Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Twelve Months

Twelve MonthsTwelve Months by Steven Manchester

I cant even rate this...
why? Because I couldnt even finish it...

The idea sounded like a good one when I bought it - a man who learns he has 12 months to live & what he does in that time.
... I didnt take in consideration the heart ache & sadness in it.
A good man, with a loving wife & a daughter & son in law that adored him & grandchildren that didnt want to loose him.
It was just too much.

I started reading it, had to stop... thought, it'll be good... & tried again

I got a few chapters in as this man decided to really LIVE the last year of his life, fixing wrongs, doing things he put off, spending time with his family... & it had good moments... but the underlying ending was just gnawing at my heart...

so once he went to Vietnam to put to rest ghosts & the discussion of having to kill their dogs that helped them, I knew I couldnt take any more...

I just fast forward to the last chapter & glanced at it...
It was enough to physically make my heart heart & want to get nauseated.
I just wasnt made for a book like this...
Give me romance, mystery & things of fairy tales - stories that more then likely will never come true.
Not something like this, where life is hard enough - I want to escape from life in books - not be sad about it....

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mended: Pieces of a life made whole

Mended: Pieces of a Life Made WholeMended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole by Angie Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Angie Smith... her writing just touches my heart. I honestly think we'd be best friends.. maybe its the red hair?

I just came out of What Women Fear & loved it so much & then had the chance to read this one. I didnt want it to end.

This book are part blog posts, part devotions, part study, part 'God is talking to you'...
I honestly laughed, cried, had my brain work & had my heart spoken to on many different entries.
I even had to go back & star, & heart some of my favorites so I can go back & reread & remember the messages & lessons taught.

This book can be used as a devotional even - with the scripture at the beginning, the reflection at the end - or you can just read it straight through. Either way, you're going to be be touched by it.

I loved it so much, before I finished it, I went & ordered another copy for a friend for Christmas.

I know my life has been changed already, because I've applying some of the things written.  Everything I do, I say to myself, "One Better"... & if you want to know what that means - get the book & read #16

My only problem now? I've got to wait now for Angie's next book...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Life from Scratch

Life From ScratchLife From Scratch by Melissa Ford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story of a woman who is divorced & trying to find herself.

In doing that - she starts a blog & does sort of a "Julie/Julia" thing - learns to cook. While she blogs about her cooking, its her life that she also shares that makes her blog popular.

With a great friend & family who cares about her, she journeys on in this new life. She ends up meeting a Spanish fellow who she starts seeing what a single life is about. But she's still not happy.

Everything comes to a head on her 35th birthday... where is her life going? Is she ever going to be happy? Why did her marriage really end?

The end of the book sorta surprised me (I like when books do that) & we find out that Rachel has learned a lot about who she is & what she wants out of life.

(For the record, being a blogger, I so appreciated Rachel's blog posts before each chapter)

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Almost a Family

Almost A FamilyAlmost A Family by Stephanie Bond
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A young husband & wife have their child kidnapped when he's only a few months... so what happens when years pass & they have since divorced, but the son is found alive & healthy & is now 8 years old.

Bailey & Ginny have gone seperate ways & now that their son is back in the picture, they have to deal with each other again.

From learning where Bailey was all this time & who kidnapped him - From going to pick up Baily Jr, who is now Chad, to bringing him home & the relationships he has to form with his new parents - its a rough road.

Time has made Bailey more mature, ready to settle down, but how can he convince Ginny that its because he loves her & not only because he wants his family together.

I enjoyed the story... thought it made sense in telling of the child's struggles in adapting & loving the person who he always considered his mom. It was a little TOo risque for me on Ginny & Bailey's relationship coming back to life... but that's because I'm used to a lot of Christian novels - so when I read things like that, it sort of shocks me a bit.

You have to know how the story ends... but its sweet how it all comes together.
Definitely not a waste of time reading this...

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Two Crosses

The Two Crosses: A NovelThe Two Crosses: A Novel by Ernie Lindsey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Two men receive the ability to heal people... how do they handle it.
Both handle it very differently
One chooses to go public & sacrifices his family for the fame
The other chooses to keep it quit & ends up having his love of his life sacrificed in exchange...
Made me wonder about both of their choices... is it the best thing to not want to share your gift? And how horrible is it to exploid your gift from God?

I thought this story was OK... I was more intrigued with Jay Cross & his life & how it effected him, more then the other man

& then throw in a crazed relgious freak that belittles every person because they're not good enough for God, & thinks he can save his mother's soul who killed herself when he was little... I could have done without this dude the whole book. Actually, I did skip most of the pages that was about him. too predictable

I wouldnt recommend this book really... especially when it came to the end. I was like "WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?.. that's all I'll say about that :)

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1)The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I feel bad not giving it a better rating... forgive me mom...
but it was good - not great...
kinda scary...
isnt this supposed to be a kid's book?
But it talks about the Tinman chopping off heads of animals...some other scenes that I think would give a kid nightmares if read before bed.
& its NOTHING like the movie... I never remembered the Scarecrow being left on a pole in the middle of a river... & I never remembered the Queen of the Mice & the thousands of mice moving the Lion.
So much is different... but the familiar is still there...
I zoomed through the book, thinking I knew the story, but didnt...
I'm glad I read it though... good to see both sides.
You cant ask me though which I think is better, the book or the movie on this one.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Betting on Hope

Betting on HopeBetting on Hope by Kay Keppler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I totally could see this book as a movie...
Dont know why, but with every scene, as it had humor, drama & all leading to the big build up of a big card game, I just saw it becoming a movie on a big screen... I think it would be a good one too :)
This is the story of Hope & her family, whose ends up loosing their ranch when their gambling father looses it in a bet. Hope calls her "uncle" who are also known as the Jersey Mob & they come immediately to her help. To win the house back, Hope needs to learn to get her own card game back & win it in a big match with Big Julie.
Crossing paths is Tanner, another card player that has to work with the FBI while he's on probation for cheating in casinos 20 years ago. He only has one final thing that is required of him before his probation runs out... & its in the big card game with Big Julie.
Little do Tanner & Hope know that they are getting closer, having no idea they will face each other in this game.
So many characters in this book - with Hope's family & the uncles & Big Julie with his wife & his mistress, Baby (who I thought was hilarious)
Sometimes the story got a little crazy - I could have done without the whole Russian mob coming in - it took WAYYYY too long in a few chapters with them...
but otherwise, the story was entertaining.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Midget's House

The Midget's HouseThe Midget's House by Anita Bartholomew
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend recommended this book after I finished reading Water for Elephants. This was another 'circus-themed' book... but much different.

This book is about a house that was built for midget's in the time of carnivals, traveling circuses - a place where people would come & watch these small people... but it never worked out as planned.

I'm not even sure how to explain the book... its told from 2 different times... from Lucinda, the small person who owned the house & from Marisa, the owner of the house today. Lucinda is a spirit that is stuck in the house & Marisa can feel her presence & all the odd things happening around her.

The story flips back & forth so we get to see what happened in the past as well as what Marisa was doing with the house in the present...

I absolutely loved this book... didnt want it to end.

I loved hearing about Lucinda's life & how she traveled with the circus & carnivals & the people she met, who became her friends, & the man she fell in love with, Cyprus.

& I loved hearing about Marisa - a child who grew up in this house when her aunt owned it & then inherited it when her aunt passed away. Marissa has a fight on her hands to keep the house from being demolished

I dont want to give anything away... I just know I loved the story. The way the characters tied into each other, the history of the traveling circus, the story of Lucinda being different& just wanted the things everyone wants... love.

Thank you to my friend for recommending it... definitely enjoyed every minute of reading it.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

The Wedding Cake Girl

The Wedding Cake GirlThe Wedding Cake Girl by Anne Pfeffer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wasnt sure what this book was about.. but I love a free Kindle book, so downloaded it... it had the works "wedding cake" in it - how bad could it be?

Its the story of a 17 yr old girl, Alex, who is trying to find her who she is in life.. what she wants to do with her life.
She lives sort of a magical life where she lives on a beautiful island & gets to dive every day - her favorite thing. But every magical life has some evil.. sadly, it seems to be her mother. Her mother isnt 'evil' evil, but she's not a very good mother. Never listens to what Alex wants, cares whats going on in Alex's life & just wants Alex to do all the work in her wedding cake business.

Alex ends up saving someone's life while diving & her mother punishes her for it...

Its a cute, easy story - seeing how Alex handles the relationship with her mother, how she tries to figure out her life & will she be able to make it to college & off the island, or will she be stuck with her mother the rest of her life, making wedding cakes.
Along the way, we see her friend Zach, who she's attracted to... & get to meet a new friend, Jeremy, who she grows closer to while he spends the summer on the island.

I did enjoy that the book took some turns & didnt end so predictable as some other books did.
I did have to giggle though because while some young adult books dont seem so 'young', this one did in parts. But that's ok.. its a good reminder of what young love is like.

My key words on this book - Sweet, cute, makes me want to learn to dive

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Angels at the Table

Angels at the Table: A Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy Christmas StoryAngels at the Table: A Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy Christmas Story by Debbie Macomber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love Debbie Macomber... & love her Christmas series... especially when it involves those little mischevious angels, Shirley, Mercy & Goodness. And this time, they have a new angel trying to learn the ropes, Will.

Will learns right away how, as hard as they try, these 3 angels are getting themselves in trouble...

Will has in hand in letting two people, Lucie & Aren, meet... on New Years Eve... & they connect instantly. The bad thing? They're not supposed to meet until later down the road.
So are things ruined?
The Angels try everything to make sure its not....

This is a cute read. Sort of predictable, as most love stories are, but still fun to read. Love the twist of seeing angels working in the background... makes you wonder if that's what it looks like in our own lives.

So, will Lucie, the restaurant owner & chef & Aren, the columnist for the newspaper that does food reviews, get it all straightened out?
Only Heaven knows
(I'm so clever) ;)

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Women Fear

What Women Fear: Walking in Faith that TransformsWhat Women Fear: Walking in Faith that Transforms by Angie Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm all about fear...
Dont want to be... but I am.
Afraid of flying - afraid of heights - afraid of suffocating
But then there's the big ones - the fear of the unknown, the fear of what lays ahead, the fear of dying... all things that just show we're not in control of our lives.

I have a hard time with books that are like 'self help' books - they dont hold my attention... but I will say - I really liked this one.
Angie Smith had a way of showing the fear honestly in her life... & so many times, I was sitting shaking my head, knowing exactly what she was saying.

She'd then tie it right to a Biblical story - a person who also experienced fear in their life... & had Jesus/God right there to help them through.

I ended up sitting there reading this, while marking up my bible to remember some of the points Angie made.

I definitely marked up some points that I know I'll have issues with again down the road of life & I'll want to remmeber what the bible says about it...this book will read again.. & again.. & again.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mondays with my Old Pastor

Mondays with My Old Pastor: Sometimes, All We Need Is a Reminder from Someone Who Has Walked Before UsMondays with My Old Pastor: Sometimes, All We Need Is a Reminder from Someone Who Has Walked Before Us by Jose Luis Navajo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cant say enough good things about this book.

Its the story of a pastor that was feeling 'burned out' & was seeking some wisdom. He turns to his old pastor & they start meeting on Mondays. His pastor shares with him Principles of ministry that apply to life... all centered around Jesus & living in the shadow of the cross.

I wanted to inhale this book - but wanted to also take it slow so I could really disgest everything that was shared. I sat with my highlighter & pen & marked up this book the whole way through.

I think this book needs to be ready by everyone - but if you work in or volunteer in ministry, I think its a MUST READ. I already suggested it to the staff at my church. Its just full of encouragement when rough times hit in ministry.

I also love that this pastor tells 'stories' in every principle - I know I will be using some of these in messages that I give myself in the future.

The focus always though is Jesus... His mercy & grace... & that cross... always coming back to the cross.

I loved "Tuesdays with Morrie" & this is similar in the story of 2 men meeting... these conversations though? So much more profound - to me...I will keep this book near through the years.
I will also keep these thoughts in my heart... a new way to look at life & how to life for Jesus.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Sleep Tight

Sleep Tight Sleep Tight by Anne Frasier
My rating: 1 of 5 stars


I have to include spoilers to explain why I didnt care too much for this book.
So if you dont want to know - dont read...

Why this book rubs me the wrong way...
I'm being introduced to so many characters, each one, I'm trying to remember specific things - trying to find out who the man is that is capturing blonds & killing them.
Only to find out, the man? A person that is never mentioned until the last 15% of the book..really?
And then we hear a story of why he's so crazy... a story out of no where...

And then, the story of Fionna, the young girl killed at 16, do we ever get to figure out who killed her? Just on the last 5 pages...
it made this book just feel like a waste of time

I didnt care for all the graphics & all the language either...
glad I didnt pay for this one .... free Kindle Download
Wont even waste more time trying to explain the characters or the story... just glad its over.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fairest - An Unfortuante Fairy Tale #2

Fairest (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale, #2)Fairest by Chanda Hahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After finishing the first book, I enjoyed it so much, I downloaded this one. I loved going from one book to the next, with the same characters, having the story fresh in my mind. And this book continued on with the "Grimm Curse" that Mina has to endure.

Her best friend Nan is still along side her, as well as Brody, the love from the first book. Only problem? There's no memory of their relationship from the first adventure. Everyones memory was wiped out after the quest was finished... so Mina is back to square one with Brody. Yet he senses something has happened.

Also alongside - Jared - the mysterioud boy from Book one & we get to learn more about him & who he really is.

The Grimm Curse this time was dealing with Snow White... I loved the twists & turns that dont make it exact, but similar stories.
The ending totally surprised me too... not what I thought would happen at all.

The last chapter totally had me on the edge of my seat, excited to see Mina turn into a stronger person, determined, ready to take on these quests with a new passion...
& now, I have to wait... when is the 3rd book coming out? I'm totally wrapped up in this series now.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012


UnEnchanted (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale, #1)UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I saw the title, I was drawn in. I love all things fairy tales. I was just coming off some deeper reads, so wanted a fun, light read. This didnt disappoint. Its about a young lady whose last name is Grime... only to find out, its reall Grimm. She's a descendant of the Grimm family & has a curse on her. That explains why her mom moves her & her brother so quickly when something strange happens, or why she's accident prone & nothing seems to go her way.

She finds out she has to survive the Grimm tales to break the curse. Is she ready for it?
She has help from Brody, the popular, cute guy whose life she saves... & has fallen for her.
& from her BFF Nan who loves her Twitter. Also a strange friend, Jared pops up in the story to help her out.

The ending was really great & I could imagine it as if it played out in a movie. How many tales did she make it through? A few - but not enough to keep her safe.

As soon as I finished this book, I hit "BUY" on the second book so I can keep staying in the world of fairy tales.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Decision Points

Decision Points

I always enjoy biographies anyways, but this was was particularly interesting to me. Showing the behind the scenes thoughts on 9/11 just held my attention.
I think the Bush family is amazing - George & George W. - so to get a glimpse inside of the families was wonderful.

And while I'm not a big fan of politics, I do appreciate a family that holds God in decision making & in their life.
I will say, the political areas, I would get a tad lost. But even in the poltical parts, when President Bush would just again talk about his feelings & emotions on a part, I was totally engulfed.

Definitely glad to add this to my biographical shelf

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Finding Ultra

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering MyselfFinding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Rich Roll
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my kind of book.
Love to hear of an inspiring story - & this was. A man who had a hard start in life battling alcohol & then found sobriety... & then let the fun of aging get to him. Rich Roll realized he was missing out on life when at 40 yrs old, he couldnt get up a flight of stairs without feeling like he was going to have a heart attack. He was determined to make changes.... & changes he made. The story of his journey to an ultraman & to a feat that no one had ever tried before - doing 5 Ironman routes in less then a week. Having seen an Ironman competition in person & seeing the strain on people's face & hearing of the soreness & recover after ONE - I cant image 5 back to back to back.

I also appreciated this book because Rich talks so much about nutrition & how a plant based diet changed his life. It got his health back inline - it boosted his endurance & athletic abilities. There's useful information here - especially in the appendix where he explains why he eats like he does. I actually learned something myself. I have a hard time with anemia & since I've cut out meat, he talks about iron as a vegan. He warned that drinking tea with dinner can cause iron to NOT be absorbed by 50-60% ... I drink tea all day long. HOLY SMOKES! I had no idea. I really did learn things ...

& was inspired.

I loved that his wife asked him after a bike accident & Rich was lucky he didnt break his neck - she asked him a question about his life & if he died that day, would he be happy with the direction of his life & what he accomplished. Rich's answer is what I want to say in my life to that same question.

If you're interested in running, athetics, a turn your life around story, nutrition, you'll enjoy this book.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Heroes & Monsters

Heroes and Monsters: An Honest Look at the Struggle within All of UsHeroes and Monsters: An Honest Look at the Struggle within All of Us by Josh Riebock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had such a love/hate relationship with this book. More love then hate... DEFINITELY more love. This book is just a man's story - starting from childhood until the end of his life... & its written in a different way. And while some parts felt drug out & not to make much sense (the hate part) - other parts were so amazingly written, that one sentence would make me stop & think for 10 minutes. I think I wrote down more quotes from this book then any I've read in awhile...

We start off the book with a little boy that meets a talking Scarecrow... Jack.. & we see how Jack stays with this little boy through life...

It really surprised me when we found out who Jack is...

Its little things like that that just make me enjoy the book

I will say as well - the last chapter? I cried my eyes out... a wonderful way to end the book. That alone pushed it well over the edge of loving the book..

Loved that God is such an important "character" in this book... didnt expect this book to inpsire me to look at my relationships so deeply - especially my relationship with God.
Thumbs up Mr. Riebock

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Friday, May 25, 2012


NickelsNickels by Karen Baney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I appreciated the story being Christian based... how someone can change from their past & show that their lives are changed.

I really loved the character of Kyle. Know a lot of women would want to have him in real life. & while Niki had horrible tragedies in her life, I was glad to see her find some happiness.

I did enjoy the book, but will say, it seemed way too long for me. Sort of dragging the story out & had parts that I felt like I just kept reading over & over. (water games in the pool - kissing the forehead) maybe it was just because it felt so long that I noticed these same sentiments over & over repeatedly.

I did appreciate the Christian love story... that Kyle & his sister were 'normal' Christians - not over the top, crazy, 'preachy' people - but loved Nickles through the years - leading her to Christ...

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Sun Zebra

The Sun ZebraThe Sun Zebra by Rolando Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Short stories written by a father about his life & 'adventures' with his daughter. There are just a few stories, but you'll wish there were more. Each story was so well written - making me laugh & tear up in the same story. Cute stories of Nell & deep lessons for the adults to learn ...

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

See Through

See ThroughSee Through by Catherine Kirby
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I started reading it, thinking it was a good idea. What would it be like to be invisible..

but it was just weird

Take out the "English/British" terms, I couldnt understand it. A family that allowed the mom to the oldest daughter to 'hang out' with them, but not tell the now teenager daughter its her mom? And then a phantom pregnancy - & then the invisible stuff because you have a 'colour' as the last name?

I couldnt take anymore.

Made it to the 5th chapter & just said "I give up"

It may have had a fantastic ending that wrapped it all up - but I couldnt get there.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Erasing Hell

Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We've Made UpErasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We've Made Up by Francis Chan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While I am a Christian & do believe in Hell, I wanted to see Francis Chan take on it.
And while I agreed with the scripture he gave & explanations of it, I was really taken back by the chapter that talked about what do Christians do now. Particuarly about the verse where Jesus says, "I never knew you"... the way he said that the greedy, the teachers, of the Word will be going to Hell. It made no mention of Christ's blood covering our sins... it just stresed the point of BELIEVERS going to Hell... which I do not agree with. I think those going to Hell are not true believers... what is Christ Blood for then? ...
In the end, this book didnt tell me anything more then I already knew, but I felt, wanted to scare people into being a 'perfect' person, which we know we cant be...

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Chasing Rainbows

Chasing Rainbows
Kathleen Long

What's that saying about the devil you know? For Bernie, it's the devil she never expected that changes everything.

Her father's sudden death leaves a gaping void in her life and is one in a series of events that rock her world. Her husband leaves for another woman, and her best friend announces an unplanned pregnancy at the age of forty-one. Bernie's behavior goes from acting out to out-of-hand, and she finds herself in trouble at home, out of work and banned from the mall after a confrontation at the cosmetic counter.

When her mother discovers her father's book of cryptograms, Bernie realizes his encoded lessons in living might be exactly what she needs to survive. From dealing with her family's grief and bonding with her best friend's thirteen-year-old daughter, to dieting, dating and mindless almost-sex with the landscaper, Bernie discovers what her father always knew.

In life, you either choose to sing a rainbow, or you don't.

For Bernie, the singing is about to begin.


I got this book for free on Kindle & the reviews were kinda sketchy... some didnt like it, some did, but nothing overwhelming.

I still gave it a try & so glad I did.

I really enjoyed this book.  Even in the sadness of the circumstances for our character, Bernie.  Her husband cheated on her... their baby died after a few days of birth... she lost her dad & the family was struggling with life after his passing.  Some dark stuff.

But this book was FUNNY

Maybe not so funny to others, but so much that Bernie said & did, I can totally see me reacting the same way... I think that's why I loved it.  I could totally be Bernie.

From her 'freak out' moments in the mall, to her funny reactions to her friend, to her befriending her best friends teenage daughter & being there for her... yep, I could be her.

But loved how Bernie found herself through the book... with the help of her friends & family, & even her little dog :)  Finding herself with the help of her dad who left behind these messages for her to figure out. 

I think the end was predictable, (as most storeis are) - but I enjoyed getting to the end of the story. 

My Rating:  4 skeins
(This book does contain some language)

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .


So I got this again for a Daily Deal on Kindle... been ready a lot of sci-fi lately & thought I'd give this a go...

It had a story that held my attention, but it was weird & had spots that made no sense... & had spots that made it REALLy seem like a young adult book.  Some of the language, some of the dialogue... a little dumbed down

but then I felt dumb, because I didnt even know what was going on in parts.

Fairies, a queen that you dont really know much about till the last chapter, a friendship with James that could have been looked into more, a weird aunt that you dont ever know what happened to her, a grandma that had more of a story that you didnt really get into...

just weird stuff

& the end?  I'm not even sure what happened...

So this was just a disappointment.

Dont want to say I hated it because I kept reading, wanting to know what was going on... just didnt live up to expectations of what it COULD have been

My rating:  2 skeins

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Heaven is for Real

Book:  Heaven is for Real
Author:  Todd Burpo

This is the true story of Colton Burpo, the four-year old son of a small-town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven.


I've heard so much about the book.  It was marked down on Kindle so I thought I'd give it a go.

The bad part of it?  Most of the book, I've already heard.  I've seen a lot of interviews with this child & all the stories were recapped for the most part.  So it wasnt anything shocking or new... that was disappointing.

It was nice to think this was all true though.  ... I'm a little skeptical. My grandson is 4 & I'm not sure he could be as "articulate" as this young man... I dont know ANY 3 or 4 yr olds that are.  That makes me leery... especially he being a pastor's child?  It would be easy for him to pick up on some cues that he hears his parents say...

I WANT to believe everything he said was true though

So I just enjoyed the read - whether I believe its all 'true' or not... its still encouraging.

The part where the little girl who died who was an artist & drew Jesus - that part really struck me though... I've seen the picture of Jesus that the little girl drew everywhere but didnt realize THAT was the picture she drew... that was the most believable part to me.

My favorite part of the book?  When the man from the church was getting ready to pass away & this little boy went back & told him "The first person you'll see is Jesus"... that just gave me chills & made me cry... that's exactly what I WANT to happen when I die...

This is a quick easy read... so whether you believe it or not, its worth picking up.

My Rating:  4 skeins

Friday, March 30, 2012

Dont Breath a Word

Book:  Dont breath a word
Author: Jennifer McMahon

On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.

Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.


I dont normally read books like this, but it was a deal on Kindle & someone told me that she really enjoyed it... so I gave it a go.

One word comes to mind - FREAKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The book goes back to & forth to when Lisa disappeared to the current day with Phoebe dating Lisa's brother, Sam... & odd things start to happen.  They get a message that Lisa is back from the fairy land.

So what's real, what isnt... is the Fairy Land real?  What is the story behind it?

its FREAKY!!!!!!!!!!!

I've never really read a 'mystery' before but this held me till the end wanting to know what the truth was... & in the end, I was still like "WHAT?" ...

but I will say, I enjoyed the read.  It kept me on the edge of my seat - had me invested in the characters - had me wondering what was real, what wasnt... what the truth was...

What happened to Lisa... what did her cousin Evie have to do with it.... what was wrong with Lisa's dad.... was Sam involved.... & who are these people who keep coming in & leaving the Fairy King's symbol painted everywhere.... & does the Shadow Man really exist?


My rating:  3 skeins

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Run to Overcome

Book:  Run to Overcome

When Meb Keflezighi won the New York City Marathon in 2009--the first American to do so in 27 years--some critics questioned whether the Eritrean-born runner was "really" an American despite his citizenship status and representing the USA on two Olympic and several World Championship teams. Yet Meb is the living embodiment of the American dream. His family came to the U.S. to escape from a life of poverty and a violent war with Ethiopia; Meb was 12 at the time, spoke no English, and had never raced a mile. Yet he became an A student and a high school state and national champion. And when he stood on the platform as a silver medalist in the 2004 Olympics, Meb knew his hard work and determination had paid off. How could life be any better? Then it all came crashing down. Meb, a favorite for the Beijing Olympics, fractured his pelvis during the trials and was left literally crawling. His close friend and fellow marathoner suffered a cardiac arrest at the trials and died that same day. Devastated, Meb was about to learn whether his faith in God, the values his parents had taught him, and his belief that he was born to run were enough to see him through. "Run to Overcome" tells the inspirational story of a man who discovered the real meaning of victory, and who embodies the American spirit of overcoming the odds.

I got this book as a Kindle deal of the day.  I love stories that inspire about running & gave this a go.

It definitely was interesting - but I know if I knew nothing about running, I'd be a tad lost.

But the story of Meb's journey to the US & his family's attitude & strength on making a better life was inspiring.  I LOVED how God was center of this family & their faith is shone throughout the story.

Lots of names I am familiar with running... it was neat to see how they are friends & support each other.

Also loved to hear the story of the Olympic games that Meb placed a silver medal in Athens.

If you dont care anything about running, most of the book, you'd skip over -but its still inspiring.  I always love a good real-life inspiring story.

And I'll definitely be cheering Meb on from now on with my other favorite runners :)

My Rating:  3 skeins

Sunday, March 18, 2012


When Katie Kitrell is shipped off to boarding school by her distant father and overbearing mother, it doesn’t take her long to become part of the It Crowd. She’s smart, she’s cute, and she’s an Olympic-bound swimmer who has a first class ticket to any Ivy League school of her choice. But what her new friends, roommate, and boyfriend don’t know is that Katie is swimming away from her past, and from her schizophrenic older brother, Will, who won’t let her go. And when he does the unthinkable, it’s all Katie can do to keep her head above water.


I was drawn into this story because I wanted to see how the lives would turn out for Katie & for her brother Will... it definitely wasnt a story-book ending that you expect with every story.  I appreciated that.

It was a story though of a young girl trying to hide her past, while relying on her strength of swimming & starting a "new life" in a new place... making new friends.

I did enjoy the characters... from Katie's room mate that you can never put your finger on, to her boyfriend who I appreciated the story having a Christian character that wasnt TOO much a joke.  He kinda was in parts, but the story did keep him as a Christian.

It was a view in the things that make it so hard to grow up... family issues, friendships, relationships, pressure from sports, the "mean girl"... growing up is tough.

The story didnt blow my mind... but I did want to keep reading to see how Katie's life would end up.

I also loved the ending went & showed "10 years later"... I always like that - to see a little deeper into the story.

My rating:  3 skeins

Monday, March 12, 2012

Letting Go

Book: Letting Go
Author:  Victoria Watson

Letting Go is a collection of eight short stories from Victoria Watson. Each of these tales has a twist that the reader won’t be expecting. Regret, and how just one moment or snap decision can change your life forever are key themes in each of these stories.


I got this for a free download on my Kindle. 

Its a quick read.  I read the whole thing in one day.  And some of the stories, we interesting.  One or two, I really enjoyed.  One or two, I thought was totally boring & not grabbing my attention.  So it was a fun, easy read... & getting one or two that I really enjoyed for free - not a bad deal.

My rating:  3 Skeins

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Prisoners in the Palace

Book:  Prisoners in the Palace
Author:  Michaela MacColl

Liza is expected to make her debut in 1830s London, but when her parents die suddenly, she is left penniless and must instead enter service. Through fortuitous connections, she gets a position as a lady’s maid to 17-year-old Princess Victoria, who lives with her mother in the neglected and tension-filled Kensington Palace. Liza begrudgingly adjusts to this new role and slowly comes to care for the temperamental, haughty, and pitiable princess even while she rejects lewd advances from Sir John, the household’s powerful secretary. Ultimately, Liza befriends a young boy and a newspaperman (who soon becomes a love interest) in order to confront the public slander surrounding the princess. This novel is full of historical detail, vivid settings, and richly drawn characters, and themes of friendship and romance give the story teen appeal; Liza is a brave yet conflicted young adult with whom readers will identify. The author takes liberties with some historical facts (clarified in an afterword) to create a tale of espionage, romance, grief, and hope


I got this book with the Kindle Deal of the Day.  That always makes me leary, but I do love all things "Royal" so I thought I'd give it a go.

I was so glad I did.

This was an easy read & so enjoyable.

What made me love it even more, in the end, I researched some of Queen Victoria's history.  There were most of the names that were involved with the book.  And even cooler, the diary entries from Victoria were legit diary entries that are in historical records. 

I love that the author turned the facts into a fictional story... it makes sense that it could really happen.

While not a "deep" novel, it was interesting to get a glimpse of history & a different time period & an idea of what Victoria may have been like as a teenager.

And ultimately, the story is about Liza, the maid that once was "higher esteemed" until her parents died.  To see her grief & journey through life & see the woman she would become as she's helping her friend claim the throne as Queen, that's the real story... a story of friendship, of a young lady becoming her own person in the world.

I really did enjoy this book...

My Rating:  4 skeins

Saturday, February 25, 2012

150 Pounds

150 Pounds by Kate Rockland

A smartly-written novel of two women starting at opposite ends of the scale--and finding compromise and friendship in their journey towards 150 pounds In the fast paced life of blogging, two women stand out: Alexis Allbright, of Skinny Chick, and Shoshana Weiner, who writes Fat and Fabulous. Both have over five million loyal readers. Both are hungry for success. But the si...moreA smartly-written novel of two women starting at opposite ends of the scale--and finding compromise and friendship in their journey towards 150 pounds In the fast paced life of blogging, two women stand out: Alexis Allbright, of Skinny Chick, and Shoshana Weiner, who writes Fat and Fabulous. Both have over five million loyal readers. Both are hungry for success. But the similarities stop there.

With over 100 pounds on the scale separating them, weight isn't their only difference. Alexis is a loner who is so bitchy the only person who can stand her company is her gay best friend Billy. She gives neurotic New Yorkers a run for their money with her strict daily workout routine, and weighing of food. Shoshana is Alexis’s opposite. Living in Jersey with rowdy roommates, she is someone who “collects friends,” as her mother puts it; and treasures a life of expanding circles...and waistlines.

When both appear as panelists on a popular talk show, their lives intersect in ways neither could have imagined. In turns comedic, heartwarming--and familiar to any woman who's ever stepped on a scale--Alexis and Shoshana realize they have far more in common than either could have possibly imagined, and more importantly, something to offer.
Being someone who has struggled with weight my whole life, I appreciated this book in the telling of how hard it is to deal with it.  From both sides... the over weight perspective & the "skinny". 
I love that we get to know more about both ladies in this book... get to see the history behind their lives & may have influenced their body shapes in the present.
Both ladies were so different & I found myself connecting more with Shoshana... (of course, she's the over weight one) & disliking Alexis... but learning more of her life & her strugles, I ended up cheering for her as well in the end.
This book was a nice easy read, made me chuckle in spots... made me appreciate the friendships & family in a life.  And love seeing how in the end, life change you.  Heart, BODY & Soul.
*This book does contain profanity
My Rating: 3 skeins

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Devil in Pew Number Seven

(This book was given to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for a fair & honest review)

The Devil in Pew Number Seven
Rebecca never felt safe as a child. In 1969, her father, Robert Nichols, moved to Sellerstown, North Carolina, to serve as a pastor. There he found a small community eager to welcome him--with one exception. Glaring at him from pew number seven was a man obsessed with controlling the church. Determined to get rid of anyone who stood in his way, he unleashed a plan of terror that was more devastating and violent than the Nichols family could have ever imagined. Refusing to be driven away by acts of intimidation, Rebecca's father stood his ground until one night when an armed man walked into the family's kitchen . . . And Rebecca's life was shattered. If anyone had a reason to harbor hatred and seek personal revenge, it would be Rebecca. Yet "The Devil in Pew Number Seven" tells a different story. It is the amazing true saga of relentless persecution, one family's faith and courage in the face of it, and a daughter whose parents taught her the power of forgiveness
I was so wrapped up in this book...
amazed that there was such evil in this world... such evil in a man who sat in the church building & planning harm to a family... a family that served God.  It blew me away.
I was so angry at this man for hating this family so much... I was angry that the pastor didnt move his family - that this little girl had to grow up with such fear.  I do understand the call God had on his life, but wow... being an outsider, its hard to imagine.
My heart broke for Rebecca & what she had to endure.  To have to be so fearful, everyday - not a childhood that is deserved.
And then to witness what she witnessed...
its amazing she turned out to be the person she is today....
I love a good true-life story... true stories show you that sometimes books cant even imagine this stuff up... life is bad enough ...  & courageous enough... & strong enough.  It really is eye opening to witness the love of Jesus in action, especially to people who dont deserve it.  Its also eye opening to see how active the devil is in this world too....

I really did enjoy this book.  Once I started it, I couldnt put it down.  Finishing it in one day.  I had to know the whole story... find out the ending...
My Rating:  5 skeins
Here's a preview of the Dr. Phil show they were on...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Whisper from the Ashes

Whispers from the Ashes

A coming of age mystery, set in 1950s Pennsylvania as the coal mining industry fades and the area plunges into recession, Whispers from the Ashes follows one family as they struggle with an underground anthracite fire that is creeping toward their home in the mountainside town of Giant's Despair.

Young Molly Branigan, a descendant of the nineteenth century Molly Maguire 'gangsters', paints a subtle picture of crime and punishment as she investigates the secret scandals of previous generations of her family. From a father who rode the rails during the great depression, his hobo friend Magee, her historian mother, and numerous friends and relatives, she slowly garners clues to five mysterious deaths listed in her great-grandfather's hidden diary. While researching the deaths, she struggles with her father's alcoholism, her first crush, and a threatening teenage boy

I got this book as a free download on my Kindle.  I looked up the reviews & they werent awful so I thought, why not.

Glad I had it.

It was an interesting story, seeing a family dynamic through Molly's eyes as she tries to figure out the mysteries & history of her family... all while growing up, loving her parents & siblings & growing up.

I would almost forget it was a book set back in the 50's... it was still relevant.  Family keeping secrets, alcholism, death, struggles...

It was a long story - over 400 pages - & I wasnt sure where the story was going - or what the point of it was really... but the ending was sort of a mystery solved... & in the end, I just wanted this family to be happy.  I felt connected to Molly & her relationship with her mother & father.

Didnt disappoint me one bit reading this.

My Rating: 3 Skeins

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Water for Elephants

Source: via Rebecca on Pinterest

Book:  Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen

Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.

Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive 'ship of fools'. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.

I've heard so much about the book.

am still waiting to see the movie (I like to read a book before I see the movie.  Let my imagination have first dibs)

I wasnt disappointed in the hype of the book.

I loved hearing Jacob in his "old state" & seeing what happened to him ... where he ended up... & the story of how he got there... the circus.

I couldnt help but envision Robert Pattison & Reese Witherspoon since I do know they are the lead movie characters... but it suited the characters I grew to know in the book.

I literally cried at parts of animal abuse... I teared up at the relationship of Walter & his dog, Queenie... I got chills at how badly Jacob wanted to help Marlena... & I rooted for Rosie when she got to take revenge for all the abuse she had to endure.

The story of the back side of a circus is another view.  Dirty, grungy, sneaky, nasty... but full of people who have hearts... & those who dont.

I could have done without a lot of the graphic details & story lines that really didnt need to be there (in my opinion) but I guess I'm just jaded from reading too many Christian novels. 

I did enjoy the book though... now off to see the movie :)

My Rating:  4 Skeins