Tuesday, September 26, 2023

"You Make It Feel Like Christmas," by Toni Shiloh

"You Make It Feel Like Christmas," by Toni Shiloh


It's the most wonderful time of the year--for everyone except Starr Lewis.

As if going home for the holidays jobless and single wasn't bad enough, she's dragged into a holiday season full of activities leading up to her sister's uber-romantic Christmas Eve wedding--to Starr's ex-boyfriend. But when her brother's best friend, Waylon Emmerson, attends their family Thanksgiving, she starts to wonder if maybe coming home for Christmas isn't so bad after all.

As Starr finds the perfect distraction in helping Waylon make over his late mother's Christmas shop, the most wonderful time of the year works its magic and the spark between them grows. But with the holidays fast approaching, Starr must decide what she wants out of life after the gifts are unwrapped and the ornaments are put away--to go back to New York City or to open her heart to a love that will last beyond Christmas Day?

Another Christmas book to put you in the mood for the festive season.  This book has a little bit of everything when it comes to dealing with families, especially around the holiday seasons.  We all want a picture perfect, Hallmark," Christmas and this book shows you while it may not be perfect, there are moments where it will turn out as close to perfect.

Sibling's are the main thing in this book and anyone with siblings will know relationships with them can be complicated.  The whole Starr and Angel relationship is rife with issues, and you never know how it will end.  Starr and Waylon's friendship, has you cheering along all the way through the book.

Again I read and reviewed this book at the end of September when the weather was gorgeous and hot.  This book, is a read in December book to help you get into the holiday spirit.  

Stars out of 5 : 5 I feel there could be a number of follow up books about each of Starr's siblings, there are a lot more stories to be told about the Lewis family!  Well worth reading this book, not overly complicated and a fast read.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"All's Fair in Love and Christmas," by Sarah Monzon

 "All's Fair in Love and Christmas," by Sarah Monzon

Two workplace rivals. One festive competition. And a romance that upends it all.

Every December two things are guaranteed for graphic designer Mackenzie Graham--Christmas celebrations and the annual promotion at her workplace. Those two things are by no means mutually exclusive. In fact, the better an employee is at harnessing the Christmas spirit, the more likely they'll win the new job. With her social anxiety, Mackenzie never thought she'd be a contender in her company's holiday competition, so how exactly has she found herself dueling her workplace crush with wrapping paper tubes and using tinsel as her weapon of choice for a much-needed raise?

Jeremy Fletcher's life is meticulously planned out, including how to win this year's promotion at work. Not only will the new position fulfill some of his career goals, but as a single guardian to his twin niece and nephew, he needs the salary increase to support his family. Jeremy has barely noticed Mackenzie Graham around the office, but now that she's his rival, he can't stop thinking about her. Her quirkiness intrigues him, and he's afraid that if he can't get his head on straight, the promotion isn't the only thing he'll end up losing to Mackenzie.

If you want to be put into the Christmas mood, then this is a book for you.  It reminds you of Christmas traditions, you have probably forgot about.  It reminds you about how everyone can celebrate Christmas differently.

It also explores, social anxiety and Alzheimer's, which are both serious subjects, but do add to the depth of the book.  Add in a twist at the end, that I didn't know was coming, and this book has something for everyone.

The only odd thing, was I was reading and reviewing this book at the end of September, when the weather was really warm and Fall like, not Christmas like at all.  This book would be a perfect read at the beginning of December.

It's not a long book and doesn't require a lot of concentration to keep up with the plot, a perfect book to read on a Sunday afternoon through to the evening.

Stars out of 5 : 5 nothing negative to say about this book, a perfect book to put you in the Christmas mood.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

"The Hiding Place," by Corrie Ten Bloom

"The Hiding Place," by Corrie Ten Bloom 

"Every experience God gives us . . . is the perfect preparation for the future only He can see."—Corrie ten Boom

Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who became a heroine of the Resistance, a survivor of Hitler's concentration camps, and one of the most remarkable evangelists of the twentieth century. In World War II she and her family risked their lives to help Jews and underground workers escape from the Nazis, and for their work they were tested in the infamous Nazi death camps. Only Corrie among her family survived to tell the story of how faith ultimately triumphs over evil.

Here is the riveting account of how Corrie and her family were able to save many of God's chosen people. For 35 years millions have seen that there is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still. Now The Hiding Place, repackaged for a new generation of readers, continues to declare that God's love will overcome, heal, and restore.

What a remarkable true story this is.  I had never heard of this family before and what they did to help the Jewish people during the second world war.  Each page was a riveting as the next.  The whole book made you think of what would you have done in the same situation?

The constant stress they went through; not knowing when the Gestapo was going to knock on your door.  Is that what made them stronger in their conviction to save as many people's lives, along with their deep faith, I think it did.  Corrie's sister Betsie's whole outlook on life and the people around her; both good and bad, was truly inspirational and that alone saved hundred's of people and gave them hope in a very dismal time.

Betsie found a blessing in the fleas that were in the bunks at Ravensbruck, you'll have to read the book to see why!  All in all a book that is so well worth reading.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I was on the fence about reading this, but I am so glad I did.  It's truly a one of a kind book that everyone should read.

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell , a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

"With Every Memory," by Janine Rosche

"With Every Memory," by Janine Rosche


Is the life she can't remember one she'd rather forget?

One year after her family was in a tragic car accident that killed her teenage son, Lori Mendenhall returns home with a traumatic brain injury that has stolen the last eight years of memories from her, leaving the life she has returned to unrecognizable. Her once-loving husband, Michael, is a distant workaholic she isn't sure she can trust, and her once-bubbly daughter, Avery, has spent the last year hidden away in her room.

If Lori wants to reconnect with her family, she'll have to uncover the information her brain is trying to keep secret. As her memories return and past secrets resurface, it will take the whole family to repair what's been broken and find a new future together.

This book is a page turner that's for sure.  I love how each chapter goes back and forward between Lori, and her daughter Avery.  The family dynamics are spot on, and how one accident can affect each person in the family is well thought out.

Throughout the book, you think that you know what the next part of the story will be, but then another twist happens in the story.  It was quite interesting to see how the brain heals itself after a traumatic brain injury; and how Lori's memory came back to her in bits and pieces.

The relationship between Xander and Avery was really sweet and well thought out.  This was an easy book to keep up with and not overly complicated.  The story moved at a fast pace, so kept the reader interested.

Stars out of 5 : 5 A real winner for me.  Well worth reading; it's the first book I have read by this author and I look forward to reading many more of her books in the future.

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell , a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Saturday, July 29, 2023

"Cold Pursuit," by Nancy Mehl

 "Cold Pursuit," by Nancy Mehl


Ex-FBI profiler River Ryland still suffers from PTSD after a case went horribly wrong. Needing a fresh start, she moves to St. Louis to be near her ailing mother and opens a private investigation firm with her friend and former FBI partner, Tony St. Clair. They're soon approached by a grieving mother who wants them to find out what happened to her teenaged son, who disappeared four years ago. River knows there's almost no hope the boy is still alive, but his mother needs closure, and River and Tony need a case, no matter how cold it might be.

But as they follow the boy's trail, which gets more complicated at every turn, they find themselves in the path of a murderer determined to punish anyone who gets in his way. As River and Tony race to stop him before he kills again, an even more dangerous threat emerges, stirring up the past that haunts River and plotting an end to her future.

This is the first book in the Ryland and St. Clair series by Nancy.  After reading this, I can't wait until the next book comes out in January 2024.  Right from the get go you get sucked into this book.  There is action that has you sitting on the edge of your seat from the first page.  You just don't know where it will take you and then you take a breath for a couple of pages, and then BAM! you're right back into it.

You think you know where this story is going to go but the twists and turns involved in it, makes it a page turner.  One thing I love about reading is learning new things.  In this book's case it was SYNESTHESIA.  I had never ever heard of that word before and had no idea what exactly it meant; even though there is a paragraph describing it at the beginning of the book.  However having one of the characters in the book; Brian, having it explained the "illness" very well.

The whole book was very interesting and very well researched in my opinion, and had me thinking right throughout the book.  If you enjoy a murder/mystery type of book, this one if for you.

Stars out of 5 : 5 Loved it, and would have read it in a day, if I had, had the time.  Nancy's book's never disappoint.  Well worth reading!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Friday, July 28, 2023

"This Is Where It Ends," by Cindy K. Sproles

 "This Is Where It Ends," by Cindy K. Sproles


How long is a body expected to keep a secret?

When Minerva Jane Jenkins was just fourteen years old, she married a man who moved her to the mountains. He carried with him a small box, which he told her held gold. And when he died fifty years later, he made her promise to tell no one about the box or the treasure it contained.

Now at ninety-four, Minerva is nearing the end of what has sometimes been a lonely life. But she's kept her promise. Even so, rumors of hidden gold have a way of spreading, and Minerva is visited by a reporter, Del Rankin, who wants to know more of her story.

As an unlikely friendship develops, Minerva is tempted to reveal her secret to Del. But the truth of what's really buried in the box may be hidden even from her.

How long is a body expected to keep a secret? Now that is the million dollar question, and one that no one has the right answer too.  It will all depend on what you think!

I read this book in a day.  I just couldn't put it down; and not just for one reason, for many reasons.  There are so many twists and turns in this book that I had to keep turning the page.  It will come as no surprise that Minerva will die; she is 94.  The way the author wrote about her last few minutes on this earth was so moving, I was in floods of tears.  I knew what was happening, but I just couldn't stop those tears.

I think throughout this book it made you question things in your mind that were probably already there, but this book moved them up to the fore front of you brain.  It makes you think about death.  Minerva was concerned about dying alone.  I think that is a worry for many people.  Not long ago there was a documentary about older people in the UK, and it featured a man who had no living relatives left.  Every night before he went to bed, he laid out his will and all other official documents that people would need if he died through the night.  Minerva always made sure she had clean clothes on.

This book makes you realize how important friendship is, and how good for the soul having people around that cares for you.  I loved the way Del broke down the barriers of Minerva's hardened heart.  I think we all put up barriers to protect ourselves against people who have hurt us in the past.  Del chipped away at Minerva's barriers and broke through.

This would make a great book club book, as there are many topics of conversation and discussion to be had.

Stars out of 5 : 5 and very solid 5 at that.  Even the cover made me want to pick up this book.  It is well worth reading.  I wonder though if this will appeal to the older reader more than the younger readers?

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell , a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

"The Long March Home," by Marcus Brotherton & Tosca Lee

Inspired by true stories, The Long March Home is a gripping coming-of-age tale of friendship, sacrifice, and the power of unrelenting hope.

Jimmy Propfield joined the army for two reasons: to get out of Mobile, Alabama, with his best friends Hank and Billy and to forget his high school sweetheart, Claire.

Life in the Philippines seems like paradise--until the morning of December 8, 1941, when news comes from Manila: Imperial Japan has bombed Pearl Harbor. Within hours, the teenage friends are plunged into war as enemy warplanes attack Luzon, beginning a battle for control of the Pacific theater that will culminate with a last stand on the Bataan Peninsula and end with the largest surrender of American troops in history.

What follows will become known as one of the worst atrocities in modern warfare: the Bataan Death March. With no hope of rescue, the three friends vow to make it back home together. But the ordeal is only the beginning of their nearly four-year fight to survive.

This is not my normal type of book that I read.  However, if you get the chance please read this book.  I wasn't totally convinced I was going to enjoy this book, but it got to the stage I had to turn the page, as I needed to know what happened next.

I did not know anything about this part of the war, and what those three friends did to try and survive was unbelievable, although their story is fiction, it is based on actual facts.  Also the bond that they formed prior to the war, helped them survive the awful things that they had to go through.  

I enjoyed the story of Billy and Claire, and the story went back and forward to when they were growing up, then to the three boys, (and they were just boys) fighting together in the war.

Stars out of 5 : 5 A must read for everyone, even if you are not fond of war stories.  What these guys went through was just terrible, and everyone should know about it.  Please read this book.
 

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell , a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"You Make It Feel Like Christmas," by Toni Shiloh

"You Make It Feel Like Christmas," by Toni Shiloh It's the most wonderful time of the year--for everyone except Starr Lewis. A...