Sunday, February 9, 2020

Review: The Sunday Potluck Club

The Sunday Potluck Club The Sunday Potluck Club by Melissa Storm
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an amazing book. I finished it last night but have been unable to move on. I couldn’t begin the review until I thought about so many things that came at me while reading it. I still am not certain what to say. This book has layers.
I knew, after reading the first two pages, it would make me cry. I was ready for that. I got a box of Kleenex ready. I wasn’t ready for the push, pull of the book. The push to read on, wanting to know what was going to happen next, especially with Amy, Trent and Olivia. The pull to stop and absorb; to exam my feelings and connections.
Maybe it is because my mom has Alzheimer’s. Not the same as cancer but equally hurtful and devastating. There is two deaths in Alzheimer’s. Did you know that? The first death comes when your parent no longer knows you and you only get glimpses of who you knew was your mom, or dad. The second, the final one, the I’m still not acquainted with, the one I dread. My mom will be gone with no glimpses a possibility. I thought about how different it is from cancer yet the same. I thought of Amy and how closely I felt to her. How much I felt understood and validated by her internal emotional swings. I stopped quite a bit to examine her..and me. I wasn’t as close with my mom as Amy. My mom hurt me. I’ll never know why now. It’s locked up. I’ll never get the apology either that I wanted. Though, in reality, I wanted it with no real hope of getting it. I forgave because I needed to move on. I needed to cling to the belief that it wasn’t me, that I was so bad I didn’t deserve to be loved. But even so, I wanted to hear it from her. Now, even if she wanted to tell me it wasn’t me, she can’t. It’s never coming so I have to deal with that.
The book is a romance, a testament to friendships and, in an odd way, a coming of age. A different age from the usual teen into adult, but still, a coming of age. Amy, Bridget, Nichole and Hazel are all becoming someone different yet the same. All but one have gone from being a daughter into some new role. The memories are there. The love remains. But the arms are empty, the ears don’t hear and the only time you see them, is when you catch a glimpse in the mirror or, if you have them, in your children. You are still you but you have been changed. Death has left its mark just as walking the rocky road to adulthood does. So yes, a coming of age book.
Now, go, read the book.

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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Review: Murder in an Irish Cottage

Murder in an Irish Cottage Murder in an Irish Cottage by Carlene O'Connor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book. I’m honestly afraid I’m going to say to much so the review is going to be short. I adore Siobhán and her family. I was kept guessing until the reveal, changing my mind constantly over who it was. I was absolutely enchanted with the story and the location descriptions. This author is a recent discovery and I love how she is able to blend in me a longing to go to Ireland with the feeling that I am there while reading her books. I get totally immersed in the story with the people coming alive for me and the feeling of transportation. This author’s writing is magical. Go read this book and all the ones in the series.

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Friday, February 7, 2020

Review: There's a New Witch in Town

There's a New Witch in Town There's a New Witch in Town by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There’s a New Witch In Town is a new series by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson. I have read a few books by this author and have never been disappointed. I’m delighted that this one continues that trend.
In this one we are introduced to Abby, a young writer who has just lost her beloved mother. Things start happening around her that she puts down to faulty wiring. In reality, she, who writes tales of a witch, is about to make a startling discovery.
I love the characters in this. Abby, love interest Gabe, best friend Stella and Bessie, her mom’s best friend. Mr Charming and Cooper were delightful surprises. I love the relationship Abby has with them.
One of the things I enjoy so much about Ms Aspenson’s writing is that she gives me so much to think about. She blends things and presents ideas and information that I find myself thinking about and remembering long after I close her books. She is also one author that I can count on to write characters that are strong yet still learning things. Her characters have relationships that are sometimes difficult. We get to see how those work out. In this case, not everyone can know about Abby’s newly discovered life. I have a best friend that I would be torn wanting to protect her but wanting to spill everything. I know, for different reasons, how delicate and tricky that is to balance. I’m so interested in how these relationships progress or change. The mystery I’m not going to say one word about because I am not chancing any type of spoiler. Matter of fact, I’m just stopping here and telling you to grab this book and read it now!

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Friday, January 31, 2020

Review: Killer by Nature

Killer by Nature Killer by Nature by Jan Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This reminded me of radio theater. I was freaking entertained all the way! Why then only 4 stars? One, being brought out of the drama as each episode ended. It was jarring and irritating. I hated that. A simple break then perhaps a title episode and #. Going through the whole this is audible, blah, blah, blah was too much. It brought me entirely out of the story. Two, it ends on a cliffhanger! I have no idea if another season will be made. This killed me. The twist at the end was brilliant but I need to know it’s going to be continued. If you can handle the interruptions and the not knowing..this production is excellent. Well worth listening to.

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Review: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was hilarious along with being interesting. Rob and I enjoy hiking. My family is from the Appalachian area in Kentucky, his in Georgia. So we knew this book was a good fit for us. What we didn’t realize was how fun it would be listening to it. We would have listened to it in less days, (we meaning me), except every day Rob would tell me do not listen to that book until I’m home. It was so hard to not cheat! I can’t recommend this recoding, (and the book, which I did read years ago. Listening was actually more fun), enough! I can’t believe how long we had it on the audio tbr. Armchair travel at its best! We had no blisters. Haha.

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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Review: Unfollow Me

Unfollow Me Unfollow Me by Charlotte Duckworth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book intrigued me with the title. Unfollow Me. I have an odd relationship with social media. Most of us probably do.
I love how you can stay in contact with family and friends who are far away. That’s what sucked me in. I had moved across the country, leaving behind everyone I knew and loved. It was lonely. Seeing everyone on social media made me feel closer to them. Like I hadn’t lost everything. I saw it as an amazing tool. Then games became big and I accepted friend request from people I didn’t know. From there, I found a book community. An introverts heaven! I still have a lot of those people on my social media. I can tell you quite a bit about them. I’m positive they can do the same. They became real friends, some very close.
A few years ago social media expanded. More options became available. I started playing on a game site, meeting people there. Writing a blog, I started reading blogs. Some were awesome. I was still innocent, though. Believing everything people said about their lives. It didn’t occur to me to lie or that others would. How can you have friendships if your lying? I did notice that some people started living glamorous lives. Some people changed. A number, the bloggers, worried about numbers of followers. Then my world was shaken. Someone I had met on the game site lied about who they were. Actually two people did and it resulted in the death of a young man. I played games with them. I didn’t question who they said they were. After that, I changed. I became more wary of the Internet. I knew people lied and it could go horribly wrong.
So when I saw this title on NetGalley, I was prepared for it to be a story about people who lie and it goes horribly wrong. I wasn’t prepared for all the twists and turns. I wasn’t prepared for how close to reality the writer was going to take us. I wasn’t exactly prepared for a thriller to give us a reality check message in the form of entertainment. Because it is a cautionary tale. We leave clues all over social media of who we are, where we live, what we have and what we want others to think we have. It is what Violet did. As an influencer, she opened the door. I’m not certain yet how I feel about her and Henry. I like Yvonne’s sense of humor. She has some of the best lines. There are also Simon, Lily and Luke. I’m not going into the story more than this. You know who the players are. You know someone lies and you know it goes wrong. There is so much, though, that you don’t know. Put this book on your TBR. It’s what you know combined with all the twisty turns that will have you turning pages.

A big thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for offering the book for review consideration. All thoughts on it are mine. I’m delighted I read this book. If I hadn’t been so busy analyzing the characters and the situations I would have probably finished it in one sitting. I’ll most likely read this again. Flawed characters and social media are a huge draw for me.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Review: His Forever Valentine

His Forever Valentine His Forever Valentine by Kit Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoy mail order bride stories. Maybe because when I first learned of them I was fascinated with the concept of going to a new place and marrying someone you never met. I couldn’t decide if it was a grand adventure or the worst thing that could happen. I’ve been obsessed ever since. I enjoy the location of this one. I think it’s the farthest north and west I’ve read of them. I enjoy Kit Morgan’s sense of humor. The story has a love triangle going on. It presented a lot of opportunities to enjoy that sense of humor.
I wasn’t excited about the narration. He wasn’t bad. He just didn’t excite me. Over all it was a fun book for me.

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Review: The Sunday Potluck Club

The Sunday Potluck Club by Melissa Storm My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is an amazing book. I finished it ...