Thursday, July 6, 2017

Home on the Range Book Review
Available on Amazon

Nick Stafford has been working on his family's ranch, trying to proove he is the "good son."  Despite a strong commitment to be a better husband, father and ranch manager than his father was, Nick has found himself a single father.  One of his daughters is having trouble in school and he has to think past his Stafford stuborness and do what is best for his girls.

Dr. Elsa Andreas has suffered her own tragedy.  One that caused her to abandon her family practice and hide in a dark corner of Gray's Glen.  Her sister, the school principal, convinced her to come out of hiding to help the Stafford girls.

Nick is smitten with Elsa, and she with he, but they both agree to put the girls first.  Can Nick put aside his stuborn side, or will Elsa's hidden secret keep them apart despite both of them wishing the best for the girls?

Home on the Range is the 2nd book in the Double S Ranch series.  (Books 1 and 3 follow the other two Stafford brothers.)  It is a Fictional Christian Romance.

Normally I don't read or enjoy romance novels, but I chose to read this one because of the cover art, of a little girl hanging on to her fathers leg.

Reading Home on the Range I was in love with the charactger of Dr. Elsa.  I loved her Hobbit hole in the woods.  I loved her eccentric parrot.  I loved how much she loved Nick's daughters.  Her fear and distrust in certain people felt right with me

This quote from another chacrater in the book stuck with me:

"We cannot blame God for the evils of people.  We are inclined to sin.  But if each of us maes her corner of the world as sweet and good as she can, she blesses many, unseen."

In a not entirley unexpeted twist, the girls mother shows up.  One that happened I kept expeting things to be done and said that never were.  I was happy that the book wasn't so predictible that I knew what would happen before it did.

If you like a light Romance with Christian undertones I would recommend you read Home on the Range. I enjoyed it enough to read it in a couple of days.  However I didn't enjoy it enough to be tempted to check out the other books in the series.  I guess its just not my genre.

If you are interested in checking it out, Home on the Range  is available in several formats on amazon, along with the rest of the series.

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I received my copy of Tell Me How This Ends Well for free from Blogging For Books. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Tell Me How This Ends Well

Set in the future (slightly, the year is 2022), Tell Me How This Ends Well features each of the three Jacobson children.

Mo, Edith, Jacob, along with their parents have all gathered together for Passover at Mo's home.  Their mother is very ill, and this might be their last year together.

For the sake of their mother, the children have decided to kill their father.

Throughout the book, you get to see through the eyes of each of the siblings.  We see their father as a raging tyrant from childhood onward.  More than once we see him trying to harm or even kill his own children.

What you don't see much of is their mother.  Rarely does she show up in the backstory and the result of that is that you don't much care for her.  At least I didn't.  Why should I care if they kill their father for her?  She is almost a non-entity.

Meanwhile, the narrators are also rather unlikeable.  Jacob is whiny, Mo is egocentric and materialistic, and I'm pretty sure Edith has some sort of dangerous personality disorder.

Sure, Julian Jacobson is a clearly loathsome character, but the children and wife don't have a lot going for them.

I put the novel down several times to read other books in between.  It wasn't bad enough to give up on entirely as I have other books (see A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing) but it didn't grab me.

Meanwhile, in the distant future of 2022, the world has become very anti-Semitic (much like our current anti-Muslim world view).  Other than the fact that Jacob's boyfriend is German I don't see where it added to the story at all.  Enid ran into a couple of unpleasant people, and suicide bombings are mentioned throughout the book, but overall it played no part in the larger story aside from the very end which could have been re-written to keep from having all the other pointless moments from the rest of the book.

Unfortunately, overall, I don't see myself recommending this book to anyone.  If you want to give it a try anyway, Tell Me How This Ends Well is available in multiple formats on Amazon.

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I received my copy of Tell Me How This Ends Well for free from Blogging For Books. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Fifth Petal

The Fifth Petal is a novel by Brunonia Barry.

On Halloween night a teenaged boy dies unexpected, and some town members blame Rose Whelan.
Rose Whelan also happened to have been involved in an unsolved murder case from 1989.

Callie Cahill had thought Rose to be dead, so she returns to Salem for the first time since she was taken away when she was 5.

While some people thought Rose killed the young man, and the "Goddesses" many years before, Callie loved Rose like a mother and insists she didn't kill the goddesses but rescued Callie from the person who did.

John Rafferty, Salem's sheriff, also thinks Rose is innocent.  He wants to help Callie find the missing piece of the puzzle or the "Fifth Petal" of the rose.  However, the town is beginning to think he is biased, and his time to solve the riddle is running short.

The Fifth Petal is the third in a series of books that circles around the same town and characters.  I have not read the first two books in the series, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the tale.

I felt for Callie and for Rose.  I with they could have both had a happier ending.

I was pretty sure I had figure out who the real killer was, and I turned out to be right.

There were a couple of side characters in the novel I wish I could have gotten to know better.  If there is ever another book featuring them I will probably read it.

I give this novel a 4 out of 5.
I received a copy of this novel free from Blogging for Books, but all thoughts and opinions on it are my own.

Flash Fiction Magazine Giveaway

Have you ever wanted to read something, but don't have the time (or energy) to commit to a full length novel?

How long has it been since you've treated yourself to the bite sized morsel of short fiction?

Flash Fiction Magazine is giving away 3 of their shot story collections in paperback.  All together that would be 130 flash and micro fiction stories for you to read.

Enter to win these 3 collections today!

From established and up and coming authors, each story has something to offer you, and you don't have to say "I don't have time to read" as each one is short and quick.

I own Volumes 1 and 3, so I can tell you they are worth reading.

Interested, ENTER TO WIN HERE:

Even if you don't win the Grand Prize, there are plenty of (17) runner up prizes, each also a worthy short story collection.

But you have to act fast!  There are only 2 days left (as of my writing this on 4-19-17) to enter this Flash Fiction Magazine Giveaway.

Or, if you just can't wait to read them all volumes of Flash Fiction Magazine are available on amazon in digital format.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Holding Up the Stars

This is book 3/60 read in 2017.
Libby Strout was once known for being the Fattest Teenager in America.  After suffering the humiliation of having to be cut out of her own house, and losing a lot of weight, she is ready to face the world, and her peers, again.  She has no (well, just a little) fear as she enters high school for the firs time.

Jack Masseline is your typical bad boy.  He has to keep up a tough facade to hide his painful secret.  He can't recognize faces.  Even his family, his own brothers, are strangers to him once he looks away and looks back.  But so far he's kept everyone from finding out.

Now that Libby and Jack are in the same school together their paths cross in part because of a horrible game called "Fat Girl Rodeo."

While Libby thinks that Jack is just like everyone else, Jack can't help being drawn to her.  There is something about Libby Strout that he can't put his finger on, something that makes her different.  And he doesn't mean her size.

The book Holding Up the Stars could have set itself up to be a cookie cutter "teen drama."  When you got into a YA story about an empowered fat girl, and the schools bad boy it usually follows the same path.  Girl falls for boy.  Boy dates girl as a bet.  Boy falls for girl.  Girl finds out she was part of a bet.  Girl hates boy.  Etc, etc, etc.

Rest assured that Holding up the Universe doesn't follow that overdone storyline.

We see the story unfold through Libby's eyes AND through Jacks.  We see Libby's strength and her insecurities. We get to see past the bad boy facade of Jack and find out how terrified he is most of the time, forever surrounded by strangers.  I usually hate books broken up into Multiple points of view.  Especially when its multiple points of view AND flashbacks.

I really enjoyed this novel though and could hardly put it down once I started reading it.  Jennifer Niven did a wonderful job bringing to live two vastly different characters and showing how their lives intertwine perfectly.

This is a novel I needed to read when I was the fat girl in school.  While it's not the moral of the story Libby is a shining example that it is possible to be fat, and to love yourself and enjoy your life all at the same time.


Holding up the Universe is available on Amazon in Kindle, Hardcover and Paperback.

I received a copy of this novel free from Blogging for Books, but all thoughts and opinions on it are my own.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Dark Energy by Robison Wells

Warning: This review may contain MILD spoilers for the novel Dark Matter.


A spaceship has crashed in the Midwest.  It fell first on Iowa, then skidded tow hundred and fifty miles north into Minnesota.  Thousands of human lives were ended.  Now the world is waiting for whatever is in the ship to come out.

This is why Alice had to move from Miami, Florida.  Her dad is the director of special projects for NASA.  He has to go to the site of the crash and Alice has to go to The Minnetonka School for the Gifted and Talented.

While she's trying to decide whether she falls into the Gifted or Talented portion of the school, the crash landed visitors finally make an appearance, and suddenly everything changes.

They call themselves the Guides, and they look very Human.

While the leader of the thousands housed inside the giant spaceship are talking with Government leaders, two of the younger aliens also end up at the Minnetonka School for the Gifted and Talented.

One of them becomes first roommates, then friends, with the young alien woman.

Then things get even stranger....

This novel had a couple of twists I didn't expect, and a couple of plot points that you could see coming from a mile away.  And some things that made you roll your eyes because they were a little TOO good to be true, even in a fictional novel.

I would recommend this one to anyone who enjoys YA Earthbound Sci-Fi.

Dark Energy is available on Amazon in Kindle, Hardback and Paperback.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Dead Until Dark A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
Book 1/60
2017 Reading Challenge

Our heroine in Dead Until Dark is Sookie Stackhouse.  Too sweet and naive for her own good, Sookie lives in the small town of Bon Temps with her grandmother and works at a local bar.  Many of the bar's patrons call her Crazy Sookie because she's not exactly normal.

Sookie Stackhouse can read minds.

When a vampire walks into the bar one night, she is excited.  Most of the undead would rather go to New Orleans.

The vampire Bill, however, wants to mainstream, to live with humans.  And he finds Sookie Stackhouse very appealing.

When she realized she can't hear Bill's thoughts, even if she tries, then he becomes very appealing to her as well.

Unfortunately, young women in Bon Temps start turning up dead.  Young women with a lot in common with Sookie.  They worked menial jobs and they had affections for vampires.

Sookie wants to make sure nobody points a finger at HER vampire for these crimes.  Instead, people start looking at her brother.

While trying to navigate the rocky road of an interspecies relationship Sookie finds herself doing something she has never done before, opening her ability to read the minds of everyone around her, trying to save her brother from going to prison for crimes he didn't commit.

But if he didn't do it, then who did?

I was introduced to Charlaine Harris as an author through her Midnight, Texas trilogy.  I enjoyed the characters in that series very much.  Another reviewer mentioned that some of the characters crossed over with the Sookie Stackhouse novels (Sookie herself was mentioned in passing) and I decided I wanted to try to read those novels as well.

I asked for, and received, this novel as a Christmas gift.

I enjoyed Dead until Dark just as much as the first novels I read, and look forward to collecting and reading the rest of the series.

Dead Until Dark is the first book in a series of novels featuring Sookie Stackhouse.  It is available on Amazon in Kindle, Hardcover and Mass Market Paperback.

Dead Until Dark, and the Sookie Stackhouse novel's, were made into a series on HBO called True Blood.  You can purchase Seasons 1-7 in a complete box set.

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