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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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29 08, 2016

Blog Tour: Aphrodite’s Choice by Christy English

By | August 29th, 2016|Categories: Authors|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

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aphrodite's choice book coverPlease join Christy English, author of Aphrodite’s Choice, as she tours the blogosphere with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

To win an eBook of Aphrodite’s Choice, please enter via the Gleam form below. 5 eBooks are up for grabs! 

Reviewed by Bethany Kelly

Aphrodite’s Choice by Christy English re-imagines the tale of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, giving the reader a different take on the various gods and goddesses of Greek mythology.

Aphrodite has been living among mortals for over 9,000 years, offering the blessing of the Goddess one night, and to one man at a time. Each time she takes them to bed, she heals their wounds, both physical and mental, and then leaves before they awaken. These men, although healed, don’t remember anything about her or about the night they shared.

29 08, 2016

Review: Night at the Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade

By | August 29th, 2016|Categories: Hispanic American, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Short Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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night at the fiestas book coverReviewed by Alisha Churbe

Kirstin Valdez Quade’s debut short story collection, Night at the Fiestas is well written, dramatic and memorable. The collection consists of ten short stories, all quite long for short stories (ranging from 24 – 33 pages). Many of the stories have appeared previously in publications such as The New Yorker, Guernica and The Narrative Magazine. The first story, “Nemecia,” a story of x and y appeared in both The Best American Short Stories 2013 and The O. Henry Prize Stories 2014.

Valdez Quade has a proven track record. We will see much more by her before the end of this decade. She’s a name worth recognizing and a name that will appear on many more lists and shelves.

28 08, 2016

Mailbox Monday, August 29, 2016

By | August 28th, 2016|Categories: Etc.|Tags: |8 Comments

Welcome to Mailbox MondayMailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Here are the books that made their way into my physical and digital mailboxes last week:

Paper Review Copies

frost me book coveralone on the wall book coverlearning to fall book cover

28 08, 2016

Review: Love, Alba by Sophy Burnham

By | August 28th, 2016|Categories: Action & Adventure, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Urban Life|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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love alba book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

The private life of cats…who knew? Well, I suppose anyone who’s ever been a companion to a cat would have some idea, at least. But I suspect that just as with the 2-leggeds, some cats are more out-going than others.

Alba is an extrovert, if ever there was one! Happy to be with others of her own kind, or the 2-leggeds who are friends with her own such person, Lorna. There’s Nikki, the art conservator, and Puma, a big tawny male, and David, an attorney, who shares his home with Goliath, also large, but black male. Lorna seems to do something that involves her computer, whether at home or the office. Lorna and David live in a duplex, but not together, although they both apparently work in Washington, D. C. Nikki has her own home in Virginia,  which is big enough for her workshop.

27 08, 2016

Review: God’s Bankers by Gerald Posner

By | August 27th, 2016|Categories: Christian Books & Bibles, Economics, Historical, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

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god's bankers book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

Around the world, having some kind of religious faith is an experience common among the majority. In particular, those that affiliate with Catholicism are spread far and wide around the world, but all come under the leadership of the Pope. While the Pope is commonly known to be the head and leading authority in the Catholic Church, that is an image associated with leading the flock to follow God. But who knew he was head of the Vatican Bank as well. Surprisingly, the Catholic Church is an institution with vast financial holdings that extend far beyond Vatican city and local Catholic churches. While the image of the church is one replete with icons, statutes, colorful paintings and robed priests, the underbelly of this institution is far less holy and its finances are littered with crime and amoral behavior.

27 08, 2016

Review: Andy and Don by Daniel de Vise

By | August 27th, 2016|Categories: Biographies, Nonfiction, Pop Culture, Social Sciences|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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andy and don book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

Was there ever anywhere on earth more congenial than Mayberry? The made-for-television version, that is, which was home to Sheriff Andy Taylor and his deputy Barney Fife. Otherwise known as Andy Griffith and Don Knotts.

This enjoyable book is a long and loving, detailed look at the two men; their similarities and their differences. It is very even-handed, displaying with great sensitivity the sunny upsides along with the dark and melancholy undersides.

Although Andy and Don doesn’t spare the unhappy parts, it is not ever mean-spirited, presenting the facts just as they happened. Andy and Don were, after all, one of the most famous comedy duos in America, and every comedy act has its sad counterpart.

26 08, 2016

Review: Throne of Lies by Sara Secora

By | August 26th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

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throne of lies book coverReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Princess Amythesta is on the horizon of her 18th birthday and has absolutely no patience for the requirements and duties delegated to her as the princess of Northwinds. Currently betrothed to a horridly behaved highborn, she truly dreams to be free of her royal duties, but at what cost?

As Amythesta pushes the boundaries and vexes her parents thoroughly, she finds herself entangled in secrets and heartbreak. Will she be able to accept her duties as the royal heir to the throne? Or will she find true love and unexpected freedom? Only time will tell.

26 08, 2016

Review: The New Trail of Tears by Naomi Schaefer Riley

By | August 26th, 2016|Categories: Authors|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

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the new trail of tears book coverReviewed by Vera Pereskokova

I must admit, beyond the basics, I know very little of American Indian history or their current situation. Prior to reading this book, I have never heard of the original trail of tears. I moved to the United States when I was 12 and even though I began my education here in the 7th grade, for some reason all history lessons I ever had were centered around Europe, or Middle East, or the beginning of times, etc.–never American history.

The overarching goal (at least in my opinion) of The New Trail of Tears by Naomi Schaefer Riley is not to just list off the statistics, – the poverty rates, and the suicide rates, and the violent crime rates on Indian reservations – but to shed some light on why those statistics are a reality.

25 08, 2016

Review: In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch

By | August 25th, 2016|Categories: Coming of Age, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |3 Comments

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in twenty years book coverReviewed by Amanda Schafer

A six-point star. That’s how six Penn students always thought of themselves while they were in college. They shared a house and shared their dreams. But right after graduation things started changing and falling apart. When Bea, the “glue” that held their star together, died suddenly, their six-point star shattered. After a major argument at Bea’s funeral, they went their separate ways and really didn’t speak much for the next several years. But on the year that Bea was to turn 40, they each receive notice from Bea’s lawyer that their presence has been demanded by Bea at their house at Penn for the weekend of her birthday. They were to receive a gift from her but had to be present that weekend to receive it.

24 08, 2016

Review: The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Santa Montefiore

By | August 24th, 2016|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |3 Comments

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beekeeper's daughter book coverReviewed by Colleen Turner

I’ve read a few of Santa Montefiore’s novels and have always find them enjoyable. She has a wonderful way of transporting the reader to beautiful locations with a florid and alluring writing style that gets me every time. The stories are lighter reading with just enough drama and romance to keep the reader satisfied without pushing too far over into melodrama. In other words: perfect beach reading. After reading the synopsis of The Beekeeper’s Daughter I was excited to see how she tackled this story with the style I’ve come to enjoy. Did I find it a success? Well, yes and no.

The first two-thirds or so of the story goes back and forth between England in the 1930’s and 40’s and an island off the coast of Massachusetts in 1973. The earlier timeline deals with Grace Hamblin and her unquenchable love for the heir of her village’s local gentry.