITCHEN HOUSE about life during the 1800's.

Enjoy!!  4/5

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




Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Mother's Promise by Sally Hepworth

A mother's love is constant no matter what, and Alice definitely has a mother's never-ending love for her daughter Zoe.

Alice and Zoe are close and even closer than a mother and daughter normally are because Alice does not have a husband or any family, and obviously Zoe has no father.

Zoe ​along with the absence of family and friends ​has a social anxiety disorder​ that causes more worry for Alice and deeply affects Zoe.  When Alice finds out she has ovarian cancer, the exact cancer that caused her mother's death, her worry about Zoe is even more stressful.

We follow Alice and Zoe as they struggle through the battle of cancer treatments and resolving Zoe's anxiety issues. 

During the treatment of her cancer, A​lice makes friends with her social worker, Sonja, and with her nurse, Kate, who also have problems of their own.

The subject matter of THE MOTHER'S PROMISE was a bit of a downer because of the cancer as well as other social problems, but it also was wonderful because of the development of friendships and the concern the characters had for each other.

Alice, Zoe, Kate, and Sonja were warm characters that worked well together, supported each other, and were perfectly portrayed.

THE MOTHER’S PROMISE was beautifully written and pulled you into the story and the lives of the characters as the difficult situations and life issues were addressed.  You can't help but become attached to Zoe and all the characters and cry along with them as the situations escalate.

Ms. Hepworth will again take women’s fiction fans on an emotional ride of real life situations and real emotions.  

Get out the tissue box as you deal with the characters’ feelings and make them your own.

ENJOY!!  4/5

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt

A childhood filled with secrets about her identity and her life,  never going to school, and always on the move until her mother finally came back to Aurora, Texas.  That is what Dahlia dealt with throughout her childhood.

Dahlia left it all when she could and didn't return to Aurora until 15 years later only to find her mother still secretive and not in good health mentally or physically.

Dahlia finds out things that now make sense and a lot of things that don't as she remembers how they lived and begins to questions her mother.

THE GOOD DAUGHTER was very well written, had a different but good plot, and is a page-turning read.

There is one mysterious character that didn't seem to have a connection at first, but then everything fell into place for a truly marvelous, unique book.

THE GOOD DAUGHTER is for those readers who like family sagas but a family that is a bit strange. 

I enjoyed THE GOOD DAUGHTER because of the mystery and the unconventional characters.  4/5

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

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Beautiful But Cold and Snowy February 9

It started snowing around 11 p.m. last night and we woke up to around 4 inches of the white stuff.  :)

It is a heavy snow.  Keeping an eye on the husband who is shoveling the driveway.

What is crazy is that it is going to be in the 50's this weekend.

We have rapidly changing weather in Pittsburgh.  :) 

ENJOY your weather and your day!!  Hope it is a wonderful.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Review and Giveaway of Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese

Love, war, and art.

STOLEN BEAUTY moves from 1900 to 1938 as we follow the lives of Adele and Maria.  

In 1900, Adele's story was about her life and how she became fascinated with the painter Gustav Klimt and that era of art.  

In 1938, the story is told of Maria, Adele's niece, newly married and taken from her home​ and taken from her husband​ at the beginning of WWII when Hitler invaded ​Austria.

STOLEN BEAUTY was interesting​, but since I am not an art aficionado, I was a bit confused.  Despite my lack of knowledge in the art area, though, I did learn a lot about Gustav Klimt.

The WWII sections were heartbreaking as usual.

I do have to say I enjoyed the story of Maria more than Adele, but most likely because I don't know too much about art.  Maria also seemed to be a warmer character than Adele.

It took me halfway through the book to warm up to the characters, and even though it wasn't a favorite, I enjoyed the book.

Ms. Lico Albanese did a marvelous job of researching, and she has wonderful, descriptive writing.

ENJOY if you read STOLEN BEAUTY.  4/5

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




Thursday, February 2, 2017

Things We Have In Common by Tasha Kavanagh

We meet Yasmin, Alice, and a man that Yasmin sees lurking ​at school and around town ​and who she thinks is going to abduct Alice.

Yasmin is a misfit and tries to win Alice's friendship at all costs.​ Alice is a popular girl at school.  The supposed abductor's name is Samuel and is very odd.​

When Yasmin actually meets ​Samuel, she sees him in a different light and wants to spend time with him and his dog, Bea.

I felt bad for Yasmin just because of how she worked so hard to befriend her classmates and ​Samuel ​and how she didn't even fit in at home.

Alice and her friends were quite mean to Yasmin and made it difficult to understand why she tried so hard to get their attention.

THINGS WE HAVE IN COMMON is written with Yasmin speaking to​ ​Samuel ​even when she isn't with him.  That​ was​ a bit​ odd and a bit confusing​​.

When ​Alice does go missing​, Yasmin continues to befriend Samuel even though someone else has been accused of the abduction, and Yasmin won’t mention Samuel to the police.  She seems to have some obsession with him and wants to protect him.

THINGS WE HAVE IN COMMON was very different to the point of ​being ​extremely odd​ and something I normally do not read​, but ​it is​ well written and kept my interest because I wanted to find out what really was going on. 

The ending was just as interesting as the rest of book and carried the same oddity along with Yasmin
who will continue to haunt you even after you turn the last page.  

Even though THINGS WE HAVE IN COMMON was not a normal read for me, my rating is a 4/5 because of the different writing style and the creativity needed to carry out the plot.​

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